Archive for April, 2008

CAREER CHALLENGES

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

“I don’t like my job, I need to find something different, my client said in yesterday’s life coaching session. Whether it’s in an executive coaching or life coaching session I find that in many ways the people I work with are facing the same challenge. They are dissatisfied with what they are doing.

In their minds there are a myriad of reasons for feeling this way. It might be because of a conflict within the organization, or it might be because they feel unappreciated. Regardless, job dissatisfaction is high.

Even those who are running their own businesses experience conflict within the organization. They have an additional challenge which is growing their business and getting new business. Whatever your situation you have to change your thinking.

Their is never going to be a business without its share of challenges. Wishing it was different isn’t going to change anything.

Here is what I find is helpful. Know that your career is going to have its share of ups and downs. If you are employed you have more power than you realize. You have the power to make a change. You are not tied down to the business or enterprise. When you get plugged in thinking that this is your only option and it’s forever things really seem dreary.

Be glad you have a job and know it isn’t forever. Ask yourself if you really think you’ll be there in two years. There’s no magic number. It could even be one year or five years.

Once you break it down to a finite period of time, then it doesn’t seem hopeless. And after all, you are working to pay your bills and get ahead a little bit. If it turns out that you are also getting satisfaction and fulfillment then that’s a double win.

Once you know that it’s just for a finite period of time, you can take your power back. It’s important to have a life outside of work. If works your only game, then you have no other way of validating yourself. For example….let’s say that you love to go dancing and dance classes empower you. You become excited. But it costs money to take the classes. The job is a means to an end. When we try to make the job the whole thing-the end result- we set ourselves up for disappointment.

If you are running a business then you are faced with a different set of challenges. That’s always been my path.Yes you do think about ways to grow your business and at times it’s challenging, but you have the potential to have more freedom. That’s been my reality. By always having my own business I get to come and go as I want. But I know many business owners who feel trapped and feel they can’t leave. It’s making a decision as to what’s possible. And it might just be more than you realize.

So it’s up to you. Feel grateful for what you have now. It changes and prepares you for the next step.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

THERE’S NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW. There will always be something that holds you back; an excuse to put your life on hold. JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow,JD, is an Executive and Life Coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former successful trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. He also publishes, Letters on Life, an inspirational ezine. Signup! http://www.inspirepossibility.com

Disempowering Language

Monday, April 28th, 2008

In a life-coaching session recently I noticed that my client was using the word “overwhelm’ frequently. This was the first time that we had talked. I was curious as to what she meant when she used this word.

We all have an idea of what it means. And because we do the word has tremendous power.

By probing somewhat, we established that she used the word overwhelm interchangeably for what she described as a heightened level of anxiety.

I also asked her to describe her physical body sensations. After doing so she realized that she could describe these same bodily sensations in other ways. While overwhelm was certainly one possibility so was “excitement.” So was “curiousity.”

We agreed that for the next week she wouldn’t use the word “overwhelm.” There are certainly more empowering words that she could use. Once she begins to make them a part of her regular vocabularly, then a myriad of possibilities begins to show up.

To change the way you see life and to change your attitude change your language. Be curious as to the words you use that disempower you. Then begin to replace them with words and phrases that empower you.

What are some of the words that you use that seem to disempower you? What are some better choices?

Journey On

Mark

THERE’S NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW. There will always be something that holds you back; an excuse to put your life on hold. JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow,JD, is an Executive and Life Coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former successful trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. He also publishes, Letters on Life, an inspirational ezine. Signup! http://www.inspirepossibility.com

GETTING OUT OF THE BLAHS

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

In a life coaching session this morning, my client said that he had a sense of forboding. After exploring what was behind this feeling it was discovered that he felt uncertain about almost everything in his life.

Even the most enjoyable aspects of his life seemed challenging. Lately I have across others who shared his same sentiment.

What has happened is that they have become focused on the future. When they project what they see happening in the world today into the future and into their own life they get discouraged. Living and worrying about the future makes it difficult to live and enjoy the now.

We know from our work together and the work we’ve done on our own that being in the now is the key to one’s living a fulfilling life.

So what can you do to be more in the moment? Some of these suggestions I am sure you already know. But it’s good to hear them again.

Meditation….a physical discipline….exercise. Any activity that engages you. If you have too much time on your hands, you’ll be thinking about other things…anything to engage your mind. Exercise is a biggie. You just got to work it in.

Come back to your spiritual practice and if you already are committed, then deepen your commitment.

From this perspective it’s more of a natural progression to be optimistic about the future.

