inspiration

What Calls You?

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one.

That was the call that the social activist and musician Harry Belafonte heard. Millions of people were dying because of the famine in Africa. By 1985 he knew he had to take action and reached out to Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. In collaboration with Quincy Jones and fifty other musicians, who left their egos at the door, they created the single, We are the World, which has generated over $90 Million to address the famine in Africa.

I remember how moved I was when I first heard the song. That memory has lingered and just recently I decided to learn the song on the piano so that I can sing it, come together and share it with others. In the process I’ve thought about how profound the lyrics are.

Coming together doesn’t have be on the global scale that it was in the creation of We are the World. It can be on a personal level. But with our busy lives we don’t make the time to come together on any level and we don’t take the time to listen to our inner voice. Yet we each have a yearning that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

Our challenge is to rethink what our priorities are and create an environment that is conducive to listening to the deepest yearning of our souls. That’s the greatest gift you can make to yourself and to others. We each have unique gifts to contribute and a unique song to sing. We all long for peace on the planet. Finding peace inside goes a long way toward creating a more peaceful planet. So does answering that call from within.

We can’t go on pretending day by day
That someone, somewhere will soon make a change
is how the second verse begins.

That’s also how some of us lead our lives. We wait for the circumstances of our life to change, rather than taking the initiative to create the positive change that has the potential to transform our life and the lives of others. And in our interpersonal relationships, we wait and wait, hoping that the other person will eventually change. We don’t look at what we’re doing to contribute to this unease.

Send them your heart so they’ll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free.

I love singing this line. We all are so fragile that it’s important to let others know how much we care. People are much more vulnerable than we realize and no matter how much it seems they have it together, let them know that you care—a smile goes a long way. And a phone call is great. You make a difference. We make a difference.

But if you just believe, there’s no way we can fall.

Simple truths can make all the difference, but they are often the most difficult to accept and believe and to integrate into our lives. Believing that something is possible is 80% of getting there. There is nothing that can replace having faith that you’re being guided. There is nothing that can replace your faith that you can do it. There is nothing that can replace saying to yourself,
“Yes, I can.” There is nothing that can replace answering the yearning inside. So what calls you?

Enjoy the Journey

“What a worthy adventure we are on. Our job is to enjoy it, to live ethically and to live life fully.”

Journey On

Mark

Please join me with my cohost Ralph Marston on the Journey On radio show. blogtalkradio.com/journeyon

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide 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. In his prior career, he was covered by the NY Times, Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone Magazine. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within.

Enjoy the Dance and Don’t Resist the Chocolates

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

I have frequently thought about what I want my children to know about life. Since we all have an inner child, this is my message to all of us.

Dear Ones:

Things change. You have to prepare yourself so that you can flow with these changes. The average person today has six or seven careers. The divorce rate is high. Friendships change. You might have a falling out, someone might move away, or pass on. And of course there are health challenges along the way.

The currents on the river of life are constantly changing; they are affected by many unforeseen forces. You can’t live your life being afraid of these changes, because by avoiding them you are not really living. You’re also not living when you waste your time complaining about others.

What worked at one period in your life might not work at another time. Rather than developing career skills, you need to develop life skills that will enable you to thrive in any situation.

Living a successful and fulfilling life is not an accident. Successful people have goals and dreams. They have faith. They know that at the darkest moment there will be a light that illuminates their path. They know that they are not alone and that there is a power greater than they are. When they live from their center, they have access to this power.

Life happens. No one gets a free pass. Although life might not seem fair at times, it is still good. We have a choice. The meaning we give to what happens is a choice. Saying, “Yes” to life and dancing on the river is also a choice. Enjoy the dance.

There is only one you. You are unique and special, maybe a little eccentric at times but that’s a good thing because it means that you question things and know that there’s more inside to explore. Although its hard to resist doing, don’t compare your life to others; who knows what’s going on with them. And by the way, it’s also hard to resist chocolate so go for it.

Keep exploring the river. The nature of rivers is to flow but when you stay stuck in the mud of your past, your flow will be blocked. You’ll never make it downstream where you’re able to explore the part of the river that is full of infinite possibilities.

The river has always been and always will be. Where it takes you can be an exciting adventure of discovery if you flow with it. But there still might be one thing in the way that can get in the way of that flow.

Which is taking ourselves so seriously. Laugh at yourself. Laugh at how hard you try and laugh at how out there you can be at times. Yes that even means believing in miracles. Ok, I’m not talking about the Red Sea stuff, but I am talking about exceeding your expectations of yourself. Imagine your life becoming an exciting journey of discovery. What if you declared that to be true for yourself. Ah, what then?

The best is yet to come! As we become elders, or move in that direction, and we all are, we’ve learned how to enjoy life more. We appreciate the little things and accept the things we can’t change. Although by now we’ve all experienced our share of pain and heartache, our capacity to experience joy keeps expanding.

