Archive for February, 2012

THE VIRTUE OF MISTAKES

Monday, February 27th, 2012

We alluded to it in yesterday’s post. Mistakes are not failures. Actually making mistakes has a positive side to it. It means that we are taking action and trying new things. We’re not just sitting back making excuses why our life isn’t working.

If we want to be picky, all of us could say we have made plenty of mistakes. We don’t have to go there because what’s more important is what we have learned from those mistakes, and how we apply the lessons learned from them, to make our life better.

What we don’t want to do is to get stuck on the excuses. We gain nothing by focusing on excuses. In fact they keep us stuck especially if we use the excuses for justification for not succeeding.

There are no free lunches, although we can keep fantasizing. It would be nice. Yes we have to keep applying ourself. Perhaps for a while we can coast on cruise control but not for long. When it’s time we have to get back to work and apply ourself.

The truth is that what holds us back are not the circumstances in the form of obstacles that get in our way but our limiting beliefs about what they mean.

So the next time that life doesn’t work out the way you had hoped, rather than coming up with a reason “why,” say to yourself, “That’s interesting.”

From that awareness, be curious as to what’s next.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and thought leader 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. Give yourself the gift of coaching and make an investment in your future.

DEVELOPING YOUR INTERNAL GPS

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Having goals is an important strategy for moving your life forward. Unfortunately many people are reluctant to work them because they believe that if they don’t reach them they have failed. Or if they do choose to work with them they select safe goals that don’t challenge them. The fear of failure keeps many people stuck in their comfort zones. As a result they live a life of mediocrity.

What if we eliminated the concept of failure from our consciousness? What if we adopt the perspective that failure is an illusion? Instead of thinking that we might have failed, we think of what has happened as feedback——as our internal navigation system. In real life the GPS systems that we have access to help us get to where we are going and let us know when we stray off course. When we stray off course, our GPS system doesn’t say to us that we failed because we made the wrong turn. It just lets us know that we are off course so that we can make the necessary adjustments.

Hopefully we learn from our mistakes and make the necessary changes. When we are able to flow with what is and where life is taking us, then we will be able to enjoy life, moment by moment. Each wrong turn gives us more information so that we can make better and healthier decisions.

The important thing is to get out our comfort zones and take a step in the direction of where we want to go. If it happens to be a misstep, no big deal because we will be closer to discovering what does work and getting closer to where we want to be in our life.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and thought leader 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. Give yourself the gift of coaching and make an investment in your future.

ARE YOU HAVING FUN YET?

Friday, February 24th, 2012

I remember the moment like it was yesterday. I had been practicing law for many years. I was involved in a case involving contentious litigation. The other attorney said to me, “Are you having fun yet?” I wasn’t. I was stressed out and questioned why I got involved in the case in the first place. I didn’t want to be there.

It also got me thinking why she was having fun and I wasn’t. That’s a question that I think about often. Why is it that some people are able to experience joy and happiness in their life, while others experience stress and despair. For the latter life seems like one big struggle.

Is it as simple as seeing your cup half full as opposed to seeing it half empty? Often I think that it is that simple. It’s certainly a part of it. When you see your cup as half full you are making a choice to see it that way. You are focusing on what is good rather than on what is wrong.

Yes you have to keep asking the question as to how you can get better and how you can learn from what has occurred up to now, but you can also rejoice in what you have accomplished.

You can also make a choice. Make that choice by finishing the sentence: Life is————How you finish that sentence will determine how you see your life. If you say life is fun there is a greater likelihood that you will enjoy yourself more often. Try it. What do you have to lose?

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and thought leader 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. Give yourself the gift of coaching and make an investment in your future.

BEGIN DOING WHAT REALLY MATTERS

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

At some point, we become clear as to the life we want to lead and to what really matters. But there are always the lingering doubts——that would be impractical we think to ourselves. Years ago I had visions of living the life that I now lead. But it seemed impractical because I had a family and other responsibilities. So i did it in my own way. I continued to work on myself being open to new ideas and possibilities. When the time came, I made a leap of faith and began the journey I am on now, taking the step that was directly in front of me.

As some point we let go of the past and courageously travel down a new road.

I have always resonated with Joseph Campbell’s metaphor of the Dark Forest:

“You enter the forest
At the darkest point;
Where there is no path.

Where there is a way or path,
It is someone else’s path.

If you follow someone else’s way,
You are not going to realize
your potential.”

So what is that dream that you have been putting on hold. Declare it. Yes you will run into obstacles and challenges along the way. That’s life and you will have obstacles regardless of the path you choose even on the path you are on now. So why not choose the one that feels right. It’s time to live your own life.

Guess what. You are different, unique and have something of value and great importance to offer the world.

Be grateful for the frustrations that you currently have in your life. They are there to remind you that there is a better way.

That way is to do what truly matters. If you are going to struggle at times, why not struggle doing what really matters. Then you have the energy, the fortitude and determination to keep going in the face of adversity. You are determined. You are on the precipice. You are on the way. You are the way.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and thought leader 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. Give yourself the gift of coaching and make an investment in your future.

