executive life coaching

The Deer in the Headlights

Friday, July 8th, 2016

I wasn’t sure what to call this story. You’ll see why in a minute. Most of us are familiar with the phrase in the title—that moment when you freeze, that moment when you’re unable to respond. It’s usually not an actual deer in the road, although sometimes it is, but a form of communication that lets you know that your life won’t be the same.

Some of those moments might be the ending of a relationship, a health diagnosis, or a financial disappointment. You know the list. When you first get the news, you’re in shock like that deer in the highlights. Silent for a moment letting it all sink in, you try to get a few words out of your mouth, but they have a hard time making it out.

What makes matters more challenging is that in today’s world our lives are changing faster than they ever have before, including the rules and values that at one time seemed sacred. Those of us who have created an inner technology to help us navigate these challenges, have a greater likelihood of not only surviving, but of thriving.

In the realm of business and commerce, a concern of many with whom I work, a familiar refrain has become, “Sorry, we no longer need you.” At times it might be the disappointment you feel when you don’t get that call back regarding the new position or opportunity you were hoping would come your way.

And I know a few who have lost their key customer or key client. It’s painful for sure. Your business model had been structured to serve them. You’re not sure how you can fill the void.

If you have been a reader of Letters on Life you probably have noticed certain themes emerge. Yes life is uncertain for sure. Quite often we despair over where that uncertainty might take us.

When we pause to take a deep breath we usually find that the likelihood of that worst-case scenario occurring is slight.

What I’ve seen in my own life and in the lives of the many people I work with, is that life quite often turns out better than you ever imagined. When you’re at the base of the mountain, it’s impossible to have the same vision as you do from the pinnacle.

When I spoke with Glenn Stasky a few days ago, I was reminded that life is full of unexpected twists and turns, some of which have the potential to magically transform your life.

Always fascinated by sounds and music, Glenn followed his passion and became a pioneer in the audio speaker business.

He built and created a thriving company, shipping products throughout the US. His client list became a who’s who in the audio speaker industry. He designed products to the standards and specifications of his biggest client, a company in Memphis who comprised 70% of his business.

It was just about nine years ago when the following sequence of events occurred. Along with a shipment comprising the latest innovations in speaker technology, Glenn, an avid motorcycle enthusiast, shipped his motorcycle in the truck that delivered the products to the company.

He made the trip to train the company’s technicians in the emerging technology. In his mind the training, as always, was a huge success. There was a buzz in the air regarding the new technology.

After the completion of the training, as he was thanking the president of the company, he was shocked by the first headlights. After 10 years of loyal service, the company decided to take their product line to China and have it copied there. This was their last order.

“It felt as if my heart fell out of my chest,” was how Stasky described it to me.

His whole world imploded. What was he going to do? Could his company stay afloat? How was he going to tell his loyal 25 employees, many of whom felt like family, that they no longer had jobs?

With a tear in his eye, he got on his motorcycle and left Memphis as the rains enveloped the city.

Even in the midst of the sadness and confusion he was feeling, for the next three days wandering through the Colorado mountains on those curvy and lonely roads, felt like a marvelous adventure.

As it was getting dark on the last day of the mountain part of the trip, he noticed a car on the horizon flash its headlights at him. The next few seconds changed Stasky’s life.

He is so far away, my lights cannot be bothering him that much, he thought. The high beam lights on Stasky’s bike had auxillary lights wired to them that increased the visibility. Because the flashing continued, Stasky turned off his high beams, which also turned off the high power auxiliary lights. Thrust into darkness, the oncoming lights kept flashing at him until the vehicle went past him.

He immediately turned back on his lights and waited for the auxillary lights to reignite. TOO LATE! He wasn’t able to see the dead deer in the road.

You might say it was a miracle. After hitting the dead deer, the bike became airborne, then bounced and bucked and landed safely on its wheels, as Glenn held on for dear life.

Gathering himself he quickly pulled over to the side of the road. He looked up toward the sky and gave thanks to the higher power he believed in, for his precious life. His faith had been passed onto him from the strong spiritual convictions of his mother.

There are times when we wonder about the significance of certain events that occur in our lives. Although we never know for sure, often we have a strong sense of the why. It was at that moment it came to him.

For the next two days as he traveled back to California, he thought of nothing else but how he could design a “better” motorcycle lighting system, — a light that would come back on instantly, instead of taking multiple seconds to reignite, so that others would not suffer the same fate he had almost suffered.