With that in mind, I would like to remind you that for the past year I have been cohosting with Ralph Marston the JourneyON radio show. Almost every week we have been privileged to have various thought leaders, many of whom are authors, bless our show. All the shows are archived if you wish to listen to them.

Enjoy the Journey

“What a worthy adventure we are on. Our job is to enjoy it, to live ethically and to live life fully.”

Journey On

Mark

Please join me with my cohost Ralph Marston on the Journey On radio show. blogtalkradio.com/journeyon

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide 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. In his prior career, he was covered by the NY Times, Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone Magazine. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within.

Soul-Mates

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

We love to talk about relationships. In fact the topic can dominate an evening. Most of us would agree that relationships are tricky. When we are in love we come alive. We wonder about the depth of our connection. From time to time we are intrigued by the notion of whether we are with our soulmate. And what does that exactly mean? There is definitely the closeness and the intimacy. But does that make them our soulmate or just a kindred soul? We are in a relational world and the more we are connected to ourselves,the more we feel connected to others.

Our recent guest on the JourneyON radio show is an expert on this subject. Susan Allison, the author of Our Spirits Dance gives us some insight into these questions. Susan has written several books about relationships. You can listen to her insights on the show by visiting…http://www.blogtalkradio.com/journeyon. Her insights are invaluable.

In fact all of the past JourneyOn shows are archived and downloadable as a podcast. Be sure to listen.

“What a worthy adventure we are on. Our job is to enjoy it, to be ethical and to live life fully.”

Journey On

Mark

Please join me with my cohost Ralph Marston on the Journey On radio show. blogtalkradio.com/journeyon

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide 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. In his prior career, he was covered by the NY Times, Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone Magazine. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within.

Stories we tell Ourselves

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Do you remember your kindergarten teacher? I don’t remember much about mine, except her name and the stories she told. Since then I’ve had many more teachers and mentors who have all contributed to who I am today. We learn from all of our experiences and from everyone we meet, some more significant than others.

Although we don’t always remember their name, we usually remember the story they told us. When you are a writer, you’re always looking for that story or insight to share. It’s a gift when you hear such a story. So it was with delight when my youngest daughter, Savanna, was visiting last week and I experienced such a moment.

As our conversation evolved she shared the following story that speaks for itself. Like life, there are many variations of the story—stories that have the power to shape our life. The most powerful being the ones we tell ourselves.

A son and his father were walking on the mountains. 
Suddenly, the son falls, hurts himself and screams:
“AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”
To his surprise, he hears the voice repeating,
 somewhere in the mountain: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”

Curious, he yells: “Who are you?” 
He receives the answer: “Who are you?”

Angered at the response, he screams: “Coward!” 
He receives the answer: “Coward!”

He looks to his father and asks: “What’s going on?”
 The father smiles and says: “My son, pay attention.”

And then he screams to the mountain: “I admire you!”
The voice answers: “I admire you!”

Again the man screams: “You are a champion!”
The voice answers: “You are a champion!”

The boy is surprised, but does not understand.
 Then the father explains: “People call this ECHO, 
but really this is LIFE. It gives you back everything you say or do.”

Our life is simply a reflection of our actions and what we tell ourselves.If you want more love, create more love in your heart.
If you want more competence in your career, improve your competence. This relationship applies to all aspects of life.
It gives you back what you think and believe. It gives you back everything you have given to it.

YOUR LIFE IS NOT A COINCIDENCE. IT’S A REFLECTION OF YOU!

As I shared with you in the beginning, quite often we don’t remember the name of the person who tells us the story, even though we remember the story. Savanna and I attempted to determine who wrote this one. We searched the internet (I sure wished we had it when I was in college) and found the story, but the author was unknown. Whoever he or she is, we want to thank them from the bottom of our heart for the gift of their wisdom.

Life is for giving, loving, teaching, learning and sharing all we are and will ever be; our joys, our sorrows, our triumphs and our disappointments. And of course, our smiles.

As the father in the story reminds us, what we tell ourselves becomes our story. Sometimes the story gets old. If you don’t like it, create a more empowering one.

You know that I love to hear from you. What is the story you have been telling yourself?

“What a worthy adventure we are on. Our job is to enjoy it, to be ethical and to live life fully.”

Journey On

Mark

Please join me with my cohost Ralph Marston on the Journey On radio show. blogtalkradio.com/journeyon

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide 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. In his prior career, he was covered by the NY Times, Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone Magazine. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within.

