Archive for July, 2010

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS AND DREAMS?

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

In a life coaching session with my client, let’s call her Sally, Sally expressed concern that she didn’t have a long term vision of the life she wanted down the road. She didn’t seem to have any goals about the future.

It seemed that her life was consumed with day-to-day survival concerns—making ends meet, maybe a little more than that. But essentially getting through each day was a big challenge.

As we explored this concern during our session, what became clear was that Sally did have some dreams about the future, but dismissed them because they seemed so impractical. Sally is like so many people who I come in contact with. Without dreams for the future, it’s difficult to have hope, which in itself becomes a motivating factor in our daily lives.

Having something to work toward that has meaning gives our everyday work more significance. Sally’s dream was someday to have a house on the beach since she loved so much to spend time there. As we continued to explore, Sally said that having a place that she could share with another couple was also something that she considered.

Sally, who is a financial person, never crunched the numbers to see exactly what was needed because it seemed so far-fetched. Sally’s homework before our next session was to look in the paper or go online and see what was currently available and at what price range in the geographic areas she was considering. She also said that she was open to making this investment with another couple.

Once Sally crunches the numbers, she’ll have a better idea of what is needed to make this happen. Then she can create goals that can help her manifest what was once just a dream. More about goals and dreams in the next blog.

JOURNEY ON

Mark Susnow, is an executive and life coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former trial attorney for 30 years, 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 is the author of, Dancing on the River…Navigating Life’s Changes.

THINGS CHANGE

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

I have frequently thought about what I want my children to know about life. This is what i wrote in my book Dancing on the River: Navigating Life’s Changes.

Things change. You have to prepare yourself so that you can flow with these changes. The average person today has six or seven careers. The divorce rate is high. Friendships change. You might have a falling out, someone might move away, or pass on. And of course there are health challenges along the way. Let us not forget about the physiological changes that occur during the aging process. The currents of the river are constantly changing; they are affected by many unforeseen forces. You can’t live your life being afraid of these changes, because by avoiding them you are not really living.

What worked at one time in your life might not work at another time. Rather than developing career skills, you neeed to develop life skills that will enable you to thrive in any situation.

Living a successful and fulfilling life is not an accident. Successful people have goals and dreams. They have faith. They know that at the darkest moment there will be a light that illuminates their path. They know that they are no alone and that there is a power greater than they are. When they live from their center, they have access to this power.

Life happens. There are some things we can’t control. The meaning we give to what happens is a choice. Saying yes to life and dancing on the river is also a choice. Enjoy the dance.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive and life coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former trial attorney for 30 years, 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 is the author of, Dancing on the River…Navigating Life’s Changes.

CHOOSING HAPPINESS

Friday, July 16th, 2010

“So, you mean I can be happy and still be worried about money?” That’s what one of my life coaching clients asked me the other day. Another client said, “I’ll be happy when I find the right person.” And another client made the following statement, “Things will be better, when I leave this marriage.”

You get the idea. I call it the “if only syndrome.” If only my circumstances were different, my life would be better. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about and perhaps too well. We postpone our happiness thinking that an unknown future will be better than the life we have now. Chances are if you are unhappy now, you’ll be unhappy in the future. You take it with you. Circumstances might make you feel better for a moment, but that feeling of relief won’t last very long.

I am a firm believer that happiness is a decision that you make to be happy in the moment over and over again.It eventually becomes a consciousness. What I call Dancing on the River is a reflection of this consciousness.

So what I’m saying and do say over and over again to my life coaching clients and to many of my friends is that you can be happy and still have those money worries. You can be happy and still have those relationship concerns. They won’t go away for very long. And there will always be a new one to replace them.

There you have it. Happiness is not about circumstances. It’s about you and your willingness to declare your determination to be joyful. It’s not in the future. It’s now! So go for it.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive and life coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former trial attorney for 30 years, 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 is the author of, Dancing on the River…Navigating Life’s Changes.

BE THANKFUL FOR YOUR DOUBT

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

For the last ten years I have had the luxury to think about the human process. As a life coach that’s what I do. I get to listen to others share their challenges and to share in their triumphs. We’re all on this journey together. From this work together I have had the opportunity to become clear on some of the bigger challenges that we all face. It seems that no matter what we do or what we think about, we experience doubt to some degree.

We can’t wait for that perfect time when there seems to be nothing in the way. If we did we wouldn’t be doing anything except waiting. Living with doubt is empowering because it keeps us on our toes. It gives us that edge that makes us feel alive. Unfortunately too often we let doubt stop us and prevent us from taking that next step in our life.