As you change how you think about your life, your life changes. I don’t mean to be mystical. But that’s the way it works.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

THERE’S NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW. There will always be something that holds you back; an excuse to put your life on hold. JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow,JD, is an Executive and Life Coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former successful trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. He also publishes, Letters on Life, an inspirational ezine. Signup! http://www.inspirepossibility.com

CHANGING THE MOOD

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

It was one of those days….I needed to get a copy of my birth certificate….so I made the trek to the city…got there early and had to wait in line ….not too long. I asked the guy in front of me if I could look at his paper ane he said no. That hasn’t happened for a long time. And then he continued to almost secretly read it….

I got it within a half hour and now I needed to go to DMV to get a new license plate. Again I didn’t have to wait too long….by 9:45 I was done and time to reward myself. Breakfast at the Half Day,my favorite place…..Now I’m home .. checked my email….and catching up on my writing.

NOW to the bank and post office. The post office is its own world. There never seems to be enough people working. Anyway my errands are done. Time to reward myself. Later on I plan to take a bike ride up on the mountain. No coaching today….taking a break. I’m into this writing thing…..

I’m listening to a compilation of Instrumental Inspirations and I can feel a rhythm to my thinking and my typing. I can feel my body moving to the chord changes and the rhythm. The melodies have a way of taking over my spirit. Yea! As I allow the music to envelop me I have access to a whole new range of sensations and feelings. That’s what music does at times is help us tune into forgotten aspects of our being. This CD is all new and so far I like all of it. That’s about it for now.

Journey On

Mark
THERE’S NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW. There will always be something that holds you back; an excuse to put your life on hold. JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow,JD, is an Executive and Life Coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former successful trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. He also publishes, Letters on Life, an inspirational ezine. Signup! http://www.inspirepossibility.com

Dancing on the Bridge to Connection

Monday, April 14th, 2008

There’s nothing like old friends. There’s a synchronicity. You know each other in a way that no one else does. You’ve shared experiences at a time in your life when your life was much different. When I read Jim’s email that he and his wife, Fern, would be in town, I was excited. Jim and I were young lawyers in Marin many years ago searching to find our way. Jim suggested that we meet at Green’s, the vegetarian restaurant, run by the SF Zen Center.

As Annie and I drove over the Golden Gate Bridge on the way to the restaurant I felt a sense of freedom as I noticed the cyclists and walkers enjoying themselves. I was reminded of some of the wilderness hikes that Jim and I went on many years ago when our lives were much simpler. I casually remarked to Annie that I couldn’t believe that I had never walked across the bridge. “Someday I am going to do that,” I declared.

Our plan was to have a leisurely lunch before returning to Marin. As we got up to leave, Jim asked me for a favor. He wanted to know if on our return to Marin we could drop them off at the Vista Point on the Marin side of the bridge so that they could walk back.

Not only did we drop them off, we walked most of the way with them before turning back and heading home.

My relationship with Jim has been cultivated over many years. And there have been many other special relationships cultivated over the course of time. But as we know, nothing seems to stay the same.

In our mobile society relationships are always changing. Jim hasn’t been the only friend who has moved away. Think about how many of us have moved away from the place where we grew up.

Then there are those relationships that for some reason just don’t work out. You play it out until it’s time to move on. In other relationships a common need or interest, which bound you at one time, is no longer enough. Then there is the inevitable, which is, that a few good friends will have passed on. As my good friend Sylvi just said to me, “Friends come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.”

It’s a basic need that we want to feel connected to others. This is true whether it’s at home, in the work place or in our day-to-day experience of life. Although we want it, we don’t necessarily know how to create it in our life especially when we don’t have that history or story to share.

The good news is that we have an awareness and set of skills that we didn’t possess many years ago. Connecting is not a matter of time. It happens in an instant when you connect with your whole being rather than just your intellect. I am sure you have had the experience of meeting someone and it seemed as if you had always known them. That can occur more frequently.

Once you have an intention to create more conection in your life, a shift happens. The question then becomes, as it is with many people that I work with in coaching, is what can I do to create more connection in my life?

Connection begins with you. It’s connecting with your higher power. It’s discovering your authentic self. Meditation is the pathway that I have chosen to this connection.

Then by expressing gratitude for the connection that is already in your life, you see yourself in a new way; a way that acknowledges a deeper truth, which is that it’s your innate nature to be connected. As your day progresses think of yourself as a connected being wondering about who you will be connecting with next. You will be amazed as to what happens.

I’m not saying you’ll connect with everyone. But there is a myth about connection that needs to be dispelled. Connecting with someone doesn’t take any more time, but does requires you to be more mindful of the present moment. It’s being curious about the other person and suspending judgment as to who you think they are.