You’re an Amazing Person

Monday, June 30th, 2014

How do you answer the question, Life is? What if, when you awake in the morning, you say to yourself, “My life is amazing.” What then? How would you experience your life? I’m sure you would start to experience your life in a much more amazing and exciting way. For various reasons, very few of us say this to ourselves or dare to think in this way. Our focus might be on other things, or on our struggles. Then that’s all we see. But you have the power to change it.

When you think about it, we have all experienced some amazing moments; those amazing sunsets and sunrises. Those amazing waterfalls and breathtaking canyons. I’m sure you have your own amazing list but quite often it’s on the back burner.

It’s time to expand your vocabulary. We all have something unique and amazing to offer. For a second, imagine someone describing you as an amazing person. How would it feel? Could you get used to it?

Let’s try something. Write down on a nice piece of paper the following: (Your Name) is an amazing person! Every morning look at it and repeat it three times out loud. Don’t just do once. For a month, integrate this practice into your life.

“What a worthy adventure we are on. Our job is to enjoy it, to be ethical and to live life fully.”

Journey On

Mark

Please join me with my cohost Ralph Marston on the Journey On radio show. blogtalkradio.com/journeyon

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide 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. In his prior career, he was covered by the NY Times, Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone Magazine. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within.

If Not Now—When

Friday, June 20th, 2014

It wasn’t the first time. I went with it and discovered an unexpected gift. When Dancing on the River was first published, the interviewer had difficulty pronouncing my name correctly. Finally I said Sus-NOW as in NOW is the time to enjoy life and to live life fully.

As we know, this quest is a lot easier said than done, but certainly one worthy of our best efforts.

Many of us let the circumstances of our life affect how we feel which I refer to as the only if syndrome. If only the circumstances of my life were different I would be happy. I’m sure you have had symptoms like this at times. I know I have.

As a result we put off our happiness until another day. Usually when there is a resolution of our circumstances we do feel better, but only for a short while until the next cycle begins anew. We again fall into the if only trap which affects almost every aspect of our lives.

We especially see it in the workplace and or in relationships. If we are out of work, or business is slow, our mindset is that we can’t be happy until the circumstances change. Or if our primary relationships are out of kilter, our mindset is that we can’t be happy until we have more clarity or resolution of the relationship.

We continue to live for the future, rather than for today, waiting for the circumstances of our lives to be in perfect alignment. “Ah, then I can be happy again,” we think to ourselves again and again.

The good news is that you can again be happy and excited about your life. Researchers at UC Davis have determined that people who practice gratitude on a daily basis not only are happier, but they experience less stress.

This daily practice shifts your focus from what you don’t have and what you don’t like about your life, to what you do have and what is right about your life.

Practicing gratitude each and every day has had a profound effect upon my life. This practice shifts your focus from what you don’t have and what you don’t like about your life, to what you do have and what is right about your life. As we know from being on this adventure together what we focus on expands. When we focus on our lack, we create more of it. When we focus on our good, we create more of that. If you want to be optimistic, then express gratitude for your optimism. If you want to create more of an open-hearted attitude, then express gratitude for your open-heartedness.

The second technique you may not have tried yet. Hopefully it will be embedded into your daily routine soon enough as it has the potential to transform your life. In the morning after you have taken time for quiet reflection and your gratitude practice, ask yourself the following empowering question: I wonder what the highlight of my day might be. This creates an expectation of good. As your day progresses, you’re curious as to what that highlight might be.

You can use variations of this inquiry in numerous settings, even ones that at first glance might seem unpleasant. Often at meetings, or other gatherings, rather than thinking about might go wrong, I shift my focus to who I’ll have the best connection with. It’s amazing what happens.
The highlight might be a smile while you are waiting in line at the bank or the grocery store. It might be a thank-you from someone. Hopefully, by the end of the day, you won’t be able to make up your mind as to what the highlight was because you’ll have two or three great choices. Perhaps you discover the gift that has always been there.

This shift hasn’t occurred over night but looking back it’s been dramatic. Perhaps you’re thinking that now isn’t the right time. Actually there is no better time than now. In fact now is the only time. Enjoy it! You’ve waited long enough. Tomorrow has a way of taking care of itself.

“What a worthy adventure we are on. Our job is to enjoy it, to be ethical and to live life fully.”

Journey On

Mark

Please join me with my cohost Ralph Marston on the Journey On radio show. blogtalkradio.com/journeyon

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide 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. In his prior career, he was covered by the NY Times, Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone Magazine. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within.

Set a New Standard

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

It’s time to move forward. Most of us, if not all of us, would like to be more successful but we struggle with what exactly success means to us. What contributes to this struggle is that we usually define success by someone else’s standards or our own stricter standards. And usually we are our own worse critics. I struggled with this mindset for years. No matter what I did, I didn’t consider myself successful—there was always the, “Yea, but look at what they did. I’ll never be as good as them.”

Within each of us is the key to success, which is our attitude about how we see ourselves.