Less Stress Anyone

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Do you know anyone who wouldn’t like to have less stress in their life?

Think about what you do in your life that causes stress. What you do and the situations that you put yourself in are just part of the overall picture. The bigger part and what causes most of our stress is our reaction to events and circumstances. The attitude we choose to adopt goes a long why toward minimizing the stress that we experience in our life.

Taking things personally is a big stress enhancer, yet that’s what most of us do. We easily get offended, thinking that what was said was about us, rather than a reflection of the other person’s inner state. When someone says something to you, be curious as to why they are saying it and what is going on in their life. For all you know they said what they did because they are in personal emotional pain. For all you know they might say the same exact thing to the next person.

Here’s what I mean. Rather than thinking that the weather is funky, see the beauty in the current conditions. When I woke up this morning I noticed that it was drizzily. I looked around and saw how beautiful it was, exactly the way that it is.

The world we see is an expression of our internal state. As we experience peace and beauty inside, what is manifested in our everyday life is a peaceful and beautiful world.

The difficulties that we experience are there to help us grow. They help us become who we want to be; resourceful and able to see life’s possibilities.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and thought leader 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. Give yourself the gift of coaching and make an investment in your future.

GET IT DONE

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

As a life coach I am often asked what I suggest to help people overcome procrastination. I equate overcoming procrastination with overcoming resistance. If you learn to handle resistance then you won’t have a procrastination problem.

The simple answer is to sit down and do what needs to be done. It probably takes less time to actually do it, then you will spend thinking about doing it. And it always feels great when you have completed the project. There is a momentary sense of freedom and euphoria.

Doing my taxes is kind of like that. I avoid sitting down to work on them until I am near the deadline. But when I finally do, it goes much quicker that I thought. And every year I have to do them.

Writing is another area of my life where I have resistance until I sit down and actually begin. Then it flows and feels good. We waste so much time thinking about what we have to do.

Set it up so that it’s inviting to sit down and begin the task at hand. What I do with the writing is to tune into Whisperings which I access through ITunes. Listening to the solo piano music transports me to another realm.

And I do the same when I have a lot of busy work to take care of.

Rather than thinking about it and worrying about getting it done make your life simpler. Avoidance won’t get it done. It’s still on your mind. Simplify the task at hand by breaking it down. Perhaps you just complete one part of it today. And then schedule the next part in your calendar to be done the next day. Set it up so that you can succeed.

It feels good when you complete the project. You feel liberated.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and thought leader 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. Give yourself the gift of coaching and make an investment in your future.

Finding Success and Fulfillment

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

When I first began my coaching career, I searched for words that would describe the benefit of the work that I do. What came to me was that we can all experience more success and fulfillment.

Those words are loaded and mean different things to different people. What’s important about the concept of success is that it has to be much broader than being recognized in a career that is gaged by external standards. Each of us has the right to define what success means for us. What does it mean for you? What aspects of your life does it include?

Let’s turn our attention to what fulfillment means. Do you feel fulfilled the way your life is now? If you do you are truly blessed. If you aren’t quite there, think about who you need to become to get there. Is there something that you need to do before you can experience that fulfillment?

No one is going to do it for you. You need to step up and become the person you have always to be and to live the life you have always wanted. To make it happen you need to be courageous. It might be uncomfortable and frustrating at times. You might have some lingering doubts and wonder why you ever got started on this path. You might have more than your share of setbacks. Why didn’t I take the easy way you think to yourself.

But when you get there, it’s because you were determined. You had a vision and a dream of the person you wanted to be. It feels great. It feels beyond great. You are there. You have fulfilled a life long vision. You are fulfilled.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and thought leader 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. Give yourself the gift of coaching and make an investment in your future.

THE BANK OF WELL-BEING

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

We finally did it. What that “it” is is different for each of us. We believed that when we achieved our goal, whatever it was, our life would be different. The story line goes something like this, “When this happens, I’ll be happy and I can stop worrying.” Some of us temper it a little bit and think to ourself, ”Now I can coast for a while.” We do for a period of time until the next thing comes along. It could be a financial challenge, a change in relationship status, or a new living situation. It could be when you complete that course and get that certificate or degree. It might even be those ten or twenty pounds. You know what those markers are.

At some point, we realize that this moment with all of its complexities and loose ends is our life. By allowing this realization to sink in, we create a liberating moment in our life. Along the way, we have developed the faith that whatever we are concerned about will work out. Sometimes it often works out better than we expected. But the doubts and uncertainty test our faith. Having this faith is a moment-to-moment choice that we make over and over again. Making that choice, which is an expression of our personal freedom, is exhilarating!

Quite often I have thought about the nature of personal freedom. What resonates the loudest is that it is freedom from negative thinking. Which also includes the freedom to be free from the self-defeating and self-limiting patterns and beliefs that stop us from reaching our full potential. In light of all of the negative reinforcement out there, it’s a worthy challenge that we all have been working on with varying degrees of success. If you are questioning how you are doing, ask yourself how much you worry.