Doubt can drive you nuts at times and cause you much anxiety, but over time it doesn’t throw you off course as much. Perhaps you’ll get to that place in your life when the doubt is minimized or barely perceptible. But to eliminate all doubt before taking the next step will result in a life that is unexplored and unfulfilled.

Think about your life and how you have let doubt stop you in the past. How would your life have been different if you went for it? What’s preventing you from going for it now? Having doubt also indicates that you are thoughtful and insightful. It prepares you for the unexpected and unpredictable. In the long run it is what makes you more successful and fulfilled.

Be thankful for your doubt but don’t let it stop you.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive and life coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former trial attorney for 30 years, 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 is the author of, Dancing on the River…Navigating Life’s Changes.

IT’S A MATTER OF CONNECTION

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

Connection is not a matter of time. When you connect with your heart, body and soul, connection happens in an instant. It transcends titles, race, gender, age and anything you can think of. From this bond of connection anything is possible.

Yet connecting with another is one of the greatest challenges that we all face; a challenge worthy of our best efforts. It comes up everyday in the work that I do. The following is an excerpt from Dancing on the River.

Sometimes telling a story is the best way to describe the feeling. There is that moment when you feel touched by another person and your heart is wide open.

You’re on the way to the airport. You get on the plane with a book that you’ve been planning to read for quite some time. As you open your book you glance at the person next to you. A few minutes later you’re asked a question and you reluctantly answer. You lower your book a bit to be polite and after a few minutes you find yourself putting your book down and engaging in a conversation, although with a lack of enthusiasm. And then the person next to you, let’s call him John, makes an observation about you that’s quite perceptive and sensitive. You start to become curious about who John is and in the course of the conversation, he tells you about an experience he has only shared with a few people. You let John know that you have had a similar experience. By now you’re totally engaged and listening to every word he says. You notice every nuance in the inflection of his voice and in the way he moves. Time seems to stand still and the next thing you know the plane lands. You say goodbye to the kindred soul you have just met. You’ll always be connected.

You now know what’s possible. You feel heard and everything seems possible. It’s communication at its highest level and is a lost art. When you integrate four fundamental truths of communication into your life, you’ll experience these moments more often.

The first truth is to know that what we all want is the ability to connect with another’s heart and soul. Unfortunately too many of our conversations are just an exchange of ideas and information and we rarely penetrate the surface. Most of our focus is on how we are going to respond to what is being said, instead of listening. When we know that what the other person really wants is connection, there will be common ground to build upon. From this foundation, we can build inspiring relationships that keep evolving.

The second truth is to know that listening involves much more than just listening to words. It is tuning into the energy beyond the words. It is understanding the needs and feelings of the other person. It’s being totally engaged and at the same time flowing with the rhythm of life. Yes, it takes a lot of energy, but you’re energized by what you get back. Imagine living in a world in which you are truly listening and fully present . As the philosopher and mystic Thomas Merton so profoundly stated in his Asian Journal:
The deepest level of communication is not communication but communion. It is wordless. It is beyond words, and is beyond speech and concept…We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.

The third truth is to know that you must take responsibility for the quality of your communications. This includes having the conversation, which many of us tend to avoid. Because we all have long-standing attitudes and beliefs, we sometimes find ourselves trying to convince the other person that our perspective is the best one. Being right then becomes the goal of the interaction rather than communication, and the next thing you know you are in a full-fledged argument. Just think of what happens when you discuss politics or religion. Being right becomes more important than experiencing one of those magical moments.

Yes you’ll have to get out of your comfort zone and initiate many of these conversations. You might be afraid of putting yourself out there and possibly being rejected. You’ll find that more often than not, the person you are reaching out to welcomes the conversation just as much as you do. As we have discussed in the first truth, all of us crave more connection in our busy lives.

The fourth truth is that communication is a process and an art. Being a masterful communicator doesn’t happen over night but it starts with the intention to experience more connection in your life. Just as it is with other art forms, such as dancing or music, there is a natural ebb and flow in the learning cycle. As your commitment deepens, you notice glimpses of the magic that is possible in your life. The ultimate connection occurs when, by sharing who you really are, you touch another’s soul.

We are part of one human family. At our core we have the same human needs and desires. We have the need to love and be loved. We want to know that our life has meaning and that we have a purpose for being here at this time. When we work together as one, what’s possible in our lives, communities, and the world keeps evolving. That’s when we know we are all kindred souls.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive and life coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former trial attorney for 30 years, 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 is the author of, Dancing on the River…Navigating Life’s Changes.


Signup for our Email Newsletter

...and get inspired every month!

Close this popup

Would it be helpful to discover the self-defeating habits and limiting beliefs that are preventing you from living the life you really want? As a thank-you, you will have access to our Self-Assessment test.