Archive for November, 2011

The Virtue of Life’s Challenges

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

It’s a natural tendency to want to avoid pain whether it’s physical or just in our minds. And we usually associate difficulties with some form of emotional pain and we do everything we can to avoid confronting the difficulty.

But it’s in the doing and facing our challenges that ultimately makes us stronger. What’s also true is that it’s not the difficulties themselves that make life difficult but it’s the mental dialogue and the story we tell ourself about what’s ahead that has the potential to become an epic drama. It’s quite a paradox. We go to much difficulty trying to avoid what we perceive as difficult. And the truth is that it’s not the difficulties that make life so difficult. What makes life difficult is the effort we expend in trying to avoid the difficulties.

We know by now that life is going to have some difficulties. But by running from them and not facing them, we make things more complicated. Think of what happens internally when you try to hide the truth from someone. Your little story even though about a small matter, becomes quite complicated. And quite often it involves enrolling other people in your little deception.

I quite often say that I’m happy and I have a few loose ends. My happiness is not dependent on the absence of problems. Once we see these loose ends as challenges, we’re motivated to look deeper and to see opportunities that at one time in our life, we didn’t know existed.

Your problems can motivate you to become the best you that you can be. In fact what if you actually were thankful for the problem. What then?

You’ll become a better and more enlightened you.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY AND CHOOSE HAPPINESS

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and speaker who inspires others to believe in themselves. He is passionate about life being an exciting journey of discovery. His enthusiastic and inspiring keynotes on change, leadership and connection thoroughly convey this message to his audiences. 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.

TURN THE ELECTRICITY BACK ON

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

I just got off the phone with, let’s call her, Sally. She is a competent professional who in twenty years has never missed an appointment. She has never missed a deadline either. She is the consummate professional. So you might wonder what’s the problem.

Sally, like many others that I get to meet in the work that I do, wanted to develop a different side of herself. She was ready to break out of her box. She wanted to fully express herself and to be known in other ways, yet that way hadn’t revealed itself as yet. She would begin other projects but rarely follow through because in her mind she felt that these other endeavors weren’t as important as her career. She would say she would do something, but always had a reason why she didn’t complete it. And like many others when it came to exercise, she had the same excuses why she didn’t work out.

I suggested that Sally make a shift in perception by making not keeping agreements to herself just as important as not keeping agreements to someone else. I explained to her that there is a direct correlation between keeping agreements to herself and the source of her personal power. When you are not connected to the source of your personal power, it’s as if you turn on the light switch and nothing happens because the electricity is turned off.

Turn the electricity back on by keeping your word to yourself.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and speaker who inspires others to believe in themselves. He is passionate about life being an exciting journey of discovery. His enthusiastic and inspiring keynotes on change, leadership and connection thoroughly convey this message to his audiences. 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.

Yes you are Making a Difference

Monday, November 28th, 2011

I don’t know about you but I’ve often wondered if what I was doing was making a difference in the world. With that in mind my focus was on what I did for a living. As most of you know, for many years I was a trial lawyer. In the early years, I had direction and a purpose. I wanted to save the world. I felt that what I did in the legal profession could pave the way for social change. And in many ways what I did and what many other lawyers accomplished did affect social policy.

Then my life changed and so did my law practice. I embarked upon a new phase and making money was the main focus. Then I questioned if what I was doing for a living, making money as a lawyer, was socially significant. It was difficult for me to justify that it was which caused me a great deal of despair.

That got me looking in a different direction. That got me into seeing that I was making a difference independent of what I did for a living. That was a big breakthrough and it is for many with whom I have had the privilege to work with as their life coach.

As I often say, you being the most authentic you, makes a difference in the world. At the time it might not seem like much, but the truth is that it’s impossible to really know. It’s impossible to know the impact you have on others. They might not even know.

Your contribution is an important part of the whole. In the big picture, who you are being and what you are doing is perfect.

The future is not some place we are going but one that we are creating together. The act of creation involves all of us. It is up to each of us to keep the light on and the flame lit so that we reignite the path for others to see.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and speaker who inspires others to believe in themselves. He is passionate about life being an exciting journey of discovery. His enthusiastic and inspiring keynotes on change, leadership and connection thoroughly convey this message to his audiences. 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.

Keep Making the Choice

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

There are some messages worth repeating because eventually it sinks in. We need to hear it said over and over again and in different ways by different people. It might be a book. a recording of a life talk or a casual conversation you have in a coffee shop, or for that matter wherever you happen to be.

You probably wondering by now what that message is. Hang on. You’ve probably heard it before.