Intellectually we know that we have a choice as to how we see our lives. We learn to a limited extent that it’s not the event or circumstance that causes us pain but the meaning we give it. This awareness is just the first step, but an important one in liberating ourselves from our reactive mind. Once you develop this awareness, you are ready to cultivate a shift in consciousness that can transform how you feel and think about your life.

Let me share with you what I mean. Most of us are triggered by the news, much of which is about the economy. Since we can’t control what is in the news, our only choice is to change our perspective as to how we view these events and circumstances. With all of the news about banks failing or about to fail, let me introduce you to a different type of bank—it’s an inner bank which I call the B.A.N.K of Well-Being. It’s our internal barometer as to how we are feeling about “life.” When our account has a nice surplus we are optimistic and believe that we can handle most challenges. Our job is to be mindful of how easily our account can fluctuate.

Our account easily gets drained when there is a run of negative news. We focus on what might go wrong and how it might affect us. No matter what’s going on in our life, there is always going to be something that has the potential to negatively affect us.

There are many other situations that have the potential to drain our account. It might be a toxic relationship or work situation. No matter what we do, the stresses of everyday living have the potential to drain our account. No matter how careful and strategic we are, we can’t be perfect. Trying to be perfect only further drains our account. When stress drains us, we don’t have the energy or fortitude to handle the normal circumstances of our life. We overreact and aren’t able to see the big picture. In essence our personal, spiritual and emotional accounts have been drained.

We need to replenish our account by depositing good energy in the form of positive thoughts, healthy food, exercise, a spiritual discipline, inspiration, and supportive friends. Meditation and communing in nature have always had a healing affect on my being. My attitude about life dramatically changed once I began meditating many years ago. Everyday in some way I am making a deposit. I know that you have your own way of replenishing your account.

The BANK (Beyond Negative Thinking) of Well-Being is a reminder that you have a choice. It’s a choice about being conscious that you make over and over again.

Becoming conscious is not only a choice about how you want to live your life, but it’s also a choice about being that person who actually lives that life. It’s a choice about which voice you choose to listen to; the voice of judgment, which limits you, or the voice of inspiration, which becomes your “guiding light.”

To help you make a quantum shift from becoming that person to being that person, think about what you can do to replenish your account. Now take action and integrate just one of these into your account for the next seven days. Imagine for a moment being that person who sees their account brimming over.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and thought leader 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. Give yourself the gift of coaching and make an investment in your future.

TAKE THE NEXT STEP

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Sometimes it gets confusing. We have heard or read many times that one of the keys to happiness is focusing on the here and now. But how do we reconcile focusing on the present with having a vision for the future.

We all have had goals and dreams at times which have a long term horizon. When I was younger it was becoming a lawyer. And when I began my coaching career I had a vision of where I wanted to go with it and who I wanted to become. Yet there was the day-to-day navigation of getting there. There were the doubts and the uncertainty. “Was I on the right path? It’s not the way I thought it would go. It’s harder than I thought.” What was it that enabled me to hang in there?

It’s the vision of what we want down the road that keeps us going in the darkest moments and in the midst of uncertainty. In the beginning that’s all there might be. Just a vision——but a vision of what’s possible and a belief that this is our life’s work.

So we take a small step in the direction of where we want to go. At the time it might not seem significant. In retrospect we see that it was just one of many steps that have propelled us on our way. That small step over time gets magnified. I remember when I made the decision to become a coach. I was on the island of Kauai. I picked up the phone and signed up for the next program. And on the plane coming home my first client was waiting for me.

That phone call at the time seemed insignificant. Yet it was the first step that has led me to where I am at this time in my life.

Take the next step!

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and thought leader 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. Give yourself the gift of coaching and make an investment in your future.

YOU ARE MAKING PROGRESS

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

You finished the job. You feel great. I remember I good I felt when I finished writing the manuscript of Dancing on the River. It had been three years in the making. There were many times when I didn’t see where the book was going. So I stopped writing for a period of time, but fortunately there was always a pull to get me going again.

Yes I put in many long hours wondering if I was making progress. Was I just spinning my wheels I often thought to myself. It didn’t seem that there was a direct result from the effort that I put in. I wrote but it didn’t seem better. That’s the thing with effort——quite often we don’t see immediate results. And then all of a sudden, there is a jump in productivity.

But the effort eventually paid off. I remember when I gave my manuscript to my editor. Even though I knew that there was much more work and effort required, I experience a new attitude. I knew that I had something as long as I continued to put forth the effort. Now I was being pulled in the direction that I wanted to be going. Or another way of saying it is that the tailwinds were at my back.

From that point on I looked forward to sitting down and working on my book. I knew that it could only get better. It no longer felt like another thing to do on my “to do” list. I was putting forth the same effort, but it was now enjoyable something that I looked forward to, although still quite challenging and yes exciting.

As long as you are doing it, embrace it, enjoy it and let it go.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and thought leader 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. Give yourself the gift of coaching and make an investment in your future.


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