inspiration

The Magic of Connection

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated.
William James

“You are great, wonderful and the person I’ve always wanted to be with.” Those sweet words remind you that you’re special, you’re appreciated, you’re loved. It’s our natural state to be loving. But with the busyness of our lives we forget what that natural state is and how to be it. There is nothing better than a great relationship. You feel you belong. You feel empowered. You feel an incredible aliveness. Ultimately you have to learn to love yourself and when you do, by you being you fully immersed in your natural state, grace everyone with whom you come in contact with. It’s our nature just as it is the nature of the rose to blossom and to spread its warmth and sensuality. When you are fortunate enough to be in its magnificence, your senses come alive.

We live in a relational world. On a fundamental level what we all want is to deeply connect with others, but we’re not sure how to do it. Successful relationships transform our families, schools, institutions, governments and the world we live in.

When you connect with your heart, body and soul, connection occurs in an instant. Connection begins with you, by your awakening to your true nature as a spiritual being having a physical experience. That’s when you experience “a knowing” that you are connected to a power greater than you are.

Connection is a path and like most paths, there are challenges along the way. The good news is that connection can be cultivated. Before I embarked upon my coaching path I was a decent connector when I wanted to be, but I didn’t consider it one of my strengths. Over the years I’ve worked at it.

Connection transcends stereotypes and judgments, creating fertile ground for a new dialogue, a dialogue not constrained by history, but open to common ground for a consciousness of possibility. Connecting is the ultimate gift to yourself and to others. It is when we give of ourselves that we receive the ultimate joy.

Let me share with you a few strategies that I have found effective in cultivating more connection in my life. After meditation, I express gratitude for the gift of connection that I have with others. Perhaps in the beginning of this practice I didn’t feel or believe it totally. But over time I’ve noticed that my ability to connect has become a strength.

Being curious is invaluable. In some ways, I’ve transformed being curious into a fun game. Whenever I go to a gathering, I’m curious with whom I’ll connect. I’m also curious about what I might learn when I do connect with them.

In the last few years I’ve expanded upon this practice. Before I leave on a trip, I wonder about who I’ll have the best connection with which sets the tone during the whole trip. The synchronicity that occurs is amazing. We reach a place in our life, when those remarkable meetings seem to occur more often. Synchronicity then becomes the norm, rather than the infrequent occurrence.

A thought deeply resonates within me each time I experience one of those chance encounters that provides a missing piece to the puzzle, a thought that makes greater sense to me now than it ever did. As we continue to evolve, our tribe of kindred souls is ready to meet us, in a place open to possibility, unrestrained by judgment.

By becoming more comfortable with this language, we open the doors to deeper intimacy. We begin the process of fulfilling the deepest craving within that James refers to. Perhaps you have your own way of expressing it. Perhaps it’s with your eyes or your smile or an open heart that is ready and able to give and receive new ways of expressing that love. Begin your day with that openness by acknowledging yourself. Look in the mirror, smile and say, “You are great, wonderful and the person I’ve always wanted to be with.

You know I love to hear from you. Let me know what’s up for you. Feel free to pass this article onto those in your circle. If you haven’t done so already, become a fan of inspire possibility on Facebook.

Journey On

Mark
Please join me on the Journey On radio show and listen cutting edge thought leaders 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.

What are Problems?

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Many of us get annoyed by every day inconveniences. But they are not problems.

Think of what some of our ancestors had to go through. Some didn’t have food to eat. Some experienced financial ruin. Some had life threatening illnesses. Many of these illnesses have been resolved through many amazing people and breakthrough technology. Think of the all of the diseases that have been eradicated. Think of what it was like during the great depression.

When you’re productive, what seems like an obstacle is there to challenge you to dig deeper to come up with solutions. So when you’re bothered by something, try a different approach. Is it really a problem? Can it be resolved by changing your thinking?

Ask yourself what the truth is of your current situation? Is this a real problem or just an inconvenience? Is it a thought that keeps occupying your mind? Here’s a challenge. Instead of the word problem, use the word challenge. Don’t you think that shift suggests possibilities that are doable.

Journey On

Mark

Please join me on the Journey On radio show and listen cutting edge thought leaders 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.

Something Wonderful is Happening

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

I’m curious what that might be. Maybe it’s finding a new purpose or maybe it’s a new start or maybe it’s just a sky with unclouded stars. Whatever it is it’s going to be magical. I know it. I can feel it.

What if we start this year with that in mind? We’ll need daily reminders. We’ll be challenged. There might only be a few of us who will take this on. Perhaps you want to join in. You can make it an exciting adventure.

We’re usually ambitious in the beginning of the year. Quite often we have New Years resolutions. You know them. I’m going to lose so many pounds, or make a few new friends or create more success in my career. I’m going to have more intimacy in my life. I know they’re more. Resolutions can be powerful, but, by themselves, just a good idea.

Some of us might begin the year with particular goals in mind. The more ambitious will even write them down. Researchers have found that people who write down their goals have a much greater likelihood than those who don’t write them down of reaching them. But I don’t think achieving our goals is going to satisfy that deeper longer of something wonderful happening.

