life purpose

That Ability to Laugh

Monday, January 4th, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

JOURNEY ON

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

Mark

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide and recognized thought leader who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former trial attorney for 30 years, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within. Contact him for an initial complimentary session.

Cultivating the Buffer

Friday, December 11th, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time,

JOURNEY ON

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

MARK

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide and recognized thought leader who inspires others to believe in themselves. His enthusiastic and inspiring keynotes on change, leadership and connection thoroughly convey this message to his audiences. A former trial attorney for 30 years, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within. Contact him for an initial complimentary session.

HAVING A CLEAR PURPOSE

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Do you ever wonder if you are here on this planet to do something great? Perhaps at times you wonder what your calling is. So you listen for that call. If you are blessed, you get that call and when you do, you are ready.

When I was younger I got my first of many calls. It was to be a lawyer, one who crusaded for social justice. That was my calling for years. It gave me a purpose which was the main focus of my life, until…it no longer was. In those years that purpose made it easier for me to say, “No,” to the many distractions that I faced on a daily basis.

Today I have a different purpose which is to make a difference in the lives of others——to motivate them to get them excited about the possibilities in their life.

When you have purpose you have clarity as to your focus. This focus enables you to avoid the trap of superficiality. You can say, “No” to the latest trend or fad. You can say, “No” to what gets in the way of your becoming the person you want to be.

It’s also easier to not get down when you are having a bad day and or you are disappointed. You know that tomorrow is another day——a fresh start with new determination.

As you keep your focus on what’s important, the distractions don’t get in your way. You notice them, but keep on doing what you have to do. Along the way, you notice that you are passionate about living.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and 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. Give yourself the gift of coaching and make an investment in your future.

WHAT IS SUCCESS AND FULFILLMENT?

Friday, October 21st, 2011

When I first began coaching, I attempted to put into words the benefits of what I do. I continue to find that this is a challenge. For a while I would say that our work together enables one to experience more success and fulfillment in their life. I still like that description especially when we start to look at what success and fulfillment means. I think of this words as mirrors of each other.

We can think of fulfillment as experiencing life’s richness. It’s an inner state that doesn’t depend on acquiring anything outside of ourself. When we are in that state we are truly successful.

It’s an inner joy that we are blessed to share with all of those we come in contact with. When we are in that state we have been able to transcend the conditions or circumstances that have been weighing on our minds preventing us from tuning into our higher presence.

We bring that state of inner joy with us wherever we are and wherever we go. It’s our gift to humanity. We have done the inner work to get there. When we are in that state, we truly make a difference in the world.

Think about your life for a moment. Reflect upon those moments in which you gave most generously of your self. You felt fulfilled. You felt privileged to have experienced one of life’s most sacred moments.

All of the joys, challenges,and even the pains, have contributed to you being you in that moment. That’s your gift. That’s real success and fulfillment.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and speaker 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.

Use your curiosity to create a great day.

Friday, September 4th, 2009

Yesterday I wrote that changing the questions you ask yourself, changes how you experience life. Rather than thinking, What Now, you think How can you Serve.

As you start your day I would suggest that you ask yourself one more thing. Use your curiosity to create a great day. Here’s how you do it. Ask yourself what the highlight of your day is going to be. I ask in this way. “I wonder what the highlight is going to be.” I don’t know. I’m curious. As I am writing this, I’m looking at what the rest of my day looks like. As I experience the day I’m curious if this is the moment.

As a life coach I have found that most people make it way too complicated. They go through their day experiencing the same thing they did the day before. They are on automatic pilot and at the end of the day they are tired and drained.

It’s the appreciation of the little things that makes your life extraordinary. The highlights are usually little things that you take for granted. There’s that smile that someone gives you. There’s that listening to what the other person has to say. There’s seeing a beautiful cloud formation or someone playing in the park. Or savoring the flavor of a food that you particularly like….or noticing how beautiful a flower is and what it smells like.

We go through our day overlooking these finer points. But this is what makes the difference in how we experience our lives. Before you know it you have an attitude of gratitude.

And here’s what is really cool…it doesn’t take any more time to notice the little things.It just takes more attention.

JOURNEY ON

MARK
Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach, inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. Whether coaching one-on-one, speaking to groups, or leading a retreat, he shares his message that regardless of our life’s circumstances, we can find more joy and meaning in our life. He is a sought after speaker and coauthor along with Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy and other experts in the book 101 Great Ways to Improve your Life. Mark’s new book, Dancing on the River…Finding Joy and Meaning in the Midst of Change will be released in early 2010. mark@inspirepossibility.com 415.453.5016

12 INSIGHTS ABOUT LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Read Each One Carefully and Think About It a Second or Two.

