Archive for April, 2013

Respond Rather than React.

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

When we are passionate our energy level is at its highest. We’re excited.  Our energy level can also me at an intense level when we are expressing anger. When we are expressing anger, we are usually reacting to a particular event or circumstance.  Our expression of anger is the conduct that we have adopted, consciously or unconsciously, to express our frustration.

We only express our anger when we are no longer connected to our center. When we are not connected to our center, we are no longer connected to our personal power. It’s like turning on the light  switch when the power is turned off—nothing happens.

We won’t get the desired result that we would like and our sense of frustration gets greater. To “Get on the Positive Side of Change,”  we need to stand back and observe and diagnose the problem. There is usually a solution, but when we have lost our center and sense of perspective,  we aren’t able to see it. Once we regain our sense of perspective we can take positive action in a calm and positive way.  In the process we are responsive, rather than reactive.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive-life coach and recognized 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.

Look Forward to the Challenge

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

 

What’s the difference between a problem and a challenge?  Perhaps you have wondered about this distinction. One day i made a decision to think of  what I called “problems,”  challenges. It was a great decision but at first it didn’t quite seem natural. After a while I became more comfortable with that distinction. Whenever I was facing what I had previously considered a problem, I began calling it a challenge. It took a while but I began noticing that my attitude changed. It didn’t seem so daunting. I even began to took forward to the challenges ahead. I have pretty much eliminated the word “problem” from my vocabulary. If I’m concerned about a circumstance in my  life, I wonder what it’s going to take to make it work for me.

With some new perspective I began seeing the opportunity in each new challenge. Complaining about it doesn’t help the situation.

Because I saw the possible opportunity I was more motivated to design a strategy and to implement it. Quite often it would take longer than I had anticipated, but I stayed with it. Because I had a clear purpose why I was involved in the particular endeavor, I was able to stay focused in the midst of the uncertainty that I would experience from time to time.

At some point you begin to experience  a tremendous sense of fulfillment for not only staying true to your purpose, but for a job well done.

Each of us has our own unique way of handling the challenge.  Have an honorable intention and move forward with that in mind. Yes we will still have those twists and turns as life continues to unfold,  but we also have an opportunity to experience joy and love as we experience the journey.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive-life coach and recognized 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.

Give yourself Permission to Dream

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Yes you had a dream at one time. It’s time to begin dreaming again. When you stop dreaming you stop living. Our dreams give us a vision of how we want our  future  to look like.  When we are committed to moving toward the actualization of that dream, we grow and evolve into the person we want to be.  Our dreams give our life meaning.  Our dreams our what brings us alive. Without dreams and goals it’s difficult to find meaning in our lives.

Some of us are skillful and blessed in manifesting these dreams. As we know too well,  not all of our dreams come true. We become disappointed or discouraged at times.

What’s important to remember is that their is tremendous value in just having the dream.  Ask yourself,  who you need to become to actualize your dream?  What must you commit to? What changes are you willing to make? The dream creates an edge for you to expand into. It’s time for a new dream.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive-life coach and recognized 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 have More Inner Resources than you Realize

Monday, April 15th, 2013

The language we choose to describe who we are and our capabilities is one of the most important decisions we can ever make. Our language has the potential to limit or empower us.

Most often we are not conscious of the language that we use on a daily basis. Quite often, without realizing it,  we choose words that limit us: “I can’t do it, It’s not meant to be, I’m not good enough.” You know how it goes. I’m sure you have your own version.

What we forget is that everyday in some way we’ve made progress. You’re here in this conversation. You’re  inner GPS of Change can empower you to live the life that you really want.  You have more potential than you can imagine. What is that life that you really want that perhaps you are afraid to say aloud?

There is something in our lives that we are moving toward. We might get discouraged at times because growth and  progress can’t be measured in a straight line. But as long as we have a clear vision of the life that we want, we’ll get there. Imagine you are sailing and you are looking at the mountains in the horizon. They give you a focus. But at times the fog rolls in and you can’t see what’s in front of you. But in your mind you have a clear image of where you want to go. And you have the inner tools and wisdom to help you navigate getting there.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive-life coach and recognized 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.

Each Day there will be a Highlight.

