Archive for January, 2013

Getting on the Positive Side of Change.Live from the Center

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

Getting on the Positive Side of Change is a continuous journey, one in which is both life-changing and exciting. That’s what we are going to focus on for a while. If you are familiar with my work you know that there are eight principles that I focus on. We’ll discuss them as we go forward.

The first is to live from the center.  When we are not centered everything is magnified and blown out of proportion. Imagine driving your car without good shock absorbers. Every bump in the road is magnified and you begin to notice the imperfections. In fact that is all you see and  you forget where you want to go.  You lose sight of what gives your life meaning. When your shocks are new, the bumps on the road don’t affect you and you enjoy a smooth ride.

We all have the potential to enjoy a smooth ride. In the next blog we’ll discuss some of the practices we can adopt so that possbility becomes a reality.

Enjoy the journey

Mark

Mark Susnow, has led a unique and interesting life. A former trial attorney, he is now a life coach and author of  Dancing on the River: Navigating Life’s Changes.  Whether he is coaching one-on-one or speaking to groups, he enthusiasti

 

 

 

FROM BELIEVING TO BELONGING

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

We’ve all had dreams at different times in our lives. Without them our lives wouldn’t be the same. We wouldn’t have accomplished much of what we have so far. We wouldn’t be living the life that we are living today.

But it’s a balancing act. Sometimes these dreams and visions get in the way of our experiencing the present moment. In my conversations with many like-minded travelers, I am reminded that many of us have forgotten how to have fun, how to play like we did when we were kids. To help us remember what it’s like, I encourage people to reflect upon their childhood. What did they do when they weren’t in school? When they had a choice to choose an elective, what did they choose and what did they say no to? Growing up I had a choice between music or an elective that involved making things. I’ve played music my entire life, but am not very good when it comes to making or fixing things.

Think about what you did to have fun. It helps to have a good imagination. Sports were a big part of my life. I had visions of becoming a professional athlete. But as I got older, and competed against other kids from different areas of the city, no matter how active my imagination, I realized my limitations.

Growing up, both sports and music were a big part of my life. No matter the sport, I had my teams that I rooted for. It’s amazing how important I made that weeks game. Not only did it give my life meaning, it was an escape from the rest of my life. Much of the time I found myself rooting for the underdog. Sometimes the only ones giving the underdog a chance were the underdogs themselves. When the underdog won, I felt so good. It reminded me of what was possible in my own life. It reminded me of how powerful believing in one’s self can be.

One of our local basketball teams, the Golden State Warriors were perennial underdogs until seven years ago. They rehired an old coach who miraculously turned them around by getting them to believe in themselves. It was contagious. The fans started believing too. In fact that year they made the playoffs and the team slogan became WE BELIEVE. As you entered the stadium you were given a yellow t-shirt, one of the team’s colors, with the slogan We Believe printed on it.

Well it didn’t last. The team reverted to their old ways and became underdogs again. Within three years the team was sold and the coach fired. Ownership completed a turnover in the team’s roster. This year they’re back and having a great year. But there’s a different feeling. It’s no longer We Believe; it’s now WE BELONG. The distinction seemed profound. It’s been on my mind. How is this subtle distinction relevant to the rest of our lives?

The dream or vision keeps us moving forward and gives us a reason for living. But at times it takes tremendous effort to keep the dream alive, especially when we might be the only one having the dream. Even when we have our share of doubts, we keep going. Ultimately it’s getting to that place in our lives when we courageously stand up to the uncertainty in our lives. Even in the face of this uncertainty, we experience moments of grace when we have occasional glimpses of a life that at one time we could only imagine. But there is still the striving and the insecurity.

At some point there is a shift in consciousness. The feeling of believing morphs into a feeling of belonging. Our expectations for ourselves, and the acceptance of our greatness, emerge. We now say to ourselves, “This is where I belong.” At times this shift is elusive. While we do feel a sense of community, it’s much more than that. It’s a feeling of acceptance. It’s a feeling of peace. It’s a feeling of knowing this is where we belong. We are home.

