inspiration

There is no such thing as failure.

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

There comes a time in our life when we think about making a change. It might be in our business. We might invest in a new product or hire a new person. Perhaps it’s a personal investment. Yes whenever we make a change there is always the possibility that it won’t work out. Whenever we begin something new, there is always the possibility that we won’t like it. Don’t let that concern stop you. There is always going to be some of that lingering.

And there will always be a next time. With each step we take and from everything we do, at some level we learn. We learn about ourselves, what’s holding us back and what it will take to move us forward. Confronting the risk of failure is part of it. The other part is transforming how we think about failure. Perhaps it’s all feedback. Thomas Edison failed many times before he discovered the light bulb. Or did he fail. Each experiment got him closer to the discovery that changed the world.

Look at how the digital world has evolved. Each step was a stepping stone to where we are now. Yes each step was perfected over and over again. I wouldn’t call that failure, would you?

Build on little successes, so that over time you have expanded your comfort zone. With each step forward, your confidence builds. Your sense of your capabilities keeps expanding.

Be courageous! take the step in front of you. And then another. Imagine exceeding your expectations.

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. 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.

There is no Better Time than Now to Begin

Monday, November 18th, 2013

We are great avoiders. Some of the time it’s to our advantage——rather than reacting to a given situation, we take time to assess the situation. That’s a great strategy.

But it can also work to our disadvantage when avoidance leads to staying stuck. You might have good intentions and are sincere in your desire to change or to begin new endeavors. You might say to yourself or even to someone else, “When this happens, I’ll make these changes.” Usually in the beginning of the year we are full of good intentions. “I’m going to do this, we say to ourselves.” Usually it relates to changes we want to implement; a better diet…an exercise regimen. You get the idea.

We might share our intentions with someone else. But making the change, takes consistency and commitment. Consistency in that a change is not a once in a lifetime new activity. It’s a decision that we make over and over again on a daily basis. Imagine what it would be like to begin something and to do it for the rest of our lives. It’s not too late to begin. Imagine the level of expertise you could achieve. Keep exceeding your expectations.

Enjoy the journey,

Mark

Join Mark and his cohost Ralph Marston for the Journey On radio show. 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. 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 Journey

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

When is the right time to begin something new, to break your routine and begin a new adventure? It could be a new business endeavor, moving, or a change in relationship status. It could be a spiritual practice. It might even be taking a vacation for an extended period of time giving you a chance to create a new paradigm for your life.

Think about what goes into getting away. You have to block out a period of time and you have concerns that while you’re gone, things will fall apart without you or you’ll miss out on that big opportunity.

Changing our patterns for a period of time takes practice. It involves leaving the familiar and exploring new territory, which isn’t always comfortable. And there is always that critical voice of judgment that you wish you could silence. “You’re not being practical. Wait until the economy picks us. Wait until “this” happens, the “this” being something that might or might not happen in the future. So we hesitate and don’t take action. We never reach our full potential. A year goes by and then another and nothing has changed.

There are always going to be voices that get in the way of our moving forward in our lives especially if that is what we focus on. We have to keep filling our tanks on a daily basis with inspiration. Inside of us is another voice that I call the Voice of Inspiration and Praise, VIP, that says, “Yes, you can. You can do it, go for it.” The voice that reminds you to have faith that it’s all going to work out.

The challenge is to recognize and listen to it. It doesn’t necessarily show up in the way we expect and is more prevalent than we realize. It’s a voice, an attitude that needs to be cultivated on a daily basis.

As you know I’m a firm believer in synchronicity—those chance encounters that change your life, those remarkable meetings. When I was a young lawyer, one evening a friend told me of a magical swimming hole along a river in Humboldt County. I had just resolved a case that was set for trial and had nothing on my schedule for the next week. I got my car ready, filled up the tank and off I went with my guitar, my dog, and sleeping bag and drove north, arriving at the river just as the sun was setting.

In the morning I awoke at the crack of dawn in search of the swimming hole. I knew that if I hiked upstream I would get there. I continued on my way until a camper offered me some food and coffee. Although I found myself getting hungry and a little bit tired, I said, “No thanks” to the kind invitation, “I want to get to the swimming hole.”

