Archive for August, 2012

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE PURPOSE?

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Do you ever wonder about what your life purpose is? Most of us have at different times in our lives. I know I have especially in my formative years. I wanted to be a lawyer so that I could “make the world a better place.” My purpose was to change the world by fighting for social justice. When I graduated from law school, I put myself in situations so that I could be a player in effectuating that change at the sacrifice of financial reward. In truth it wasn’t really a sacrifice because I was committed to what I felt I was here to do.

In those days I lived very simply and my expenses were low. As long as I could pay my bills I wasn’t concerned because I was living my dream——what I was here to do.

Yes there were plenty of obstacles, but I didn’t seem them as obstacles. They were steps along the way that had to be dealt with to get where I wanted to go. There were also many challenges and disappointments along the way that over time strengthened me. But as we all have learned the river is constantly changing.

Some of the social issues that I was involved in rectified themselves and the focus of my law practice changed. It no longer fulfilled me. I started questioning the work I was doing and whether in the big picture it made a difference. At that point in my life, there was a divergence between my work and my life purpose.

When I began raising a family I questioned the value of what I was doing. When you experience new phases in your life, your sense of purpose also changes. I listened to the river and for the last twelve years have experienced a new phase. I began the work that I do now.

My purpose is inspiring others to feel more joy and fulfillment in their lives.

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.

MAKE THE EFFORT

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Most of us would agree that we like to get rewarded for our work and hard effort. But it doesn’t always happen that way. Quite often we put out the effort and we don’t notice any results or not the results we had hoped for. But there is no question that our effort has helped us get further down the road. It makes us more determined and more focused especially when we get glimpses of the results that we were looking for. We learn from our effort and become more efficient.

We know what works and what doesn’t. All of learning is that way. In the beginning there is the hard work and enthusiasm, but when we don’t notice the progress we were hoping for, we lose our enthusiasm and quite often stop. At another time in our life, we repeat the cycle.

I know at times I struggle with making the effort, but I do it anyway. Of course my enthusiasm varies from day to day, but the doing and making the effort prepares me for those days when I have a breakthrough. Sometimes just beginning the task at hand is the biggest obstacle.

There are no shortcuts. You have to do the work. Dreaming and wishing and planning and intending all have their places, yet it is the effort that finally gets you there.

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.

NAVIGATING THE SWIFTER CURRENTS OF LIFE

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Most of us would agree that life is changing faster than ever before. It’s a challenge and, at times, overwhelming trying to keep up with it all. The average person has six to eight careers. There are physiological changes and health challenges along the way and economic occurrences that affect most of us. Friendships change and the divorce rate is high.

We have to look deeper to find time-tested techniques and strategies that enable us to understand and embrace the unpredictable twists and turns that life, like rivers, inevitably brings.

In my writings I make frequent references to the river of life. Let me share with you the genesis of that metaphor. When I was 13, my Uncle Sam took me on a weeklong river rafting trip, sponsored by the Sierra Club on the Green River in Colorado. We flew in a little six-seat plane over the mountains and landed in a town near our campsite. Already an adventure for a 13 year old we drove over a rickety bridge to the river. On the second day of the trip as I was swimming along the side of the raft, I noticed the raft getting ahead of me. Then I heard the yells: “Get in the boat. Get in the boat.” But it was too late. As I swam against the current toward the boat, I heard more yells: “Stay in the center, stay in the center.” That’s what I tried to do as I was propelled through the rapids right behind the boat.

I made it through to the calm water and was able to relax for a second, until I noticed that the boat was still ahead of me and the next series of rapids was approaching. Quickly I grabbed the oar that my uncle extended and was pulled onto the boat as the boat went through the rapids again. On the return home, my uncle said something to me that I have never forgotten. “You will think about this trip later in life.” It wasn’t until many years later on a return trip to Colorado that I thought about the river experience. There, high on a mountaintop, I noticed a river flowing through a reddish-peaked canyon. I thought about my life and all of the changes and transitions that had occurred to get me to this place in my life, including the joys, triumphs, heartaches and disappointment.

Let ”the river” teach you what is necessary to navigate these waters and to make your journey fulfilling, adventurous and meaningful. There are eight principles and strategies that have been my guide and compass as I’ve navigated the swifter currents of life.