What if this year we forget about resolutions or goals? What if we stay focused on something wonderful happening, even though we might not know what that might be? Perhaps that is even more ambitious, trying to reach a place in our hearts and souls, we can’t exactly describe.

But we know how we want to feel. We want to wake up in the morning excited about beginning our day. We want to experience that deeper place inside in which a great beam of light bursts into a radiant smile. We want to feel that place inside in which our joy becomes expressed with a magnetic twinkle in our eyes. Yes it might not be what we anticipated in the beginning of our journey, but a way of being that is much more fulfilling. Even with all of life’s loose ends and uncertainty.

There will be the usual obstacles and challenges that come up, including being disappointed and feeling let down at times. Some of these obstacles will be fueled by the 24/7 media, which reinforces in some peoples minds, how difficult life can be today. If we give the media too much attention, we’ll probably get discouraged too. Even so, we stay focused on our life being wonderful in this moment and then the next.

We are making a statement about how we want our experience of life to be which becomes our stand. It becomes our truth, which might be different from the picture that we had at one time. As we learn to let go of the way we want things to be, and learn to celebrate what is, then we’ll have more glimpses of what that something wonderful can be.

We can’t do it alone and why would we want too. There are many kindred souls along the way who are walking in freedom. There are many great teachers out there who can light the way for us to see.

A few years ago, one of these teachers, Michael Beckwith, shared his teaching on visioning, which I have found to be an inspiring and empowering reminder of what’s possible.

I am ready, willing and able, to accept and to allow, more good than I’ve ever experienced, imagined or received, before.

To help support you in this year’s journey and beyond, try it on, in the form of an affirmation and see how it fits. Sometimes you need to break it in, by wearing it until it becomes part of you. I’m going to wear it this year. I already know it’s going to be a good fit.

Another vision of something wonderful happening, is my new book, Loose Ends: Learning to Love Uncertainty. It’s in the developmental stages and I’m looking for readers to get feedback from.

Welcome to the New Year. You know I love to hear from you. Please feel free to pass this letter onto those in your circle.

Journey On

Mark

Please join me on the Journey On radio show and listen cutting edge thought leaders 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.

Rediscover your Magical Playground

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

There was a time when you didn’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow. You were totally engaged in the moment. Do you remember what that was like? Many of us have fond memories of playing at the playground. There was the swing, the slide, the seesaw and the sandbox. And of course the other kids. Once you felt safe, you let go and forgot about time. You weren’t concerned with what you had to do “afterwards;” you didn’t even think about “afterwards” or tomorrow. You were in the moment. Nothing else mattered. You can be there again.

For some of us that playground might have looked different. It might have been the park or the street in front of our house. There was always a game that you could play that was played before by other kids. If there wasn’t a game you liked, you used your imagination and made one up, including the rituals that went along with it. Because it was your ‘magical playground,’ you were in your own world, with your own set of rules.

Then one day you grew up and the game got more serious. In this new game, there was a new set of rules that put more emphasis and importance on results, money, rather than on fun and play. You worried about the loose ends and uncertainty in your life. You worried about tomorrow, and whether you were good enough to make it, whatever making it meant for you. You forgot about the magical playground. It was just a distant memory.

In this new game you created a story. You believed that because of the demands of this new game that you didn’t have time for play but it actually works the other way. When you make time for play and what’s meaningful for you, you’ll get better results in the bigger game of life. You’ll struggle less and be more fun to be around.

When you’re excited about one aspect of your life that enthusiasm spreads to your entire being. People pickup on it, even though you might not be aware of it. Our passion and enthusiasm is contagious. People want to be around you.

We use our imagination all of the time. When we worry we drive ourselves nuts by imagining worse case scenarios. There’s a better way use our imagination; a way that is exciting and fulfilling—a way that empowers us.

We rediscover a magical playground for our lives today. We dream again. We are happy. We are courageous. We have vision. We believe our lives will turn out better than we expected. Yes that might require a stretch of the imagination, but why not stretch it. Just for fun take some time now and imagine that your life has exceeded your expectations. Imagine, who you become in the process and, the different parts you get to play. In truth you have been doing this all along. As Shakespeare wrote in As you Like It.

“All the world’s a stage.
And all the men and women merely players.

They have their exits and their entrances,

And one man in his time plays many parts.”

Whatever stage we are on in our life journey, each of us has already played many parts in our life and I’m sure we’ll play many more. Each role has its unique set of rules, language, rituals and costumes. I’ve played lawyer, musician, father, husband and athlete and now I’m playing wise elder.

Are you ready to create the next part? If it is—then

IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO ENTER

On the entrance to your magical playground is the following:

“To dream – again. To dare – again.
To feel enjoyment and happiness – again,
or for the first time.
To realize – Ah, this is living —
This is the stand I take!”

What then? Please feel free to pass this onto those in your circle. You know I like to hear from you. Let me know what moves you.

Journey On

Mark

Please join me on the Journey On radio show and listen cutting edge thought leaders 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.

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.


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