Whatever you say or think becomes an affirmation. It becomes your life. If you say life is difficult it most certainly will seem that way. It doesn’t matter what you are doing, it will seem challenging. And quite often if we think something is going to be difficult we avoid it. We either don’t do it at all or procrastinate. Of course when we procrastinate, we could have completed the project several times over if we just sat down and began.

And you know the other side of this. Life is good when you say or think it is. It’s up to us to say it the way we want it. In a life-coaching session the other day with our good friend George, I encouraged his to say out loud that, “I’m happy.” After he said that there was a silence and he repeated it again. You could feel a peaceful presence and stillness in the room. He sat there and let it sink in.

We know by now that it’s not the situation or circumstances that determine how we feel or think about life. It’s our perspective and attitude that determines our experience of life.

We need to remind ourself that life is a gift and we can choose to enjoy it. As I often say, “I’m happy and I still have a few loose ends.” You can make that same choice.

Once you do and you need to make it over and over again, life’s possibilities seem endless. Not only that, but you’ll enjoy whatever you are doing.

Make room for the good to come into your life. Be curious as to what it’s going to look like.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and speaker who inspires others to believe in themselves. He is passionate about life being an exciting journey of discovery. His enthusiastic and inspiring keynotes on change, leadership and connection thoroughly convey this message to his audiences. 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.

Pay Attention to the Warning Signs

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Have you ever experienced that moment when you said to yourself, “How did I get into this mess?” Or perhaps the question should be, “How many times have you asked yourself that question?”

It could be a relationship that goes from bad to worse. Or it could occur in the workplace. When I was a lawyer, I would be in the middle of a case and occasionally wonder what was I thinking that got me involved in the first place.

Hopefully we learn from these experiences so that we don’t keep repeating them. Most of the time I had a glimpse of what could go wrong in the beginning. Yet, for various reasons I chose to ignore the warning signs.

Part of my journey has been to explore the nature of these warning signs so that I learn from them. These warning signs present a great opportunity for you to transform your life. Don’t let it go by the wayside.

There is no better time than now to examine the last time you experienced one of those moments. When was it? What was involved? What did you learn and how did it make your a better person.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and speaker who inspires others to believe in themselves. He is passionate about life being an exciting journey of discovery. His enthusiastic and inspiring keynotes on change, leadership and connection thoroughly convey this message to his audiences. 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.

What Makes you Come Alive?

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Over the years I’ve noticed that many of us share similar underlying concerns and patterns. The simplest way of saying it is that we’re not living the life we really want. We’re way off target. We’re in a career that we’ve lost our enthusiasm for, or perhaps we’re in a relationship that has gotten stale. Or we think that there is a relationship out there that is going to wake us up and bring us alive.

So we look at our life wondering how we can break out of our box, but from our limited perspective we can’t see a way out.

Here’s a suggestion. Ask yourself what makes you come alive. There is always a way to move in the directions of the life you really want. When I began working with our friend Sally, one of my life coaching clients, she was in that box. What we discovered was that Sally has a passion for photography, but she wasn’t doing anything with it and she wasn’t sharing it with others.I suggested that she take her camera with her and to take some classes. That has given her a new aliveness that can serve as a bridge to the rest of her life.

And you know about Carl. Carl is an amazing creative being, yet he gets overwhelmed by the financial realities of his life. Even with these concerns, Carl does have time to integrate some of his passions into his daily life. Carl got back into his dance and whenever I see him, I notice a twinkle in his eyes and a zest for living. When you look deep enough, there will always be a way to express yourself more fully.

As we come alive in one aspect of our life, we have the potential to come alive in the rest of our life. Then we experience a new enthusiasm that’s contagious and positively impacts everyone we meet.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and speaker who inspires others to believe in themselves. He is passionate about life being an exciting journey of discovery. His enthusiastic and inspiring keynotes on change, leadership and connection thoroughly convey this message to his audiences. 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 COURAGEOUS–DON’T LET THE FEAR STOP YOU

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Tom was afraid so he didn’t do it at first. In a ropes course many years ago that’s what happened. Tom refused to go forward. He refused to take that first step. He kept looking at the cable that was attached to two trees approximately 40 feet apart. He was harnessed in so he couldn’t get injured, yet the fear stopped him. He no longer could focus on the goal he was trying to achieve.

That’s the way it is with many things in our life. When the fear takes over, it prevents us from taking action in whatever form it shows up. When George, one of my life coaching clients, worried about being away from the office for an extended period of time, on a long needed vacation, all he could think of was what could go wrong. He even considered canceling his trip. He did go and took with him his anxiety and yet had the time of his life.