When Stasky experienced those first headlights he had just turned 50. Now almost broke, he embarked upon his new path.

He drew upon his background in audio, using a similar technology to design and create a lighting system that would solve the problem of the inefficient igniting system. After many, many prototypes, his new company Clearwater Lights was birthed to create an innovative lighting system that since that day has saved many lives. But his story doesn’t end there.

An incorrigible adventurer, he also raced cars. The racetracks had a similar problem— an antiquated warning system that was inadequate to warn other racecar drivers of hazards. It was when Stasky witnessed two drivers, friends of his, killed because of this faulty warning system, that he made another vow—create a state of the art warning system.

Within the year he presented a prototype system at Daytona to the racetrack safety committee and his design was enthusiastically adopted as the new standard.

There is more good to the story. It was at Daytona where Stasky met the woman who became his future wife.

I hope you have been inspired by Glenn Stasky’s story. I know I have.

©2016 Mark Susnow

Mark Susnow is a life coach and advisor, speaker to many prestigious organizations, and the author of the soon to be released the Soul of Uncertainty. He integrates what it takes to be successful in today’s world with wisdom revealed to him through years of meditation and yoga. http://www.inspirepossiblity.com; mark@inspirepossibility.com; 415.453.5016

You can’t Run Away from It!

Friday, January 29th, 2016

Ah, that alone time—sometimes you cherish it, sometimes you want to run away from it. Although you can’t run very far without it being with you. The truth is that it’s always with me. In that aloneness, you experience a oneness with all of life, much different than when you’re feeling lonely. When you’re lonely, and disconnected, all kinds of thoughts pass through your mind. You know them—thoughts about the future, about the meaning of what happened yesterday or many years ago, all taking you away from the moment.

When you’re alone and feeling the solitude, cherish the moment. Your mind—uncluttered, free from thoughts that take you away from this moment.

This solitude— feel it all the time, even in the midst of a crowd, even in the midst of the uncertainty in your life. Just being with this moment—no need to go anywhere, or to think about something else. Embrace the aloneness, the solitude and the fullness of life.

If you are familiar with my work, you know I strongly believe that how you start your day sets the tone for the day. With that in mind, begin your day with meditation, and carry the solitude with you as you go about your day.

So there you have it.

Walk in freedom—until next time

Journey On

Mark

“I’m called to inspire others to reignite the spark inside of them that has been dimmed by years of hard work and struggle.”

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach, inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, 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. For more information, www.inspirepossibility.com

That Ability to Laugh

Monday, January 4th, 2016

Welcome to the new year. What does that mean to you? Have you thought about what you wanted to accomplish this year? Or perhaps you thought about what you wanted this year to be about? How about? More joy, fun, laughter, less struggle which includes minimizing the stresses that go along with the struggle—all those good things.

It’s a little different each year. Sometimes we’re determined to make our relationship better, or to create a new one. Yes that elusive significant other. And then there are those times when we focus on developing our careers—an ongoing journey. Or perhaps redefining them. Some years we look forward to simplifying our lives. Nothing to do, but to be with our selves—for some the biggest challenge of all.

When it’s all said or done, probably what is most important, is our ability to laugh and smile. Stuff happens. We’ll hit some of our goals—we’ll have successes, disappointments and the cycle keeps repeating itself. The quality of our relationships at times goes up and down like the stock market. It’s just the way it is. But there is one quality, above all the others, that lightens us and changes our outlook on life. Which is—

That ability to laugh! Priceless…a gift….a laugh a day will keep the doctor away.

Until next time, walk in freedom and have a laugh on me.

JOURNEY ON

“I’m called to inspire others to reignite the spark inside of them that has been dimmed by years of hard work and struggle.”

Mark

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide and recognized thought leader who inspires others to believe in themselves. 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. Contact him for an initial complimentary session.

You Become Available

Monday, December 21st, 2015

The path of impeccability—that place where you take responsibility….you stop making excuses, you have a realization.

You do have time! You can afford it! You make the choice…you ask yourself if you really want to do it. You reassess how you are leading your life. It might mean you stop doing something else. You let go and dive in, perhaps to a place that leads to a whole set of new possibilities—perhaps greater than you had imagined. You know that not doing it, won’t get you there. It’s guaranteed to keep you stuck.

So you reach out—find the time…actually it’s not that hard to find.

