Archive for July, 2012

CONNECT WITH YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

What is it that you want people to think about you? Certainly in a professional sense, you want them to think that you’ll get the job done and that they can count on you. But how do we do convey that message? Do we dress or talk in a certain way, or do we act in a certain way.

It helps to have some of these images of success and to project them, but that will only take you so far. It’s an inside job. It comes from an inner quality, a knowing that radiates confidence, competence and knowledge.

People are going to see through all of the smoke screens. The most important thing you can do is to act in an authentic way. And the truth is that it’s not acting. It’s you being you. You might as well be real for people will know if you are not.

Rather than projecting an image, focus on putting your energy into living and working with honesty and integrity. Connecting with your inner power is what will get people to want to be in your sphere of influence.

You have wisdom that is unique to you. Share it. Only when you are truly yourself will others get to benefit from this wisdom——by your being the best you can be. When you project from this source of authenticity, you will be in your power and presence.

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 and Discover the Leader Within.

TAKE ACTION

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

There can be a fine line between patience and laziness. Learning the distinction is essential to success.

When you’re on a roll, it’s much easier to act. You have momentum. What you need to do seems obvious. And it usually works for a while.

Then there are those days, when you struggle. You notice that you are not as productive. You feel like you are grinding.

After a while we question the direction that we have been taking. We’re hesitant and start looking around, yet don’t doing anything about it. We’ll give it a little more time, before making a change, we think to ourselves.

Before we know it a year has gone by and then another year. Nothing has changed. We’re patient telling ourselves will turn around.

So here’s the deal. Take some action. Explore. Get going and put yourself in motion. Show up. Send out that email, make a phone call and circulate. Put the law of circulation into action. Put out the energy and it comes back.

Yes, once you get that flow going again, there will times when you can just sit back and let it happen. But you can’t do that until you’ve laid the groundwork.

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 and Discover the Leader Within.

Transforming Life’s Difficulties into Positive Energy

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Many of us struggle with ways of thinking that limit what’s possible in our lives. There is a fine line between a limiting thought and a liberating one. Let’s explore how we can transform our limiting beliefs into ones of liberation and possibility.

It begins with objectively assessing the situation. What exactly occurred? It might be that we were disappointed by another, or that we had a setback in our career. Sometimes we see it coming; at other times we’re blindsided. In the beginning are the judgments. We create a story, quite often a story that we have told to ourselves on prior occasions. You might know the story. It goes something like this: ‘They betrayed me…it’s unfair…I should have known better…why didn’t I act to prevent it.’ In the moment we are incapable of seeing our patterns and tendencies that have contributed to this story. Whether we’re fearful or angry, the bottom line is that we’re not too happy. We project into the future and all we can see are obstacles and more problems. We don’t see a way out. What makes it worse is that quite often we feel too embarrassed to reach out.

But that’s what we must do. By reaching out we gain a perspective that we weren’t able to see before, especially if there are people in our lives whom we trust and respect. In that moment of disappointment, there is a seed of possibility being planted. Said in another way, “When one door closes, walk through the one that is open.” But unless your eyes are open, you won’t be able to see that door. There are three practices that can help you transcend your patterns and transform how you relate to these situations in the future.

The first is the practice of gratitude. When I first became aware of this practice in various spiritual circles, I didn’t have a clue as to how important it would become in my life. I was taught that expressing gratitude was the right thing to do. It was one of the qualities of being a thoughtful and caring person.

Its practical value wasn’t so obvious until I began to study and integrate it into my life. Dr Robert Emmons, PhD, University of California, Davis, and other gratitude researchers and social psychologists, found that grateful people experience higher levels of positive emotion, such as happiness, vitality and optimism. Focusing on what you are grateful for has an amazing ability to change how you are feeling in the moment. Being grateful includes being thankful and appreciating life. Grateful people see life as a blessing, as a gift. While it’s one thing to intellectually understand the benefits of practicing gratitude, it’s another to embody it. Some day you feel it more than others.

My practice has evolved over time. I express gratitude for the health of myself and my family, and the love that is in my life. A few years ago, I began expressing gratitude for the qualities and attributes that I possess that enrich my life. Until I made a conscious effort to notice these qualities, I didn’t realize how truly abundant I was. By taking just a few seconds to express gratitude for the qualities and attributes that you like about yourself, you expand your capacity to appreciate life.

