personal growth and development

Make Time for the Jollies

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

There is an expression that I came up with a few years ago…it was actually more than a few years ago—which is Make Time for the Jollies.

What i mean by that expression is to take time everyday to do something that gives you pleasure…we all have things we like to do, but very few of us, make them a priority. Regardless of how busy you are, you can always take a few minutes to do something that is fun…you’ll still have your “to do” list, but taking five or ten minutes or even an hour, won’t get in the way of your completing your list. What you’ll find is that when you are working on your list, whether it’s a mental list or a physical one , you’ll be more efficient and productive and be able to complete it in less time. You’ll also enjoy the process of completion more.

It doesn’t matter so much what it is, it could be a dance class, going to the gym, writing in your journal, going to a yoga or Tai Chi class or taking a walk in the woods…What does matter is that you do something. Every day! Make it a necessity. When I was younger I made time for a run every day. Smiling is a big component.

Having a morning ritual, helps in making the jollies a part of you life. You have the time. You just need the commitment.

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

From “the Soul of Uncertainty.” A thought…in the midst of the storm, somewhere in the clouds and in the darkness there is a rainbow. Keep looking for it, and you’ll see it. Our lives are the same way. In the midst of the loose ends and uncertainty in our lives, there are possibilities and opportunities and of course rainbows. Enjoy them.

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.

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.

The Challenge of the Times

Friday, April 4th, 2014

The world is changing faster than it has ever before. It’s challenging to keep up with the latest. Our greater dependency on technology fuels this trend. We know what the advantages to technology are. We have more opportunities and greater conveniences than we have ever had before. The advances in health care are enormous and the promise of the future is encouraging but the challenges are increasing.

The first challenge is how to wed our greater dependency on technology with our sense of self. Technology gives us the opportunity to connect with almost anyone anywhere, which leads to the concern that if we are not in instant communication we might miss out on something.—that text or call that pertains to a different reality than the one we are engaged with at the present moment.

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.

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 or the conversation we are having with someone else. Our minds are constantly at work trying to figure that out. We don’t know how to still the mind. We don’t know how commit to just being.

What has been lost is the ability to connect with others and to work together. The flow of our conversation and ideas has been interrupted so that we aren’t able to go deeper. The irony is that none of us like to be interrupted but that is exactly what happens. What makes it worse, is that 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.

All of this leads to a greater sense of isolation. Even when we want to connect face-to-face we’re not exactly sure how to go about doing it. Communication is an art form and, like other art forms, needs to be practiced. We get better the more we do it. There is nothing better than connecting with another. In fact when we become master communicators it’s magical.

Perhaps the biggest challenge is how to make peace with an uncertain future. That uncertainty is there in almost all facets of our lives—our safety, our finances, our health, and our sense of wellbeing. The rapid technological changes contribute to this uncertainty.

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 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.

Here’s a suggestion. For one precious moment, learn to trust it’s all going to work out. For that one moment just be. Then 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—plan your digital detox now.

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.

There are more and more articles in the main stream about the practical and spiritual benefits of having a mindfulness practice. Meditation in the morning is an essential practice to cultivate in this rapidly changing world.

“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 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.

THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR YOU

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

What if you paused for a second and assessed where you are at in your life, at this moment in time. But let’s make this assessment, using different guidelines, which will give your life a perspective that acknowledges your greatness and your resourcefulness.

What I would like you to do is to reflect upon the last five years, and for each year, think about what accomplishments, insights, change in attitude you are most proud of. This change in perspective is powerful. To make it even more powerful, you might want to consider taking time to journal what you come up with.

Focusing on what you are most proud of, will definitely raise your level of self worth and esteem. It also will put a smile on your face. I even have one now as I am writing this. You discover your uniqueness and the gifts you bring to the world. From this perspective you are more likely to share yourself with others.

As we share ourselves with others, there is a greater likelihood that we will connect with other kindred souls who are on the same journey. Doesn’t it feel great when we connect with those people who get who we are? When this occurs, we feel empowered to keep reaching out and exploring possibilities that we never considered before. In the process we connect with deeper levels of joy and fulfillment.

The world is waiting. Be the best you, you can be.

Happiness and joy and fulfillment are now yours. Live them
today in your own special way.

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 and Discover the Leader Within.

EXPAND HOW YOU DEFINE SUCCESS

Monday, May 21st, 2012

When I was an attorney, quite often I would have an internal debate as to whether I was successful. I would think of other attorneys who I knew and compared myself to them. Of course how well I knew them was a different thing. Some seemed to have the nice office, the nice car and talked the big game. But the rest of their life.