1. I love you not because of who you are, but because of who I am when I am with you.

2. No man or woman is worth your tears, and the one who is, won’t make you cry.

3. Just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to, doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.

4. A true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart.

5. The worst way to miss someone is to be sitting right beside them knowing you can’t have them.

6. To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.

7. Don’t waste your time on a man/woman, who isn’t willing to waste their time on you.

8. Maybe God wants us to meet a few wrong people before meeting the right one, so that when we finally meet the person, we will know how to be grateful.

9. Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened.

10. There’s always going to be people that hurt you so what you have to do is keep on trusting and just be more careful about who you trust next time around.

11. Make yourself a better person and know who you are before you try and know someone else and expect them to know you.

12. Don’t try so hard, the best things come when you least expect them to.

REMEMBER: WHATEVER HAPPENS, HAPPENS FOR A REASON.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach, inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. Whether coaching one-on-one, speaking to groups, or leading a retreat, he shares his message that regardless of our life’s circumstances, we can find more joy and meaning in our life. He is a sought after speaker and coauthor along with Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy and other experts in the book 101 Great Ways to Improve your Life. Mark’s new book, Dancing on the River…Finding Joy and Meaning in the Midst of Change will be released in early 2010. mark@inspirepossibility.com 415.453.5016

MAKE SOMEONE SMILE–IT RELEASES ENDORPHINS

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

It has become increasingly clear to me that the way to transform your mundane everyday life into a playground of fun and opportunity is to change the way you are throughout the day. The fact that I am and thousands of others are blogging and thousands are reading our blogs speaks to the fact that just about everyone is tied to their computer speaks for itself. How many times a day do you check your email? I notice with my business that people contact me via email rather than using the phone. I find myself doing this also.

What happened to the old fashioned way of greeting each other when we smiled and asked each other how we were? It is true that often this was also mechanical but it’s time to reverse the trend and take time again for each other. Too many of us have lost the ability to engage in a warm conversation. Too many of us couldn’t connect with others even if our lives depended on it. We don’t make the effort. Real communication is an art and process.

Let’s make a start. I have an idea and a challenge. For the next week your job is to get one person a day to smile. If that is too easy then step it up to two and then perhaps three. Let me know how you do. Also 25 smiles per day on your part goes a long way. Think of all the facial muscles you’ll activate. And the neurons connecting the muscles to the brain release those good endorphins.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach, inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. Whether coaching one-on-one, speaking to groups, or leading a retreat, he shares his message that regardless of our life’s circumstances, we can find more joy and meaning in our life. He is a sought after speaker and coauthor along with Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy and other experts in the book 101 Great Ways to Improve your Life. Mark’s new book, Dancing on the River…Finding Joy and Meaning in the Midst of Change will be released in early 2010. mark@inspirepossibility.com 415.453.5016

RECOMMIT TO YOUR BETTER SELF

Monday, June 8th, 2009

We all have a desire to be seen or heard and to be acknowledged. We’re constantly working on ourselves to become a better person. There’s nothing more gratifying than knowing that we have positively impacted another’s life. It reminds us that we are on the right path. It encourages us to become the best we can be and to fully express ourselves. With that in mind, we work on cultivating a life force more expansive than our physicality. It’s that essence–that quality about who we are–that is often remembered more, than what we looked like or what we said. We wonder what we can do to cultivate this inner quality, which transcends how we show up in the world. We think of this energy as charisma or presence.

Let’s turn our attention to what we can do to expand the life force inside of us. Most, if not all of us, live too much in our heads. Our thoughts control our lives. So much so, that instead of moving forward, our good intentions, stay in our minds and don’t get acted upon.

Perhaps the most important thing you can do to shift this pattern is to live from the heart. Cultivating a spiritual practice is the pathway that leads to this way of being. There are several forces at play here. Initially you have to make a commitment to the practice, which will support you in overcoming your resistance. Resistance prevents you from moving forward and living life fully. This is especially so when cultivating a spiritual practice or discipline. That’s why it’s referred to as a “practice or discipline.” Meditation, Yoga and Tai Chi are all practices that I have worked with at various times of my life. All of them cultivate the energetic life force which often shows up in the form of magnetism or enthusiasm. As an added bonus, several studies have documented the health benefits of these various practices. Not only will your ability to handle stress become better, but the benefits to your immune system are enormous.