You have another realization. You can afford it…perhaps you look at some of your other expenses and let go of some of them.

What this means is that you’re vulnerable. But it’s ok. You’re life was getting kind of flat. And even after all of the effort you wonder if it was worth it. So you decide to stop playing it safe. You become available. You let them in.

Until next time, walk in freedom.

JOURNEY ON

“I’m called to inspire others to reignite the spark inside of them that has been dimmed by years of hard work and struggle.”

Mark

From “the Soul of Uncertainty.” A thought…in the midst of the storm, somewhere in the clouds and in the darkness there is a rainbow. Keep looking for it, and you’ll see it. Our lives are the same way. In the midst of the loose ends and uncertainty in our lives, there are possibilities and opportunities and rainbows. Enjoy them.

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide and recognized thought leader who inspires others to believe in themselves. 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. Contact him for an initial complimentary session.

On the Path of Impeccability

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

When you are true to your life purpose, and in alignment with your code pf personal ethics, a shift in consciousness occurs. You are not afraid to embrace your truth and to let others know what that truth is.

On the path of impeccability, you walk in freedom. You can no longer pretend. What you tell yourself and others has to change. You can no longer use as an excuse, I don’t have enough time. You take responsibility as to whether or not you want to do something, or if you want to get together with a particular person.

You’re no longer able to honestly say, I can’t afford it. Instead you have to decide whether the potential benefit is worth what you have to do, or give, to get it. In the process of embracing this new and expanded consciousness, you reclaim your power and honer yourself.

Until next time, walk in freedom.

JOURNEY ON

“I’m called to inspire others to reignite the spark inside of them that has been dimmed by years of hard work and struggle.”

Mark

From “the Soul of Uncertainty.” A thought…in the midst of the storm, somewhere in the clouds and in the darkness there is a rainbow. Keep looking for it, and you’ll see it. Our lives are the same way. In the midst of the loose ends and uncertainty in our lives, there are possibilities and opportunities and rainbows. Enjoy them.

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide and recognized thought leader who inspires others to believe in themselves. 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. Contact him for an initial complimentary session.

Make Time for the Jollies

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

There is an expression that I came up with a few years ago…it was actually more than a few years ago—which is Make Time for the Jollies.

What i mean by that expression is to take time everyday to do something that gives you pleasure…we all have things we like to do, but very few of us, make them a priority. Regardless of how busy you are, you can always take a few minutes to do something that is fun…you’ll still have your “to do” list, but taking five or ten minutes or even an hour, won’t get in the way of your completing your list. What you’ll find is that when you are working on your list, whether it’s a mental list or a physical one , you’ll be more efficient and productive and be able to complete it in less time. You’ll also enjoy the process of completion more.

It doesn’t matter so much what it is, it could be a dance class, going to the gym, writing in your journal, going to a yoga or Tai Chi class or taking a walk in the woods…What does matter is that you do something. Every day! Make it a necessity. When I was younger I made time for a run every day. Smiling is a big component.

Having a morning ritual, helps in making the jollies a part of you life. You have the time. You just need the commitment.

Until next time,

JOURNEY ON

“I’m called to inspire others to reignite the spark inside of them that has been dimmed by years of hard work and struggle.”

Mark

From “the Soul of Uncertainty.” A thought…in the midst of the storm, somewhere in the clouds and in the darkness there is a rainbow. Keep looking for it, and you’ll see it. Our lives are the same way. In the midst of the loose ends and uncertainty in our lives, there are possibilities and opportunities and of course rainbows. Enjoy them.

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide and recognized thought leader who inspires others to believe in themselves. 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. Contact him for an initial complimentary session.

Look in the Mirror and Smile

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Smile…there doesn’t have to be a reason. And if there is that’s great. But this time smile for no reason at all, except it might make you feel good. You’re probably wondering how it works? There is a whole science behind this. What happens is that the nerve endings of those smiling muscles release serotonin and all of the other endorphins that uplift your spirit. There are more than a few studies that talk about this phenomenon.

Back to being in the now, moment to moment. In this moment, in this smile, there doesn’t have to be anyone else. It’s just you. You look in the mirror and smile. You look in the mirror some more and see your smiling face, smiling back at you, and you say, “I got you babe.” It feels good and I wouldn’t be surprised if you break out laughing. I do sometimes. And if you don’t taking this moment will certainly get you out of your funk, quickly.