And then I was involved in a major case that was quite publicized. Now I was successful I thought to myself. Still there were the “but’s;” I don’t make as much money as they do.

And so it went until finally I started making more money. Even then I didn’t feel successful because the other attorney’s cases seemed bigger and more difficult. EVen though other attorneys thought of me as successful, I still had my doubts. There was always an excuse or reason why I didn’t consider myself successful until one day I made a decision.

It was trying on a new set of clothes. You’re not sure how you about them until you get that first compliment. My self image was changing. I began to consider all of the facets of my life. I was happily married and enjoyed family life. I was a musician and performed occasionally. I had a good life and yet…..and then I stopped resisting.

From that point on, I considered myself successful. I expanded my definition of success to include much more than my career and what I did. And the truth was I felt happy most of the time. With this new self image I also began to think of my law practice differently. I was a successful attorney.

And then when I made the career change. I took the new self image with me. I had a good life.
I’ve been on this path for the last 12 years. Always more challenges and more opportunities.

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.

CREATING THE MOMENTUM TO MOVE FORWARD

Monday, May 14th, 2012

There is always that balance between learning something new and enjoying the process of learning. It takes, effort, focus and commitment. Sometimes we feel energized while at others we feel drained.

In the initial phases of the learning process, we might be excited; “I’m going to get into dancing,” we think to ourselves. So we start going to classes and it’s harder than we thought. We do make some progress, but when we look around the room we don’t feel very graceful. We seem to never get “there” and then one day we stop. At some point the process repeats itself with something different. We never quite get to the elusive “there.”

In the initial phase of whatever you were learning, you would have been happy to get to the place where you were before you stopped. Rather than focusing on how difficult it’s been and how difficult progress will be in the future, rejoice in what you have accomplished. Cherish the moment. Be mindful of it.

The momentum to move forward comes from recognizing how much you achieved up to now. Let’s say you’ve been at it for six months. Think about where you were in the beginning. Imagine where you will be six months from now and what you will have to do to get there. If you keep at it, most likely you’ll surpass your expectations.

To move forward, it is essential to enjoy where you are now. Enjoy that place, enjoy that moment and enjoy the journey.

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.

GO BEYOND JUST GETTING IT DONE

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Are you just putting in time or are you trying to go beyond? In a day, there are many mundane tasks that are required, such as putting gas in our car, going to the grocery store, or having that cup of coffee. Do we just show up, do what we have to do, and move on. Do we smile at the person in the gas station or in the coffee shop. Do we really look at them? We’re there but how present are we.

Even with the most mundane tasks, we can find satisfaction by putting in a little more effort, not necessarily by doing more work, but by getting into it and making it a meditation or an experience.

I know I’m weak in the kitchen, but I have found that when I turn on some music I get into it more. At the gas station, I smile at the person I give the money to. Yes we have responsibilities and obligations that are part of everyday living. We have to do them. Rather than agonizing over them, get into them and transform them in rewarding experiences. By putting in a little more effort, you can make a big difference in your everyday life.

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.

TAKE TIME

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

I am amazed at the number of times that I have met someone who knew me at a different time in my life. Sometimes I don’t even remember who they are or how I met them until they tell me the story. I “Take Time” to listen, to smile and to say, “Thank-you.”

We always seem to remember the story. That’s what connects us. When you’ve lived for a while those meetings, which remind you of the story, seem to occur more frequently. The synchronicity of these meaningful coincidences becomes the norm rather than the infrequent occurrence.
You begin to expect them. They add a richness to your life that contributes to your sense of fulfillment.

By the time you’ve reached the wisdom years you’ve gained perspective and more stories. You’ve seen the changes and lived through them. You know that it’s never as bad as it seems, and if something is too good to be true, it usually is, but not always.

My journey so far in this new millennium has been full of changes, more than I anticipated. Even though there’s part of me that accepts that life is a great mystery I haven’t stopped trying to make sense of it all; trying to make everything fit into a nice package which it never does.

Each time that I experience one of those chance encounters that provides a missing piece to the puzzle, there is a thought that deeply resonates within me. It makes greater sense to me now than it ever did. We are in the process of gathering our tribes!

What we do and say attracts our tribe. Unless we speak from our heart and share what has meaning, it will be difficult for our tribe to find us, or for us to find them.

What also gets in the way, is that we seem to find ways to occupy every minute of our day. We’re always busy “doing.” Rather than taking time and just being present, we think about the next item on our “to do” list. If we don’t “Take Time” to really know ourselves how can we get to know others. WE ARE MISSING A GREAT OPPORTUNITY. Recently, at a gathering, a friend read a poem that is a great reminder.

TAKE TIME

Take time to Think
It is the source of all power.

Take time to play
It is the source of perpetual youth.

