Archive for August, 2013

Attitude is the X-Factor.

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

I had just made a significant career change from trial lawyer to life coach. A year had gone by. Much questioning along the way, wondering about the next step on the journey. The thought occurred that i should begin a newsletter. The seed was planted, but what would I write about and who would read it. So i hesitated and did nothing for awhile. I’m sure you know that one.
At that time, only a few had even heard of blogging.

Then one day, while on Kauai, I noticed in the window of a local doctor’s office, several motivational quotes. I asked the doctor if he would be so kind as to make a few copies for me and he graciously did. Soon after my newsletter was launched and most of it consisted of a quote by Charles Swindell on attitude. So it began with that thought. Since then there have been 126 newsletters, many blogs and two blogs. It began with an idea. Then I was able to recognize a piece that the universe provided to help me on my journey.

I can’t overestimate now important attitude is to our sense of well-being.

We all know that things happen in life. Noone escapes those painful moments, although some of us have it easier than others. But still all of us have to deal with those painful moments. It can be a loss of a loved one, financial setback or health challenges. Some of us get through it better than others. What is the xfactor that enables some of us to handle these adversities better.

It’s not the facts or circumstances in our life but our attitude regarding them. Seeing the good and possibility in most situations gives a sense of optimism. But we wont’ be able to see that good when we overreact to a situation. When you stay in your center, you are able to see things clearly.

Enjoy the journey

Mark

Please join me for the Journey On radio show. I am cohosting the show with my good friend Ralph Marston who publishes the Daily Motivator.  Http://www.blogtalkradio.com/journeyon

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.

Someday Never Comes

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

You remember Carl, one of my first life coaching clients. Carl was a master at postponing his happiness. He always had an excuse why his life wasn’t working. Carl might seem familiar to you, in fact you might even know someone who is just like Carl. One of his favorite expressions is, “When this happens, things will be better.” To varying degrees, many of us are like Carl. We postpone our happiness, waiting for circumstances in the future to be in perfect alignment. That something that we are waiting to happen in the future might not ever occur. And even if it does, we might find that what was important to us has also changed.

Your circumstances are perfect today, right now. Whatever was going on in your life, got you here to this moment in time, right now; even things you didn’t like.

So that day in the future that Carl and others refer to as “Someday” is here right now. Make the best of it. When today is over, it’s forever gone. You only have this day once. Don’s waste it by thinking that some other day might be better.

Be grateful for today. Make the best of it.

Journey ON

Mark

Please join me for the Journey On radio show. I am cohosting the show with my good friend Ralph Marston who publishes the Daily Motivator.  Http://www.blogtalkradio.com/journeyon

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’re making progress, even though you don’t see today.

Monday, August 12th, 2013

It was almost a year ago when I decided to take piano lessons. I already played several instruments, but the piano was a new challenge. Some things, musically, I already did well. And in other areas I was weak.

Talc, my teacher said to me, “Your weaknesses will become your strengths.”  Although it hasn’t happened yet, it’s certainly moving in that direction. I’m much more skillful and I’m much more confident in the process.

My trusting Talc’s ability as a teacher, as a guide, has given me the confidence and boost that I need to keep moving forward when I get discouraged. Each day I make a choice. Do I stop, or do I keep moving forward seeing the difficulties as challenges.

In other areas of my life, this same process applies. It gives me insight as to how I handle challenges. Do I avoid them or do I look forward to them? What do I do to nurture myself so that I’m better able to handle them?

Keep moving forward, even though you might not notice any progress. It’s not a linear process. Perhaps in the last few days you haven’t notice any change, but then a few days later you will.

Trust in the process that even though you don’t recognize it, something great is happening.

Journey ON

Mark

Please join me for the Journey On radio show. I am cohosting the show with my good friend Ralph Marston who publishes the Daily Motivator.  Http://www.blogtalkradio.com/journeyon

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.

Three Life-Changing Practices

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

Most of us, if not all of us, have wondered from time to time what the secret to life is. We have thought, talked, and read about it and listened to our share of spiritual teachers looking for the answer.