When I was a trial lawyer, every time I would begin a trial, I would have that anxiety that wouldn’t stop until I got into it. And then I was immersed in the moment and all I thought about was the present moment.

Like Tom and George, I had the anxiety and the fear, but I did it anyway. Otherwise the fear has you and you don’t take action. You stay stuck in your comfort zone and let your resistance run your life.

It takes courage to feel the fear and to do it anyway. Fear is an essential component of courage. They go hand in hand. Think about your life and all of the times when you acted even though you experienced fear. That was an act of courage.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and speaker who inspires others to believe in themselves. He is passionate about life being an exciting journey of discovery. His enthusiastic and inspiring keynotes on change, leadership and connection thoroughly convey this message to his audiences. 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.

This is the Moment

Friday, November 11th, 2011

When Sally called me for her life coaching session she was frustrated. She felt she had many great ideas but had nothing to show for it. That wasn’t exactly true for she had accomplished much in her life. But what was true was that she kept postponing what it was that she dreamed about doing. She had been a photographer her entire life, yet was shy about putting it out there. Sally had shared with me that she would love to create a book of her photography. What I noticed was that she always had an excuse why didn’t begin the book. There was always something in the way.

I told Sally that this was the moment and that waiting for the perfect moment no longer served her.

Most of us are like Sally. Don’t wait any longer to begin doing what you are most passionate about. Life is richer when you do what most fulfills you. Life is richer when you are determined and passionate.

Take that first step and enjoy each step along the way. That’s what Sally did, and contacted the son of a friend of hers, and asked him to help her by sorting out the numerous photos she had taken over the years.

When you have something you are excited about, you are blessed. Say goodbye to the excuses and the reasons why you tell yourself it can’t happen. Before I began my book, I always had a reason why it wasn’t the right time and why it would be a waste of time. One day I woke up and began the journey. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

When you wake up each day, begin it with purpose and enthusiasm about fulfilling it’s possibilities. At the end of the day ask yourself what was special about this day.

And then say, Thank you for this day, thank you for this moment. This is the moment. So begin.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and speaker who inspires others to believe in themselves. He is passionate about life being an exciting journey of discovery. His enthusiastic and inspiring keynotes on change, leadership and connection thoroughly convey this message to his audiences. 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.

SPREAD OUR JOY

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Whose life is it anyway? We sometimes forget we have a life that is independent of what we do in the world and what we think we should be doing. We sometimes forget that we have a purpose for being here. With all of our responsibilities and concerns we forget to take a deep breath and reflect upon what gives us joy and meaning.

We need to remind ourselves that as long as we are trying to fulfill someone else’s dream, we’ll never be happy or fulfilled. We have to let go of the expectations that others have for us.

They want the best for us, yet they are not us. At some point we ask ourselves, what is it that we really want. We’ve done what we set out to do; now what. Ultimately we have to take responsibility for our life and to stop making excuses or blaming other people for our not being happy.

If it doesn’t work out the way we wanted it to, it’s on us. Once we walk in freedom, free from the restraints of our past, we begin to experience a grace in our life that is a reflection of an inner joy. It’s a natural desire to want to share our joy with others.

We’re able to live the life that at one time we just thought about. We’ve become the person that at one time was just a vision in the future.

We’ve traveled many paths to get to where we are now. Now it’s time to share our unique wisdom.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and speaker who inspires others to believe in themselves. He is passionate about life being an exciting journey of discovery. His enthusiastic and inspiring keynotes on change, leadership and connection thoroughly convey this message to his audiences. 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.

LIGHT THE WAY

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

There is that moment when you start to see yourself in a new way. It is a turning point. You’ve done the hard work. You’ve been consistent and you’ve stopped comparing yourself to other people. You see yourself as successful. You realize that in your own unique way you have the potential for greatness. There is an inner knowing. It’s calling you.

Now you are determined to give it your best everyday. You’re not thinking of what could have been, but instead you have a vision of who you want to be and the life you want to live. You know it’s just a matter of time.

It happens quicker than you imagine. One day you wake up and you see yourself in a new light. You’re that person you’ve always wanted to become.

You walk in freedom with a determination and grace and twinkle in your eye. You’re wondering what the highlight of your day will be. You’re wondering at what moment you’ll smile from ear to ear. You’re at your best.

There is still work to be done each and everyday. Your presence is empowering to others. You bring great richness to life. By you being you, you make a difference.

Stay open—keep growing. Be the light in the midst of the darkness. Light the way.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and speaker who inspires others to believe in themselves. He is passionate about life being an exciting journey of discovery. His enthusiastic and inspiring keynotes on change, leadership and connection thoroughly convey this message to his audiences. 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.


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