Take time to Read
It is the fountain of wisdom

Take time to Pray
It is the greatest power on earth.

That time to love and be loved
It is a God given gift.

Take time to be Friendly
It is the road to happiness.

Take time to Laugh
It is the music of the soul.

Take time to Give
It is too short a day to be selfish.

Take time to Work
It is the price of success.

Take time to Receive
It is the key to giving.

Anonymous

Sometimes a story is the best way to give us perspective. “Take Time,” to be in this story with me.

“You’re on the way to the airport. You get on the plane with a book that you’ve been planning to read for quite some time. As you open your book, you notice that the person sitting next to you is trying to catch your eye so that they can start a conversation. A few minutes later you are asked a question and you reluctantly answer. You lower your book a bit to be polite and after a few minutes you find yourself putting your book down and engaging in a brief conversation, although with a lack of enthusiasm. A few minutes later, the process is repeated, until the person next to you, let’s call him John, makes an observation about you that’s quite perceptive and sensitive. You start to become curious about who John is and in the course of the conversation, he tells you of an experience he has only shared with a few people. You let John know that you have had a similar experience. By now you’re totally engaged and listening to every word he says. You notice every nuance in the inflection of his voice and the way he is animated. Time seems to stand still and the next thing you know the plane lands. You say goodbye to the kindred soul you have just met.”

We all would love to experience these moments more often. We crave deeper connection in our lives, but our ability to connect is a lost art. Until we take time to really listen and to be fully present, we won’t be able to develop the art of connecting with another.

Connection transcends titles, race, gender, age and anything we can think of. From this bond of connection anything is possible, but we have to be in a receptive place; a place in which we take the time to be present. As with most things in life, the journey is a process that starts with the intention to experience more connection in our busy lives.

As your commitment deepens, you’ll notice that those magical moments, when you experience true connection, seem to occur more often.

This new found magic then becomes the gateway to a more fulfilling life.
 When you think about it, it’s the way it should be. In the bigger picture, we are part of one human family. At our core we have the same human needs and desires. We have the need to love and be loved. We want to know that our life has meaning. When we connect with a kindred soul we are reminded that we are not alone and that we are connected to something much greater than ourselves.

Take time to share this blog with those in your circle.

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.

BE THAT PERSON

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

There are so many labels that define us and how we think. It’s difficult to get beyond those labels. When I was a trial attorney, at times that was all people wanted to hear. They didn’t want to hear that I was also a musician, that I was into meditation and yoga and all of the other things that were important to me.

If we let those external labels and opinions define us, then we limit what is possible in our lives. What we think we are capable of changes from time to time. We build on little successes. Over time we experience a different realm, one in which we didn’t know was possible.

We learn to trust our internal guide that lets us know that we are going in the right direction. But when we listen to other people, rather than paying attention to our internal guidance, we limit what is possible in our lives. We stop. We don’t follow through.

Once we let the external labels of limitation define us, which are usually determined by a set of guidelines that pertain to the average person, we get shoved into a box that is difficult to break out of.

As we navigate our life’s journey, we progress into a world in which what we’re capable of is totally different that what we thought at one time in our lives. It’s exciting.

I’ve been referred to as a dreamer by some and a visionary by others. You are not defined by your past. Today is the first day of your life. Decide where you want to go. Decide who you want to be and be that person.

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.

JUST GETTING STARTED

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Perhaps you are a procrastinator. You wait and you wait and finally get to it when you’ve run out of excuses. We’ve all had this tendency at times. Even when you get to it, you resist letting it go thinking that there is always something else you can do.

When we’re finally done we realize that we spent more time thinking about completing the project than it actually took to do it. What were we avoiding? Was it the fear of failure or were we just a little bit lazy. Maybe a little of both. Usually once we sit down and begin the project it goes quicker than we thought. But it’s just getting started where the resistance is.

Every month I write a monthly ezine. I have many excuses why I keep putting it off——the most common is, “What am I going to say?” Eventually I get to it. I start with an idea and once I sit down and begin the process, although challenging, I enjoy the process. That’s the way it is almost every time.

Doing taxes is another example of putting things off. I spend more time thinking about doing them than it actually takes to do them. Once I begin I get it done in less time than I anticipated.

What I’ve learned to do is to break down whatever project I’ve been working on into segments. Today I’ll get this segment done. And then tomorrow I’ll do the next segment. When I was a trial lawyer I also prepared in that way. I broke it down. On this day I’ll get this done and then the next day, I’ll go on to the next segment.

Once you get going, there is a sense of accomplishment afterwards. But it’s a process. Learn to love it because tomorrow there will be something else that needs to get done.

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.


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