Let’s go back to that original situation that we began our conversation with. Focusing on what you are grateful for begins to level the playing field. It makes it much easier to ‘accept what is,’ which is the second insight. I love Byron Katies work. In her first book, Loving What Is, she takes the reader through a four-stage process that essentially teaches one how to question their thoughts.

So often we judge what is going on in our lives. We think this is good or this is bad. With these thoughts come a myriad of emotions. When we learn to ‘accept what is,’ the sting of being disappointed lessens. She even goes further and suggests that rather than just ‘accepting what is,’ that we learn to ‘love it.’ It’s great if you’re able to embrace that and it’s also great to just accept it. You might think that by ‘accepting what is’ that you’ll lose that competitive edge that you think is necessary to survive in this world. I don’t think that will happen. The purpose of ‘accepting what is,’ is to help you deal with the stress and negative energy that is present in the moment, so that you can make better decisions as to how to move forward in your life.

Now we’re ready for the final insight, which is a natural outcome of acceptance. We’ve learned the value of being grateful for what life brings us and have learned the value of accepting what that is. By doing this, your load will seem much lighter. You’ll find that it’s much easier to choose your attitude, rather than letting the circumstances of your life dictate it. Happiness is a Choice.

Until you realize this, you’ll always try to achieve what I call “Fictional Perfection.” In this state you live in the land of ‘What if,’ which is near the land of ‘Only if.’ You know that place. ‘What if’ and ‘Only if’ are guaranteed to prevent you from being happy. They make what might happen in the future, in the land of “Fictional Perfection,” more important than what is happening in the moment. When you live in that land, you’ll continue to focus on the imperfections and see nothing else.

Regardless of what’s happening, be grateful for your life, it is a gift. Accept it and take what you’ve learned and move forward. After all it is your life. Smile and choose to be happy even with the loose ends. Enjoy the journey.

You know I love to hear from you. Please feel free to share this letter with those in your circle.

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 and Discover the Leader Within.

YOU’RE MORE CAPABLE THAN YOU REALIZE

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Here you are. Do you feel that sometimes you underestimate what you’re capable of? Even though you might project a certain level of confidence, you don’t really go for it. You might have reasons or excuses why this is so. We all do.

These limitations are based upon our perceived history and past experiences. We sell ourselves short. We’re more capable than we realize.

It builds from there. Success begets more success. But we have to put ourselves our there.

It’s not a straight climb. Along the way there might be a few detours and obstacles in the form of disappointments. It’s part of the journey. But we learn from these disappointments. We learn about our strengths and weaknesses. This knowledge prepares us to even go further.

When we have a purpose for what we’re doing it’s even easier.
Yes the obstacles will still show up, but know that they’re part of the terrain.

Imagine you are in a marathon, but it’s a different kind of race. The winner isn’t the stronger or faster one, but the one who thinks they can. You can. Life is challenging. So learn to enjoy these challenges. It’s what makes life most interesting. And it is what it is.

Each day and each situation is an opportunity for you to learn about your capabilities. Greatness awaits you. Move forward. You being you, makes a difference.

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 and Discover the Leader Within.

GET READY TO CLIMB HIGHER.

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

As a life coach, I’m quite often asked what I think are the main concerns that people have. What I see is that the concerns and worries about the future get in the way of our enjoying and finding peace in the moment. Not only that but these concerns can contribute to our being ineffective.

There’s that balance. We should have concerns about the future, but to go forward so that we’re focusing on each step and that we’re enjoying the journey.

Imagine you are climbing a mountain. It could be hiking or mountain biking. In the beginning you look up at the top of the mountain. But if your focus is only there, you won’t notice the beautiful scenery along the way; the trees, the wildlife, the streams and all of the beauty that there is to experience.

There might be times when you need a rest, so you take some time to relax. You notice what’s around you. Then you continue climbing toward your goal.

It’s that concern with getting there that gets in the way of your enjoying the moment.

You have reached this place in your life. Assess where you are and be grateful for what you have and what you’ve accomplished. Be grateful for the tools and resources that you have that can move you forward in your life.

You can let go of the past. You can think bigger. You are ready to climb a higher part of the mountain.

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 and Discover the Leader Within.