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Much of our day involves what we do to make a living. There is the time that it takes to perform our work and the thoughts that we have about what we have to do. Quite often that centers around what we don’t like or the problems that we are faced with. We might have a “to do” list and or an informal list of things, although not a priority, are on our “good idea” list.

From this limited perspective, not only is our day structured, the opportunities for exploration are limited. Much of our life is centered around what we have to do. We have the  power to change how we see our lives. We have the power to get on the “positive side of change.”

What if we think about what we do in our daily lives as opportunities for joy. We see our work life as an opportunity and even a privilege.

Regardless of our life’s circumstances, we get to choose our attitude. We get to choose the perspective that empowers us. Imagine what it would be like to enthusiastically exclaim, ” I get to….” You finish that thought in the way that excites you.

Here’s a suggestion that makes it easier to think in this manner.  First thing in the morning wonder about what the highlight of your day might be. It creates an expectation of joy and possibility. There always will be a highlight.

EACH DAY DISCOVER WHAT IT IS

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive-life coach and recognized 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.

Keep Choosing to Move Forward

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

What limits what is possible in our lives are our expectations. These expectations are usually based upon our past experiences and what other people tell us is possible. Quite often what they tell us is based upon their past experiences and what other people tell them is possible. In their minds they are being reasonable.

What has occurred so far in our lives has got us to this place in our lives and can also limit us as we go forward.  If we truly want to have breakthroughs in our  life and to get on the positive side of change,  then we need to think out of the box.  And that means getting our of our comfort zones. 

The father of the human potential movement, Abraham Maslow once said:  “One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.”

So that’s our work; to keep moving forward. Sure there will be people telling us that we’re unrealistic. But if we listen to them, then we will live a life of mediocrity and stay stuck.  If we have a vision of the life that we want to lead, we are ahead of the game. It takes commitment. It takes courage and determination. It begins with taking the next step that is directly in front of you, one step at a time.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive-life coach and recognized 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.

That Amazing Person is You

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

What if you knew that you were amazing? And that no matter what might happen in your life, you will still be amazing. So what am I getting at? How you feel about yourself is about you. It’s a decision that you make. Each day you get to choose. What if, when you awoke in the morning, you said to yourself, “I’m amazing.” Do you think that would change how you think of yourself? There is only one way to find out.

The truth is that you can choose to feel a certain way. What you think about to a great extent determines  how you feel. Researchers have discovered that the average person has over 60.000 thoughts in a day.  By  choosing empowering thoughts, you will be more optimistic and healthier. You’ll laugh more and be excited about what’s possible in your life.

If our thoughts to a great extent determine how we feel, then our focus needs to be on how we can change what we think about. There are two practices that I have discussed previously. By focusing on what you are grateful for, your focus shifts from what isn’t working in your life, to what is working.  Expressing gratitude  helps empower you. You can express gratitude for your resourcefulness. You can express gratitude for your resilience. You can express gratitude for being the amazing person that you are.

Try a little experiment. For the next thirty days, express gratitude for that amazing person that you are.

See what happens.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive-life coach and recognized 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.

Making the Shift to the Positive Side of Change

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

At some point in our lives we ask ourselves if we are living the life we really want. Very few of us can honestly say, “Yes” to that question. Most of us, if not all of us, settle for what we have. We make up a story with many variations that explains why our life is the way it is.

But there comes a time when we must courageously face the discontent and disappointment of our life “not being” what we want it to be. At that moment you have begun shifting to the Positive Side of Change. Let go of the need for anything to be different. Your life, even with its disappointment at times, has gotten you to this point. You have learned from all that has occurred  up to now.

You’ve created it.  Accept where you are. Be grateful for all of the gifts in your life and your creation.

From where you are standing now, have a vision of the life that you want to move toward. Move forward toward that goal and vision, but honor yourself for getting to the place where you are standing now. You have already developed the resources to get you there. Those same resources will help move you in the direction that you want to go. From now on stay focused on where you want to go rather than on your disappointments.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive-life coach and recognized 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 Magic Playground

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

Most of us have fond memories of playing at the playground when we were kids. There was the swing, the slide, the seesaw and playing in the sand. And most important the other kids.  Once you felt safe, you let go. Before you knew it, it was time to go home. Some days you didn’t want to leave.