And it’s fun.

From “the Soul of Uncertainty.” A thought…in the midst of the storm, somewhere in the clouds and in the darkness there is a rainbow. Keep looking for it, and you’ll see it. In the midst of the uncertainty in our lives, there are possibilities and opportunities and of course rainbows. Enjoy them.

Until next time,

JOURNEY ON

“I’m called to inspire others to reignite the spark inside of them that has been dimmed by years of hard work and struggle.”

MARK

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide and recognized thought leader who inspires others to believe in themselves. 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. Contact him for an initial complimentary session.

Cultivating the Buffer

Friday, December 11th, 2015

Very rarely does checking the news cheer you up. Yet we check it anyway. Do you ever wonder why? It’s a habit and it’s a distraction from our day to day life. We want to escape for a few minutes…hey it’s better than more severe addictions.

Yet with more media outlets, which includes our various digital devices, we have more distractions than we ever have had before. We also have more temptations to take us away from our more immediate problems. And it might just be the boredom that we experience from not having a purposeful life.

Back to the news for a second. Think back in time when an external circumstance, which was in the news, upset you…I’m sure there was one and there will be another one after the current one.
So what does this tell you? Perhaps the thing…that whatever it is you are looking for, is not out there…it’s inside of you and needs to be nurtured every day…that’s where the work needs to be focused.

With that in mind take time, everyday, to build a buffer that helps insulate you from the stresses of the day….that buffer, which becomes a pillar of strength, prepares you to handle whatever comes up during the day…Rather than dread what might happen, you’re looking forward to it—knowing that a highlight awaits you.

Create the buffer by staying focused on the moment. And then the next moment. But it’s not easy to do. Our mind wanders, in the beginning just notice when your mind wanders off to something else.

That’s where the morning program comes in….meditate, be grateful and wonder about what the highlight of your day might be.

Until next time,

JOURNEY ON

“I’m called to inspire others to reignite the spark inside of them that has been dimmed by years of hard work and struggle.”

MARK

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide and recognized thought leader who inspires others to believe in themselves. 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. Contact him for an initial complimentary session.

Reignite the Spark

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

Quite often we think to ourselves, when this happens things will be cool.It could be an upset or crisis in a relationship, or a better job or better conditions in the job we currently have.

Whatever it is, we’re postponing our enjoyment of life until a future date. Usually the crisis gets resolved, but a new one shows up. That’s the way it is, especially if we’re addicted to drama. Many of us get bored with the mundaneness of our lives and create these dicey situations. Fram drama to drama, from crisis to crisis and it goes on. It doesn’t have to be that way.

In the last few blogs, I’ve suggested a road map that leads to a smoother ride…Before getting on the road, take the time in the morning to start your day with intention.

After meditating, take some time to focus on what you’re grateful for. Rather than thinking about what you don’t like about your life or what isn’t working, focus on the good stuff…and on what is working. It’s a great practice. Sure there are more mountains to climb, but rather than thinking about how difficult they are, enjoy the process of climbing. And then of course wonder about what the highlight might be.

Until next Time,

JOURNEY ON

MARK

“I’m called to inspire others to reignite the spark inside of them that has been dimmed by years of hard work and struggle.”

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide and recognized thought leader who inspires others to believe in themselves. 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. Contact him for an initial complimentary session.

Enjoy a Smooth Ride

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

A new day—how you start your day sets the tone for the day. If you start it in a hurry, most likely, you’ll be in a hurry all day long. And the corollary is true—if you start your start being centered, most likely you will be that most of the day.

You might wonder about what I mean by being centered. The metaphor I’ve been using in the talks i give is for you to imagine driving your car without shock absorbers. Every bump in the road is magnified and even the little ones seem like a big deal. When you have new shocks, the big jolts don’t bother you as much and the little ones don’t seem to bother you at all. You enjoy a smooth ride.

So then the next step is to develop a strategy that helps you connect with your center every day. That’s where the morning program comes in: Begin your day with some type of meditation even if just for five or ten minutes. Then focus on what you’re grateful for and then think about the highlight of the day which we briefly talked about in the last blog. Remember there is always a highlight.

There is no better time than now to start. Enjoy the ride.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

“I’m called to inspire others to reignite the spark inside of them that has been dimmed by years of hard work and struggle.”

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide and recognized thought leader who inspires others to believe in themselves. 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. Contact him for an initial complimentary session.


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