THE IMPORTANCE OF NOT KNOWING

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

So you want to be perfect and not only please yourself but please others. You also want to avoid criticism. In fact you hate it. I don’t know anyone who likes it. So you hold back and keep some of your best ideas and profound insights a secret. It’s also true that you can learn from the feedback that people give you.

There is an essential you that is waiting to be expressed. It’s beautiful and endearing when its most authentic. Don’t let the fear of being criticized stop you from expressing that ‘you.’

It is also true that we don’t know everything and it’s OK to admit it. When I was a lawyer, it was expected that I had all of the answers. And it was even that way in the early days as a life coach.

Then there was that moment when I said, “I’m not sure.” It was followed by a “I don’t know.” Wow was that liberating. I even made those comments during a radio interview. I also followed those comments with “I’ll have to think about that.” And so I did. I’m much more comfortable with not knowing.

Admitting that you don’t know is the first step in learning something new. In fact quite often when writing an article, I’ll start with I’m not sure what I’m going to say. Out of that comes a body of knowledge that needed an opening for me to access it. “Not knowing” is the first step to knowledge.

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 and Discover the Leader Within.

GETTING ON THE POSITIVE SIDE OF CHANGE

Friday, July 6th, 2012

It’s not unusual to hear people complaining about the state of the world. People are not bashful about stating what they don’t like, but are reserved about giving praise. Yes at times it can seem overwhelming——even so it’s more important than ever to think about one thing that you can do to make a difference.

You might wonder, just as a single voice what you can do. For instance, at times I question the value of my recycling when I see other people are not bothering.

But I know I have to stake a stand and so I recycle and look for opportunities to encourage others to do the same. There are like minded people out there. Years ago there was the 100th monkey concept. When an idea reaches critical mass, it catches on, even though there is no contact between the parties. If you put your energy into making things better and asking what you can do, then collectively we can move in the direction of a better world, a world in which we honor ourselves, others and the environment in which we live.

The next time you are complaining, think about what you are complaining about. What could be an alternative to the problem? What could you do to move forward on that alternative.

The good news is that life constantly changes. Visualize the change you want to happen and move forward in the direction of that change, one step at a time. Creating a better future begins right now.

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 and Discover the Leader Within.

WHAT WILL THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR DAY BE?

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

There are those days when you are trying to just maintain the status quo, concerned that something else might happen. That something might be someone disappointing you, or an unexpected expense that wasn’t in your budget.

It’s not uncommon to worry what that might be. I just had an unexpected car expense that was much greater than I had anticipated. And it goes on. Quite often they are just little things. But over time your coping skills lessen.

That’s the way life is. You can’t control all of the circumstances in your life. Life has a way of its own and is uncertain. Trying to control for every eventuality takes a great deal of energy and is impossible. Because life is uncertain that’s what also makes it challenging and more interesting.

All that we can do is work on ourselves and to make ourselves stronger, wiser and more flexible. Each twist and turn helps us prepare for what might happen down the road.

Rather than continuing to develop career skills, focus on developing life skills, so that no matter what comes your way, you can move forward.

Think of yourself as whole, creative and resourceful. Whatever comes up because you are resourceful, you can learn from it and get closer to that person you want to be. As you begin your day, thing about what the highlight of your day might be.

JOURNEY ON

MARKMark 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 and Discover the Leader Within.

LET YOUR IMAGINATION WORK FOR YOU

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

There is a time in everyone’s life when we become aware of our sense of self. What I mean is that we have a sense of who we are and how we fit into a larger social structure. Along with that we use words, quite often inadequate, to describe our inner state. “I’m happy, I’m depressed, I’m confused, I’m nervous” we repeat to ourselves. What we say to ourselves goes a long way toward determining the quality of our lives.

Where do you fit in? What happens when you complete the following statement: “Life is…..

If you say, “Life is hard,” it will be. If you say “Life is fun,” it will be. What you say, to a large extent, will eventually become true, so pay attention to the words that you choose.

Your sense of how you see yourself in the world will influence what you do with your life. It will influence the people you surround yourself with and the choices you make. This is true whether it’s in your career or in your intimate relationships.

What we know now and have known for quite some time is that our subconscious mind can’t distinguish between a real or imaginary experience. So for example, worry is our mind imagining the worst case scenario. What happens when you imagine the best case scenario. Let your imagination work for you.

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 and Discover the Leader Within.


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