1. Find and live from your center. That was the message from the Green River and the last thing I heard before I went through the rapids. When you are centered and connected to your inner most being you are connected with the source of everything. Meditation enables me to connect with that center every day.

2. Develop the practice of gratitude. I was grateful for that oar. I was grateful that I got to experience the river in the way I did. And I am grateful for my life. We all have a lot to be grateful for. By expressing gratitude for some of the inner qualities that are most important to us such as the ability to love, to smile and to connect we cultivate a sense of how truly abundant we are.

3. Be curious. Think of your life as a river with its lessons, challenges and complexities. Being curious about how the changing nature of the river enables you to get to know and sense its many currents. As this knowing emerges, you’re more comfortable with not knowing where the river is taking you. In the process you become the person you’ve always wanted to be, fully present with life, and passionate about living.

4. Be prepared. I wore a life preserver on the river. When you are prepared you can relax and enjoy life more. Preparation involves taking care of your mind and body. It involves eating well and exercising. It involves being informed and being curious. It also involves working on yourself. Meditating in the morning before starting my day prepares me for whatever life throws my way.

5. Get out of your comfort zone. I could have stayed in the boat and played it safe but I was curious and adventurous. My comfort zone for me was my law practice and, as a result, my life for many years was on hold. Getting in the current and flow of life involves risk but that is what you need to do sometimes.

6. Learn to let go of resistance. Resistance is a constant struggle and makes you tired. At first I resisted the current of the river and tried to swim against it, back to the boat. But I became tired from the struggle. Then I let go and stayed in the center and enjoyed the adventure. When you allow yourself to flow with what is, there is a synchronicity in your life that seems magical.

7. Be willing to be connected. You can’t do it alone and why would you want to. We all want to feel that we belong and that we are loved. When you allow yourself to be vulnerable by honestly sharing who you are and what matters to you, you create a synergy that is greater than the sum of the individual parts. It is in that moment that you experience the magic of connecting with a kindred soul.

8. Embrace the great mystery. I am becoming increasingly more comfortable with not knowing the next step. And when it comes I enjoy taking it. The river is unpredictable and you can’t figure it out. Whether the waters are “still” or “raging” it is still the same river. You have to just flow with it and enjoy the adventure.

By the way when is your next river rafting trip?

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.

BE GRATEFUL FOR THIS MOMENT

Friday, August 10th, 2012

How are you feeling in this moment? When someone asks us this question we tend to reflect upon our whole life and think about what concerns us. Quite often we answer this question from the perspective of how we are doing with the various challenges we face in our life.

What if just for today you answered that question from the perspective of this day only. We’re not projecting into the future or reflecting upon the past. Just this day how is it going for you?

Let’s take it one step further. In the last hour how are you doing. You know where I am going with this. How about now? In this moment what are you experiencing. When you let go of your thoughts about your life, which are judgments anyway, it’s amazing how much better you feel.

I have said it on many occasions. We get to choose. Choose happiness. Yes there will always be loose ends. That goes with being human. You can be complete and still have work to do.

Be grateful for your life. It’s the only life you have. Enjoy it and rejoice in it.

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.

MOVING BEYOND DISAPPOINTMENT

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been disappointed at times. That’s part of life’s journey. In the scope of things some disappointments seem more significant than others. Unless we learn to deal with disappointment, we’ll even obsess over little things. And when we do that, in the big picture, even little things become major obstacles.

Each of us has a strategy that we use to handle these moments. Quite often when we’re disappointed we’ll blame a person, a particular situation or life in general. We become angry or resentful. We might even tend to withdraw from participating in life.

We act as if we are a victim of life and feel sorry for ourselves. Having a “pity party” won’t accomplish anything except keep us stuck.

The next time you feel disappointed, ask yourself what you’ve learned from the situation. Ask yourself, how has what occurred made me a stronger and wiser person.

When you step back and reflect upon what has happened, you realize you have a choice. You can focus on the positive possibilities in the present or the shortcomings of the past.

Choose to renew your commitment to continue on the journey. Deepen your focus. Focus on where you want to go and why you want to go there. Take a positive step in that direction with a renewed sense of purpose.

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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