As you let go, you forgot about time. You learned, experimented and developed social skills, and still were able to experience a sense of freedom. You weren’t concerned with what you had to do “afterwards.” In fact you didn’t even think about “afterwards.” You were in the moment. Nothing else mattered.

For some of us that playground might have looked different. It could have been the park or the street in front of our house. There was always a game that you could play that was played before by other kids.  While my focus was primarily on sports, I remember a few games that perhaps you played; kick the can, hide-and-seek and hopscotch. If there wasn’t a game that you liked, you would use your imagination and make one up, including the rituals that went along with it.  Sometimes you engaged in games and activities just with yourself inside your home. You were in your own world, with your own set of rules. I remember my stamp collection and the “all-star” baseball game that I made up.

Each game had its own set of rules and rituals. Then one day you grew up and the game got more serious.  In this new game, there was a new set of rules that put more emphasis and importance on results, rather than on fun and play.

We believed that because of the demands of this new game that we didn’t have time for play. It actually works the other way.  If you make time for play, you’ll get better results in the bigger game of life because you’ll struggle less and be more fun to be around.  If you can be excited about one aspect of your life, that enthusiasm will spread to your whole life. You can integrate play into your life now. Some of it is engaging in activities that you enjoy and some of it is making a shift in attitude. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to make this shift.

Shakespeare wrote in As you Like It.

“All the world’s a stage. And all the men and women merely players;
 They have their exits and their entrances,
 And one man in his time plays many parts.”

Each of us has already played many parts in our life and I’m sure we’ll play many more. Each role has its unique set of rules, language, rituals and costumes. I’ve played lawyer, musician, father, husband and athlete and now I’m playing the role of “youthful” wise elder.

Let’s look at some of the shifts and practices that you can integrate into your life. The first shift begins with the word “play.” For example. I “play” tennis. I “play” the piano. What are some of the things that you do or have done that begin with the word “play.” If you have participated in any form of theatre, you have played a role. When you go out and dress up in a certain way, your costume helps you get into the spirit of the evening.

Let’s take it one step further. Caroline Casey, Making the Gods Work for You, refers to a high Japanese dialect that prefaces a verb with the words “played at.”  Imagine the shift that this practice would make in your experience of everyday reality.  If  you are a nurse, you would say, “I’m playing at nursing.” If you are a doctor you would say, “I’m playing at being a doctor.”  Nurse and doctor were games that some of us might have played as kids. A father would say, “I’m playing at fathering.” A  teacher would say, “I’m playing at teaching.”  Right now, I’m playing at writing.  What are you currently playing at?

Let me share with you a practice that my friend Samia, who is a social worker, integrates into her life. She prefaces what is next on her agenda with the words, “I get to.” I remember how excited I was when I got to make my first court appearance as a young lawyer.  By integrating this practice into our daily life, it’s easier to experience life as a gift and blessing, rather than a “have to” or burden.

A playful attitude benefits us in ways that perhaps we hadn’t previously considered. When I did some research for this article I was intrigued by this statement:

“ Many of our greatest thinkers locate their

capacity for original and profound thought

in their imaginative abilities, first developed

through creative play in early childhood.”

Sharna Olfman

Psychology Professor

Point Park University

You have the potential to transform your everyday experience of life into a “magical playground.”  It begins with making a choice.  Choose to make what you normally do in life, more fun. At one time in your life you knew how to do that. You can start doing it again. There’s no better time than now.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive-life coach and recognized 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 ‘at Choice’ in the Matter.

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

We all have been faced with having to do certain things that we resented having to do. In the big picture why we felt that way is not that significant. We still have to do it and eventually will do it. Quite often when we don’t like to do something we put it on the back burner hoping that it will go away. But it doesn’t. Eventually we do it and have wasted enormous energy thinking about why we shouldn’t have to perform the task at hand.

Quite often when we finally finish our task we feel good afterwards.  There is the satisfaction that we get from a job well done.

Make a subtle shift. You always feel empowered when you are ‘at chose’ in the matter. Instead of saying or thinking, “I have to do this.”  Say to yourself or think, “Wow, I get to do this.”  Why not make what is next for you enjoyable. When you have that edge of excitement you can transform the simplest of tasks into a privilege.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive-life coach and recognized 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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