Connection is a path and like most paths, there are going to be obstacles and challenges. You need to become aware of what these are before you can overcome them. The biggest obstacle and challenge for many of us is that we have not learned to be “active listeners.” Think about our “normal” conversations. Quite often it’s just an exchange of information. Rather than being in the present, we think about how to respond to what is being said. Before we know it we are thinking about something that happened to us many years ago that was triggered by what was said in the conversation. No wonder we never get who the other person is.

Another challenge is that we are invested in having to be right. We always try to get in the last word. Tell the truth-does that tendency sound familiar? Being right and connecting don’t go together! No matter how much work we have done on ourselves, we still have a little bit of the “being right’ in us.

It’s a basic belief of mine that connection can be cultivated. Before I got into coaching I was a decent connector when I wanted to be, but I don’t think it was one of my strenghts. That changed during my first coaching relationship. Pat gave me a whole new way to look at connection that has been instrumental in my having the awareness that I do now. When having a conversation with a prospective client, think about connecting with that person first,” he would often say. “And if you make the connection, then it’s a win-win situation for both of you without anything else needing to be said.”

The ability to connect with others opens up a whole new world. It transcends stereotypes and judgments, which creates fertile ground for new dialogue. A dialogue not constrained by history, but open to common ground for a consciousness of cooperation and togethernress. It’s up to us to create the world we envision. Let us join as one. Please feel free to share this message with those in your circle. This was also published as part of my Letters on Life series.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

THERE’S NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW. There will always be something that holds you back; an excuse to put your life on hold. JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow,JD, is an Executive and Life Coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former successful trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. He also publishes, Letters on Life, an inspirational ezine. Signup! http://www.inspirepossibility.com

Attracting kindred souls!

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

Deep friendships take years to nurture and develop and often go through many transitions but not always. Think about the friends in your life. How much time do you actually spend with them? Would you like to spend more time with them? Why aren’t you doing it?

Unless we make friends a priority it’s difficult to deepen them. We’ll always be busy with other things and think that we don’t have time to get together. And with our mobile society, we find ourselves in new situations that weren’t as common years ago.

This is not a bad thing and is ripe with many opportunities to explore. With the new people we come in contact with we don’t have a history or story to share. Because of this we live more in the present moment and together develop a common ground to explore.

Connection has become a priority in my life. There is nothing more satisfying than meeting someone and knowing that there is a soul connection. Not a whole lot needs to be said. And when it is said you know you are being heard.

You think to yourself that you are in the presence of a kindred soul. This type of experience has become more common in my life. It makes me think at times that on some level we are all kindred souls trying to find each other.

We won’t be able to recognize this phenomenon when we are looking in all of the wrong places. Our journey is to discard the baggage that prevents us from experiencing who we really are. And once we are able to tune into ourselves on a much deeper level, we are able to tune into that place in others. In yoga the expression to describe this knowing is NAMASTE.

The bigger question is what can we do to access this deeper level. I think what you hear about today is to be authentic…I use to call it “being real”…Only when we’re true to ourselves can we recognize that truth in others.

As we constantly evolve we’re able to access more of our true nature. We raise our vibration and attract other kindred spirits who are on the same path. We are all in this together. We want more connection in our life. Connecting with a power greater than ourself is the first step.

In the April edition of my newsletter, Letters on Life, I discuss in more detail what we can do to cultivate connection in our lives. You can sign up for it on this page.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

THERE’S NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW. There will always be something that holds you back; an excuse to put your life on hold. JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow,JD, is an Executive and Life Coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former successful trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. He also publishes, Letters on Life, an inspirational ezine. Signup! http://www.inspirepossibility.com

What is a Lie?

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

Lately I’ve been in a movie mood. Some of them I’ve seen before. One in particular got me thinking. Last night I had the privilege of watching one of those rare films,a German film, Good By Lenin. Right around the time of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the idealistic mother of a small family has a heart attack and is in a coma for 8 months. When she wakes up things are different… The Berlin Wall is down and East Germany is westernized.

When she comes home her family concerned that any excitement will be detrimental to her health, turns back the clock and pretends as if things are the way they were prior to the tearing down of the wall. Her son enrolls several people in this fabrication which had me cracking up.

But the moral question that it left me with is when is it ok to lie? And when do you say enough already? I loved the film but for a while got caught up in their drama and their fabrication. Here are a few things to think about. In the name of family love… Do you ever lie? How do you justify it? How do you get out of it? When was the last time you said or didn’t say what most people might call a lie? What about exaggeration? Is that lying? See the film if you get a chance.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

THERE’S NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW. There will always be something that holds you back; an excuse to put your life on hold. JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow,JD, is an Executive and Life Coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former successful trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. He also publishes, Letters on Life, an inspirational ezine. Signup! http://www.inspirepossibility.com

ITS NOW TIME

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

I just got back from a ride on the mountain. It wasn’t planned. But when suggested that we ride our bikes to the coffee shop I couldn’t stop it was so beautiful. There was crispness in the air that really woke you up. And once I reached the mountain and the lakes I could bask in the warmth….sometimes just standing silently listening to the sounds of nature. it was a great way to start the morning.