After another twenty yards I turned around and said, “That coffee sounds good.” I enjoyed the breakfast. As it turned out, the camper had a guitar and we played music for quite some time. I was full in more ways than one. After thanking the camper, I was ready to be on my way. It was what the camper said in the next few moments that has perhaps made the greatest impact in my life.

“Hey man, the journey you take is probably more important than your destination. Enjoy yourself. Enjoy the journey.” I enjoyed the rest of the hike and the swimming hole was fabulous.

Since that meeting, I have taken his advice to heart. It has affected every aspect of my life. There’s no better time than now to enjoy your life and experience it as an exciting journey of discovery. Instead of waiting for that ideal relationship, enjoy life exactly as it is. Instead of feeling despair about finding meaning and purpose in your life, enjoy the inquiry. Instead of waiting for that big opportunity, enjoy what you’re doing.

There will always be something in the way, which if you focus on it, will affect your ability to enjoy life. You will be tested repeatedly in some manner. Each day you’ll have to renew your commitment, but eventually it becomes a way of life. There are eight daily practices and rituals that have supported me on my journey.

1. Take time each day for quiet reflection in the morning including expressing gratitude. It sets the tone for the day.
2. While driving in your car, listen to motivational or conscious music, rather than listening to the news or what’s on the various am stations.
3. Make sure that on a daily basis you are in contact with people who inspire and support you. Don’t hesitate to take the first step and reach out.
4. Take time to commune in nature.
5. Eat healthy; drink plenty of water and get exercise. This is a choice that you make over and over again that eventually becomes a healthy habit.
6. Don’t forget to smile and make sure you make someone else smile.
7. In the evening, take some time to read a personal growth or spiritual book, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
8. Reflect upon the most special moment of the day as you are falling asleep. No matter what happened during the day, you have a choice as to how you think about it.

So there you have it. When are you planning your next adventure? You know I love to hear from you. Feel free to share Letters on Life with those in your circle.

Enjoy the journey,

Mark

Join Mark and his cohost Ralph Marston for the Journey On radio show. 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. 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.

So Which one are you Going to Focus on?

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

The average person thinks over 60,000 thoughts in a day. It isn’t an exaggeration to say our minds are superactive. And we know from the work we have been doing that our mind is extremely powerful. Our thoughts have the power to create our reality and certainly our experience of reality.

Many researchers often liken our minds to computers. They’re amazing and have the power to do extraordinary things, both positive and negative. What matters is how we program them. To make our computers more efficient we install the latest software which is a step in the right direction. But without more is not enough.

It’s the data we input into the computer that makes the difference. We have to let the computer know what we want. And our lives our like that. Our subconscious mind is the engine that runs our life. It is our thoughts and actions that help program our subconscious minds. So we have to be mindful as to what we input.

We want most of those thoughts to be positive. In that way we program ourselves to think more positively and to be happier.

We all want to know how we can do that. If you have been reading this blog before you know that quite often i make reference to the morning program. How you start your day sets the tone for the day.

The best investment you can make, with the highest rate of return, is to take time in the morning for inner reflection. Sit quietly in the beginning for 5-10 minutes. Then focus on what you are grateful for. What this does is shift your focus from what isn’t working to what is. In essence you shift your focus to the good. And after you do this, then wonder about what the highlight of your day might be. Again you’re thinking about the good. In the process many of those thoughts that you think about will be more uplifting. In the process you’ll smile and laugh more.

Journey ON

Mark

Join Mark and his cohost Ralph Marston for the Journey On radio show. 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. 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.

To Move Forward, Change your Perspective

Monday, October 21st, 2013

What you have doing hasn’t been working. Your assumptions haven’t worked out. To move forward it’s time to change your perspective.

Being open to change and to new possibilities adds a richness to your life. Why not embrace it. Change is happening all around you. By embracing it, you can see the changes in your life as possibilities, as opportunities and as adventure.

Here’s a suggestion as to how you can change your perspective. How you start your day sets the tone for the whole day. If you want to open yourself up to possibilities, then change how you begin your morning. What if for just one week, when you wake up in the morning, you just sit on a cushion or a chair and focus on your breath for just five minutes. Not a big time commitment here. But you’ll be amazed how you feel afterwards. Then think about what you are grateful for. just take 30 seconds. One more step that’s fun. Take some time to wonder about what might be the highlight of the day. This simple practice creates positive expectations and definitely gets you going in the right directions.