Let’s make it easier for ourselves and ask a different question which is the subject of this blog. I have to admit that it has been challenging to limit this inquiry to just three insights and practices. I didn’t just come up with these answers in a heartbeat. Over dinner with the help of my daughter Savanna I made some progress. The first two insights involve specific practices that you can integrate into your life. The third is more of where you want to be, spiritually and emotionally.

A big smile is huge. It’s a universal language. When we first meet someone many thoughts cascade through our minds. At a certain level we size up the other person. We want to know who the other person is. Are they a kind person? Can they be trusted?  Our first impression goes a long way toward satisfying our curiosity. We look for clues and yes we can be fooled at times. Most of us would agree that a genuine smile goes a long way toward relieving tension between people. When we feel it from our core, we radiate and transcend our physical being. It’s contagious and compelling.

When we smile we usually are happy. And even when we are not at our peak, smiling has the potential to change our mood instantly. I wondered if there was an explanation for this phenomenon.

Some time ago, when I was preparing a program on stress reduction, I came across an article on the science of smiling. It was one of those articles where the author was unknown. “Smiles, frowns, and grimaces were once seen simply as expressions of feelings. Increasingly, scientists are realizing that facial expressions precede feelings and play a role in generating them.

How does this work? One theory suggests that when you use the “smile muscles” at the corners of your mouth, you change the direction of the blood flow inside your face in such a way that it causes the temperature of the blood to drop. This cooler blood enters the region of the brain known as the hypothalamus and causes the release of chemicals that can suppress pain and help a person to feel better.

Cooling the blood may promote the release of endorphins, which, decreases pain and gives you a lift. In short, smiling instructs our brains to feel good.” The implications are enormous. Medical science recognizes the effect that stress has on illness. Could smiling more be the key to health and wellness?

I’ve written about this next insight on several occasions and there is a chapter in Dancing on the River that explores this concept in more detail. How you start your day sets the tone for the day. When you start your day with calmness and focus, there is a greater likelihood that your day will be less stressful. And the corollary is true—when you start your day anxious and in a hurry, you’ll hurry thru the rest of the day playing catch-up. You never do catch-up for what you are trying to catch is an illusion. At the end of the day, most of the work gets done, but you are exhausted because of the stress you felt throughout the day.

If you have been following the work that I do you know that I am a big believer in having a committed daily spiritual practice, which allows you to connect with your center. The exact form is up to you. There are two key words here—committed and practice. When you are committed to a daily practice, you discover your center. When you don’t live from your center, the difficulties in your life seem much more challenging. It’s like driving your car without shock absorbers. Every bump in the road is magnified. Eventually all you see are imperfections. And that’s the way are lives are when we lose connection with our center.  The other word is practice. You need to do it. Some days it’s easier than others. I have been practicing meditation and yoga for years, yet I still experience resistance to practicing on some mornings. But I do anyway and usually feel good afterwards.

The third insight is that life is cyclical. Just look at nature’s cycles. As I write this article in the middle of summer, I am fortunate to harvest all that I’ve planted. And nature keeps on giving fruit from the trees that have been here for many years. In the fall, the leaves fall listlessly to the ground; by winter the trees are barren. In the spring we plant the seeds anew and begin a new cycle.

That’s the way our own lives are. Our circumstances and moods change from time to time which contributes to the cyclical nature of our own lives. Some years are smoother than others. There is much uncertainty in life’s unfoldment. When we integrate these practices just discussed into our lives, we are more apt to embrace the inevitable changes on life’s journey as opportunity, as adventure and as possibility.

So there you have it. See what happens. Smile and laugh more.  And take time in the morning for your morning program and notice your stress levels decreasing.

Perhaps you already have a practice that works for you. Congratulations—keep practicing. And if haven’t yet begun, it’s not too late.

Journey ON

Mark

Please join me for the Journey On radio show. I am cohosting the show with my good friend Ralph Marston who publishes the Daily Motivator.  Http://www.blogtalkradio.com/journeyon

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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