What’s your favorite time of year? Mine is the season of NOW! Right now I am feeling spring…it’s in full bloom…It’s warmer, although not too warm. There are blossoms on the fruit trees although less and less being replaced by buds that will soon be fruit and a few remaining wild flowers. Yeah it’s that time of year. Getting up much earlier…days are longer. Yeah….can do things outdoors in the evenings…IT’S NOW TIME.

Motivation…excitement…adventure. It’s sure good to feel this way. How can I build on it? As I said it’s never too late to do what you really want. It’s never too late to think about what your vision is for your life and for your community. What is it that you don’t tell people you really want because you think they will think you are crazy? It’s time to put yourself out there. Now is the time. What do you really want, but because you don’t want to be disappointed, you put it on the back burner?

JOURNEY ON

MARK

THERE’S NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW. There will always be something that holds you back; an excuse to put your life on hold. JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow,JD, is an Executive and Life Coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former successful trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. He also publishes, Letters on Life, an inspirational ezine. Signup! http://www.inspirepossibility.com

The Power of Connection

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

If you are like me, you wonder about who your real friends are. Deep friendships take years to develop and nourish and often go through transitions but not always. And then there are those folks in your life, although not necessarily close friends, that you end up spending a great deal of time with.

Take a second and think about these folks. Who are they and why are you that involved with them. Are you just thrown together? Perhaps it’s a common cause that you both are committed to. Or perhaps its part of your job. I am sure there are many other reasons that you can think of. The more important question is, “With whom would you like to spend your time with and why aren’t you doing it?”

As we know our selves more, we have a better sense of what our true values and priorities are. And in the process align ourselves with like minded people.

There’s no question that’s it great to have old friends who have known us through many different stages of our life. But for various reasons, we don’t know how long these relationships will last. A close friend might pass on or you might have a falling out. And sometimes you just need to move on.

As we get older we don’t have the time or inclination to get to know someone, but we know ourselves better. It’s in that knowing that we attract to us like minded souls. As this occurs more often we have the natural ability to connect with others. Connection transcends history. Connection transcends your story.

It’s great when you meet another person and not a whole lot needs to be said. You feel like you are with kindred soul. It’s more than great. Ideally I would love to spend my life with all kindred souls….maybe at some level we are all kindred souls trying to find each other. But we need to first find ourselves. And if that’s the case what can we do to access this knowing?

I think what you hear about today is to be authentic…I use to call it “being real”…Only when we’re true to ourselves can we recognize that in another person. But our self is constantly evolving and as it expands we’re able to access much more of our true nature and when that happens our signal…vibe… attracts and connects with more kindred spirits. When that starts to become a priority in our life, our garden grows. Look what happens when you are not being your authentic self. You are cheating two people. Yourself for not being true to yourself and the other person because they will never get to know the real you.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

THERE’S NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW. There will always be something that holds you back; an excuse to put your life on hold. JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow ,JD, is an Executive and Life Coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former successful trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. He also publishes, Letters on Life, an inspirational ezine. Signup! http://www.inspirepossibility.com

Getting over your Resistance to Change

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

I can’t believe the number of times that I thought about changing the message on my answering machine. I had the same message for two years….just saying that makes me feel like a dinasaur….stuck..resistant to change…and I’m not. I have thought about changing my message on at least 100 occasions. It’s amazing the amount of time that went to just thinking about it and the number of people who had suggested it. And what’s also amazing are the spectrum of emotions that i felt and the reasons I came up with not doing anything.

Finally the decision was made for me. I switched telephone providers so I had to come up with a new message. It was painless. It seemed so easy and now I am thinking about making this change at least at the beginning of every month.

Just think about other areas of your life in which you are reluctant to change. We can be stubborn sometimes, can’t we? But our resistance to change is what holds us back from having a successful and fulfilling life. Life is full of changes…just think of the seasons of the year. We either create the change in our life or we react to it. I know what I want to do and I am sure your preference would be to create the change you want.

Sometimes we just have to say we are going to do it. Having someone hold us accountable is a big help. Having goals also propels us in the direction that we want to go. More about that next time.

What is one change that you can make today? Who is going to hold you accountable?

JOURNEY ON

MARK

THERE’S NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW. There will always be something that holds you back; an excuse to put your life on hold. JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow ,JD, is an Executive and Life Coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former successful trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. He also publishes, Letters on Life, an inspirational ezine. Signup! http://www.inspirepossibility.com.


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