Enjoy the journey

Mark

Join Mark and his cohost Ralph Marston for the Journey On radio show. 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. 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 Lost Art of Uni-Tasking

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Last week I was in the checkout line at the local health food store. It’s not unusual to run into old friends. I hadn’t seen Oscar in some time. In the midst of a catch-up conversation he attempted to pay his bill. After fumbling around, he laughed and said I better uni-task. So that got me thinking. Multitasking has become pandemic.

We want to do it all and have a concern that we might be missing out on something—that call or message that pertains to a different reality than the one we are engaged in at the present moment. We pay a price for these distractions. In the process we lose our ability to really get into something and know it well. Rather than being in the moment with what we are doing, we are already thinking about something else. Is that something else more important than what we are doing now? And of course the pattern continues. We don’t really commit to being fully present. We don’t commit to just being. Because of this our experience of what’s possible is limited. We never do reach our full potential!

The concern that we will miss out keeps most of us, if not all of us, clued to the latest technological device. As soon as we see or hear a signal that we have an incoming message, we interrupt what we are doing to notice the nature of that incoming message. Very rarely is it something important that has to be handled in the moment.

The bigger price we pay is that the flow of our conversation has been interrupted. None of us like to be interrupted when in the presence of another. In the current scenario we are being interrupted essentially by a computer. The energy changes and the connection has been lost. Sure we have more information at our fingertips, but we’ve replaced intimacy with information. Worrying about missing out on something actually will lead to a bigger loss. Which is missing out on intimately connecting with others.

It also neglects the importance of the person with whom we are interacting and in the process ourselves. We have allowed our lives to be programmed by computers. It raises the question as to how much free will we really have.

It’s also symptomatic of a bigger problem. Our concern about external events gets in the way of our being in the moment.

I’m often asked what I think are the main concerns that people experience. Perhaps the biggest concern is how to make peace with an uncertain future. Our challenge is to develop a trust that if we live totally in the present that the uncertainty we have about the future will unfold the way it should. Our part is to be 100% committed to whatever we are engaged in. It doesn’t mean to be in denial of some of the problems that we all experience individually and collectively. But when we approach these concerns with 100% focus and effort, then we begin to discover solutions to problems that previously were thought to be insoluble.

Intellect and information are extremely important, but by themselves are not enough. What has been lost is the ability to connect with others and to work together. It’s difficult to connect with someone when you are not being in the moment with them and truly listening to what their concerns are. You can’t truly get them when you are multitasking.

Yes we are curious and have a desire to know. Learn to trust that for one precious moment it’s all going to work out. For that one moment just be. Try it for ten minutes. Just be and give your concerns a holiday. They don’t need you all of the time. That holiday includes taking a vacation from your smart phone.

Living in the moment and being present is an art form that can be cultivated. The ones that have mastered it have a presence about them. They are connected to the source of their personal power and all that is and has always been.

Meditation in the morning is an essential practice to cultivate in this rapidly changing world. It’s the first step toward becoming a master uni-tasker.

Enjoy the journey

Mark

Join Mark and his cohost Ralph Marston for the Journey On radio show. 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.

Focus on What’s in Front of You

Monday, October 7th, 2013

As a life coach, I’m quite often asked what I think are the main concerns that people have. What I see is that the concerns and worries about the future get in the way of our enjoying and finding peace in the moment. Not only that but these concerns can contribute to our being ineffective.

We need to find that balance. We should have concerns about the future, but to go forward so that we’re focusing on each step and that we’re enjoying the journey.

Imagine you are climbing a mountain. It could be hiking or mountain biking. In the beginning you look up at the top of the mountain. But if your focus is only there, you won’t notice the beautiful scenery along the way; the trees, the wildlife, the streams and all of the beauty that there is to experience.

There might be times when you need a rest, so you take some time to relax. You notice what’s around you. Then you continue climbing toward your goal.

It’s that concern with getting there that gets in the way of your enjoying the moment.

You have reached this place in your life. Assess where you are and be grateful for what you have and what you’ve accomplished. Be grateful for the tools and resources that you have that can move you forward in your life.