When speaking to groups or to individual clients, I have noticed that many people struggle with finding their life purpose and the meaning of life. Because of this they sometimes feel lonely and alienated. This won’t change until they develop a connection with a higher power, greater than they are. Once they do, they will be reminded that they share this universe with many other species.

A spiritual practice is a great beginning, but just one piece of the pie. You still need to do more to expand your life force. I am a firm believer in the value of movement. There is nothing more profound than exercise to get your energy moving. Tell the truth. How often do you exercise? By exercising you get the endorphins going. Instead of feeling sluggish, you feel an energy that wasn’t there just a few minutes before. No matter how I am feeling emotionally, after about fifteen minutes of cardio, I feel much better. But as I have said before, you have to do the work.

Once you are grounded in a spiritual practice and exercise consistently, the next step, which is to live passionately, is not too much of a stretch. Finding something that you are passionate about becomes a reason for living. No matter what it is, that passion positively affects other areas of your life. In my former career as a trial attorney there were times when I was passionate about my work. But for the most part as time went on, it became mainly a business to me and I lost my passion for my career. If I didn’t have a passion for playing music and for my spiritual life, I would have felt like I was just going through the motions. Since I did have those passions, no matter what I was doing, I was able to bring my enthusiasm with me.

The final step is to develop a consciousness of Impeccability, which extends beyond where you ordinarily stop. Most of us have a sense of integrity in our relationship with others. We do what we say we are going to do. We’re reluctant to let someone down, even agreeing to things that perhaps we don’t really want to do. As a result, quite often when we say “Yes” to someone else, we are saying “No” to ourselves… to those life-empowering agreements we have made with ourselves…such as taking the time for our spiritual practice, our self-care program which includes exercise and eating healthier. So often when we wake up in the morning we say to ourselves, “I’m not in the mood. I’ll skip it today.” I know that one well. The trap we can fall into, is that we might say the same thing the next day, and before we know it, we are out of the habit.

Resistance prevents us from fully recommitting to our better self. It affects everything we do in some way. It might be “not doing something” or it might be “not participating fully.” By developing a consciousness of impeccability we have an inner resource that helps us overcome our resistance. Imagine what your life would be like, if once you said you were going to do something, there was no more discussion and you did it.

Many years ago, my son Josh brought home from the gym a quote that uses the word Workout as a metaphor for that consciousness of Impeccability. Take the liberty to use a different word than workout if you feel so inclined.

A workout is 25 percent perspiration and 75 percent determination. Stated another way it is one part physical exertion and three parts self discipline.

A workout makes you better today than you were yesterday.
It strengthens the body, relaxes the mind and toughens the spirit. When you work out regularly your problems diminish and your confidence grows.

A workout is a wise use of time and investment in excellence. It is a way of preparing for life’s challenges and proving to yourself that you have what it takes to do what is necessary.

A workout is a key that helps unlock the door to opportunity and success. Hidden within each of us is an extraordinary force. Physical and mental fitness are the triggers that can release it.

A workout is a form of rebirth. When you finish a workout you do not simply feel better, you feel better about yourself.

I love hearing from you. Let me know what is going on in your life. Please feel free to forward Letters on Life to those in your circle.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Throughout his life, Mark has always made a practice of taking a leap of faith whenever he heard the call for something more. His life has been an unfolding journey of discovery. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. Whether coaching one-on-one, speaking to groups, or leading a retreat, he shares his message that regardless of our life’s circumstances, we can find more joy and meaning in our life. He is a sought after speaker and coauthor along with Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy and other experts in the book 101 Great Ways to Improve your Life. Mark’s new book, Dancing on the River…Finding Joy and Meaning in the Midst of Change. mark@inspirepossibility.com 415.453.5016

Embracing Change

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

We all have a unique way of communicating our story, a way that reflects our life experiences. The photographer uses a camera, the artist a brush, and the musician a melody or rhythm. As the years go by our story changes and there is more to tell. We look through a different filter, paint with a different color, sing a different song or feel a different rhythm.

When you have kids, you are reminded that graduations are a time for transition. In some ways we are always transitioning from one phase to another. We are presented with new challenges and opportunities and a new way to look at things.

It seems that in our family there is always a graduation. With one ear I listen to what the various speakers have to say. I think about how rapidly my children have changed and how I have had to let go of some of my expectations in order to stay connected to them.

As I eagerly awaited the moment of my son’s graduation, still just “listening with one ear,” the valedictorian read an inspiring poem and a few students performed original inspirational songs for the occasion. And then the principal addressed the students and their families. She made reference to Spencer Johnson’s classic parable about change, “Who Moved My Cheese.”