My team, the Warriors, initially believed that they could be an elite team, but they hadn’t experienced it as of yet. When they momentarily had a glimpse of it years ago, a seed was planted that when cultivated properly could grow into who they are today. They have an expectation of winning. They have an expectation of excellence and greatness. They’ve cultivated their garden. They are ready to reap the harvest and share it with others.

We all have a longing to be part of something greater than ourselves. The feeling of belonging transports us from the “I” to the “We.” From that feeling of WE, we experience a profound sense of connectedness. A connectedness to community and a power greater than we are.

So with my team, it’s no longer a once in a while kind of deal. They’re for real. They belong. So do you. So do all of us.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY

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 A DREAMER

Friday, January 4th, 2013

In getting on the positive side of change, we’re aware of the balancing act we play on a daily basis. Imagine….You’re driving your car. You’re looking at where you are going. But in the rearview window you see headlights. You are distracted by the headlights and forget where you are going. That’s what happens when you lose your center.

It could be said that most of our life is like that….trying to maintain that balance so that we’re moving forward. So that we keep our eye on what’s important to us and what we have to do to get there. While it is true that the past does have some relevance, more important is what we’ve learned from it and how we are going to build upon it. It doesn’t do any good to dwell on what has happened in the past or the missed opportunities. “If only I said this. If only I did this instead. If only I tried harder. If only I took advantage of the opportunity.”

It’s time to get excited about what’s ahead. Stretch yourself. Get out of your comfort zone. Imagine what your life would be like if things work out better than expected. What a great thought. What if in the morning, after taking time for meditation or quiet reflection, you visualized that life. Yes you made it a habit. Everyday. You build on it. Be a dreamer. As John Lennon sang, “I might be a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”

So stay focused on where you want to go. Take every opportunity you have to move forward in your life.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY

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 ARE THE GIFT

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

There are many different ways in which we can make a gift. We can contribute to various non-profits that are aligned with our philosophical bents such as environmental or spiritual organizations. We can make gifts to family members or friends. Quite often we don’t know what to give especially when it’s expected of us.

We hope that when the gift is received that it is appreciated. In some cases we do have an expectation that the gift will not only be appreciated but reciprocated. When our giving isn’t acknowledged in the manner that we expected we hold back the next time. Our giving was conditional on mutuality. That is the manner of giving that we are most familiar with.

Our giving was conditional and what did we really gain by making it conditional. Let’s take it a step further. What if our natural state of being is to be generous in spirit.

We rejoice in giving because it makes someone happy. And in doing so we are really making a gift to ourself.

Perhaps the most meaningful gift is to be generous in spirit. But how can we do that when we live in a competetive world when results are quite often valued more highly than relationships.

You can start by greeting everyone you meet with a big warm smile. It takes effort initially but soon it becomes a habit.

You are the gift. Be the best you, you can be.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY

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.

FINISHING THE FIRST PROJECT OF THE DAY

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

You wake up and you’re not in the mood. You’re waiting for the right feeling. You’re waiting and still you don’t feel it. It might be taking time to meditate. It might be returning a phone call. It might a letter you need to write or posting a blog you’ve been postponing. It might be having a difficult conversation.

I turn on some music. It helps me get in the mood…I go to ITunes and select the classical link under Radio. Then I click on Whisperings. It’s solo piano music to soothe the mind. I’ve been listening for years. I begin to write…words are coming to my fingers. Yes there is no other way. At some point we have to just do it and let go of the reasons and excuses not to move forward. Now is the time.

This is it. I know it’s Monday morning and you haven’t got into the groove. Actually it’s the first work day of the new year. So this is the moment. Yes you can think about things you wish were different. But you still have to face this moment.

Make the best of it. Each moment is going to be like this. It just is. Be grateful for it. Make the best of it. Be productive.

Don’t waste this time. As you move forward and stay focused, before you know it you’ve completed your first project of the day. Ah, how does that feel? Pretty good. Now you have some momentum. Build on it and get on the positive side of change.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY

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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