You can let go of the past. You can think bigger. You are ready to climb a higher part of the mountain.

Enjoy the Adventure,

Mark

Join Mark and his cohost Ralph Marston for the Journey On radio show. 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.

Empower your MInd

Friday, October 4th, 2013

So something happens in your life. Or it could be something someone says. Your mind goes into high gear coming up with all kinds of explanations about the significance of what just occurred. If we could just let it go and move on and think about something else, we would be in good shape. It’s one of our biggest challenges. The good news is that we can learn to let it go and move on.

Quite often the meaning we give an occurrence is full of worry and doubt. We often imagine the worst case scenario. We think to ourselves, “If only this problem could get resolved, I’ll be home free.” It will or it wont’ get resolved. But we know eventually there will be something else that occurs that will trigger that same mindset.

There is a more empowering mindset that you can cultivate. “What if things turn out better than expected?” They can, but you have to begin planting the seed for that scenario to occur.

If you have been following me over the years, you know that I strongly believe that how you begin your day sets the tone for the day. So take some time in the morning to meditate, to be grateful, and to wonder about the highlight of the day. Wondering about the highlight sets in motion a positive expectation. It’s amazing what can occur if you are consistent with this practice.

In fact you can begin to introduce empowering questions into your everyday experience of life. If you are going to an event, you can wonder with whom you’ll have the best connection. It begins with your thoughts. And you have the power to shape those thoughts. The mind is easily influenced, especially by the media. It plays on our desires.

Eldon Taylor, in his new empowering book, Choices and Illusions, reminds us how easily our minds are influenced. Based on scientific research he gives us practices and techniques that can empower us to change our beliefs and live the life we really want. It’s worth reading.

Have you listened to the Journey ON radio show yet? blogtalkradio.com/journeyon.

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.

Turn on the Electricity

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

You walk into a dark room and turn on the light switch. Nothing happens. You try another light switch and again nothing happens. You even try a different room and still nothing happens. Now you know that the electricity is turned off.

That’s what our lives are like when we are not connected to our personal power. We waste a lot of time attempting to achieve, and get nothing in return. We waste a lot of energy. Rather than changing a few external things like changing the light bulb or calling an electrician we need to look inside to discover the source of our faulty connection. And we know it begins with us.

Imagine driving your car when your shock absorbers are old and broken down. Every bump in the road is magnified so that even the smallest bumps affect you. After a while all you see are the imperfections in the road. Does this seem familiar? When you are connected to your center, instead of seeing imperfections, you see possibilities.

Here’s what I suggest that will begin the process of connecting with your center. Begin your day by taking time for yourself and I mean before looking at your smart phone. Sit quietly for ten minutes. Then think about what you are grateful for. One more thing. Think about what the highlight of your day might be. First think about your scheduled meetings. And then leave open the possibility that something great that is not on your agenda right now might occur.

What happens is that you create a positive expectation that something great will happen during the day. So you’re open to it. Try it for 30 days and see what happens. It works. This has been my practice for many years and that of the many people with whom I have been privileged to coach.

Enjoy the Adventure,

Mark

Join Mark and his cohost Ralph Marston for the Journey On radio show. 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.

Today is the First Day of the Rest of your Life

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

It was years ago, while visiting a friend, that i first heard this remark. I was in my twenties at the time, confused and in transition, and my friend seemed so mystical. It seems in one way or the other, we are always in transition.

“Today is the first day of the rest of your life,” was what she said. I’ll never forget that meeting. So make your life what you want it to be. Move forward. Don’t dwell on went wrong. Remember none of us are perfect.

But in that first day, it’s essential that we take that first step. Perhaps it’s the most difficult one. Then we take another one and soon we get a sense of where we are going.

But its that first one. We are so concerned about making mistakes that we hesitate and over analyze. In our minds we picture every possible scenario. Before beginning we look for the guarantee that our actions will be rewarded.

As we know there are no guarantees in life. But we can perform our due diligence to ascertain whether the next step is a wise move for ourselves, but there is always going to be some risk. As some point we have to trust and take that next step. Jump in the river, you are going to get wet anyway.

So become comfortable with not knowing, and be curious about what’s next.

Enjoy the Adventure,

Mark

Join Mark and his cohost Ralph Marston for the Journey On radio show. 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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