It is a paradox of life that while our children change rapidly, we as adults try to put the brakes on the speed of change. We like to think to some degree we are in control of our life by holding on to what we’re used too.

“No,” Hem quickly responded. “I like it here. It’s comfortable. It’s what I know. Besides it’s dangerous out there.”
Johnson, Spencer “Who Moved My Cheese?”

Just like Hem we all live in our comfort zone. It’s what we know. During many periods of my life I’ve become attached to the way things are, resisting the change that might bring it to an end. Eventually it does end. And then I’m faced with a choice. Either be unhappy or adjust to the new phase which was not necessarily what I was expecting. Through the years I’ve learned how to let go and trust that the changes that I experience in this new phase will be exciting, vibrant and full of new challenges. This letting go offers me a new way to look at life… a life in which everyday is new.

Haw said, ”Sometimes, Hem, things change and they are never the same again. This looks like one of those times. That’s life! Life moves on. And so should we.”
Johnson, Spencer. “Who Moved My Cheese?”

Nature has always been one of my most important teachers. Just look at nature’s cycles. Trees bud in the spring and by summer they are full of delicious fruit. In the Autumn, the leaves with their vibrant colors fall from the trees wistfully to the ground. By the time winter arrives most of the trees are barren and the cycle begins anew. You know for certain there’s an intelligence in nature’s way of doing things.

What if we looked at our lives in this way? We know it will be colder in the winter and warmer in the summer, so we dress accordingly. We don’t resist the cycles of nature, so why should we resist the cycles of our lives?

Now, here’s the good part. Since change is coming, we have a golden opportunity. Enjoy the moments fully when things are going well but don’t be attached to them. Be grateful for these moments and cherish them. When things aren’t going so well and you feel discouraged, see your circumstances as temporary just like the wind. Too often, when we are having a hard time, we think it will be forever. As the winds change, you can look forward to a better future. It could happen in a hearbeat. By embracing change as a way of life, you can look forward to change as opportunity, as adventure, as possibility.

It is essential that you have the tools to prepare yourself for this new way of thinking. There’s an increasing awareness of teachings from all walks of life that encourage us to be more open and flexible. As you look inward and take time for reflection through meditation and prayer you become more accepting of our differences and unique rhythms. As you continue on the journey you learn how to embrace change as a way of life.

JOURNEY ON AND DON’T FORGET TO SMILE AND LAUGH A LITTLE BIT MORE THAN YESTERDAY

MARK

Throughout his life, Mark has always made a practice of taking a leap of faith whenever he heard the call for something more. His life has been an unfolding journey of discovery. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. Whether coaching one-on-one, speaking to groups, or leading a retreat, he shares his message that regardless of our life’s circumstances, we can find more joy and meaning in our life. He is a sought after speaker and coauthor along with Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy and other experts in the book 101 Great Ways to Improve your Life. Mark’s new book, Dancing on the River…Finding Joy and Meaning in the Midst of Change. mark@inspirepossibility.com 415.453.5016

YOU ARE THE GIFT

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

When I talked with Brian in our life coaching session yesterday he was concerned about going to a gathering that his wife suggested. He wondered what he would talk about. Brian is like many people that I know and I include myself in this group that question whether what they have to say is significant. You think that whatever you say has been said a hundred times…

So you keep your thought to yourself…it remains your secret…You don’t communicate that beautiful thought that is buried deep in your mind and never give it an opportunity to come to the surface. And so it goes. After a while you find that you seem isolated. You feel like you don’t have any good friends. And with the friends you do have you are questioning the value of the friendship.

You can easily change this. It’s easier than you think. Out of your willingness to communicate, the fog lifts and that pearl of wisdom floats from the source of pure thought to your conscious mind and its expression is communicated in some for whether it a conversation, a writing, a song, or a smile.

You make your contribution to the world in this way. Your being present has significance and is a gift. Thanks for contributing..By ‘you being you,’ you make a difference in the world. There are more people waiting for you than you realize.

Don’t forget to smile and laugh a little bit more than yesterday and JOURNEY ON

MARK

Throughout his life, Mark has always made a practice of taking a leap of faith whenever he heard the call for something more. His life has been an unfolding journey of discovery. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. Whether coaching one-on-one, speaking to groups, or leading a retreat, he shares his message that regardless of our life’s circumstances, we can find more joy and meaning in our life. He is a sought after speaker and coauthor along with Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy and other experts in the book 101 Great Ways to Improve your Life. Mark’s new book, Dancing on the River…Finding Joy and Meaning in the Midst of Change. 415.453.5016 http://www.inspirepossibility.com


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