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.”
Please join me with my cohost Ralph Marston on the Journey On radio show.
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.