IF we are always trying to live up to some external standard we’re always going to find it difficult to be satisfied. There are many great people in this world that can do some things better than us. Yet when we look at ourselves and explore our own unique greatness, we find that there are some things we can do better than them.

If you wish to be successful, then think of yourself in that way. Focus on your gifts and unique talents. You are already successful. You have unique gifts and talents. Share these gifts and talents with others.

“What a worthy adventure we are on. Our job is to enjoy it, to be ethical and to live life fully.”

Journey On

Mark

Please join me with my cohost Ralph Marston on the Journey On radio show. blogtalkradio.com/journeyon

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide 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. In his prior career, he was covered by the NY Times, Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone Magazine. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within.

Do you Make Things more Difficult than they Need to be?

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Wouldn’t it be great if our biggest challenge is to decide what we want for our lives and in this moment. In some ways choosing what we want for our lives is easier. When we’re thinking about what we want in this moment, we have a myriad of choices, although it might not seem that way at the time. How we make decisions is an interesting exploration.

Let’s face it. We even make choosing a movie into a big deal. Perhaps you’re home in the mood for a movie. But what movie? At first you search the free menu. Then you search for the movies that are more current, most of which you have to pay a small fee. So you go thru the process. Perhaps you finally select a movie. Or perhaps you can’t make a decision and decide to do something else. This little example is a microcosm of how we make decisions in our life. We go through a process of weighing the pros and cons. Some of us might have a mindset that if its free, it’s not worth investing the time to watch it. It’s already been done. We want something more current. The bigger question is: “What is our criterion for which we give value to things.

If something comes easy to us, do we take it for granite and not value it as much. Quite often that is what happens with some of our most primary relationships. We take them for granite and don’t give them the attention they need. We have adopted the belief that if something seems too easy, we don’t value it as much. We’re already looking in a different direction, looking for our next challenge.

It’s time to adopt a new mindset. It can be easy and have great value.

Journey On

Mark

Please join me with my cohost Ralph Marston on the Journey On radio show. blogtalkradio.com/journeyon

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide 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. In his prior career, he was covered by the NY Times, Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone Magazine. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within.

The Key Ingredient

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Many of us forget what it takes to be successful. Yes it takes hard work, commitment and persistence. Most successful people have on more than a few occasions thought about giving up. But they kept at it and moved forward. It’s like climbing a mountain. In the beginning of the climb the task can seem challenging. With every step forward we get closer to our goal.

Achieving goals is like that. We sometimes get caught up in the obstacles and lose sight of where we want to go There is that half way point, when we say to ourselves, “I’m going to make it.” We know we can do it. From that point on, the challenges no longer seem like challenges, just part of the terrain——we let go of our resistance and move forward with the wind at our back. We allow ourselves to get excited.

Thinking of ourselves as persistent isn’t the most exciting description of ourselves. Yet when you have mastered that quality, you have an amazing power that enables you to do almost anything. One of my coaching clients is a triathlete. The persistence that she demonstrates during training gives her a sense of power than transcends any limitation that might show up in other areas of her life.

Seize the power. Be persistent.

Journey On

Mark

Please join me with my cohost Ralph Marston on the Journey On radio show. blogtalkradio.com/journeyon

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide 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. In his prior career, he was covered by the NY Times, Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone Magazine. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within.

Rekindle the Dream

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

You’re thinking of all of the things you have to do. And for a while that’s all you are doing——thinking rather than doing. Quite often, you exaggerate the complexity of what it is you have to do. If you actually sat down and began working on your project you could get it done even though you are not sure where to begin. But you begin, by beginning. For example until I sat down and started writing this blog I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say. I wasn’t sure where I was going. Now that I am actually doing it I see a direction.

And that’s the way it is with many things in life. Until you actually begin the journey you won’t know where the path that leads you to the magic garden will be. You might not even realize that there is such a path. It’s amazing once you begin, the possibilities that exist.

As you become more present to what’s in front of you and all around you, you will be better able to recognize the opportunities that are presented to you.

Sometimes it’s a matter of creating your own path. Be the innovator and be willing to think out of the box. Becoming a master thinker and creator is a great asset. But you also have to take action.

So here’s your part. Be bold. You once had a dream for you life. What is that dream that you have put on the back burner. After you have identified that dream that’s been on the back burner, what is one action step you can take that help you realize your dream or at least move you in the right direction? When will you take that step? And who is going to hold you accountable for moving forward?
What a worthy adventure we are on. Our job is to enjoy it, to be ethical and to live life fully.

Journey On

Mark

Please join me with my cohost Ralph Marston on the Journey On radio show. blogtalkradio.com/journeyon

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide 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. In his prior career, he was covered by the NY Times, Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone Magazine. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within.


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