professional development

Do you Make Things more Difficult than they Need to be?

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Wouldn’t it be great if our biggest challenge is to decide what we want for our lives and in this moment. In some ways choosing what we want for our lives is easier. When we’re thinking about what we want in this moment, we have a myriad of choices, although it might not seem that way at the time. How we make decisions is an interesting exploration.

Let’s face it. We even make choosing a movie into a big deal. Perhaps you’re home in the mood for a movie. But what movie? At first you search the free menu. Then you search for the movies that are more current, most of which you have to pay a small fee. So you go thru the process. Perhaps you finally select a movie. Or perhaps you can’t make a decision and decide to do something else. This little example is a microcosm of how we make decisions in our life. We go through a process of weighing the pros and cons. Some of us might have a mindset that if its free, it’s not worth investing the time to watch it. It’s already been done. We want something more current. The bigger question is: “What is our criterion for which we give value to things.

If something comes easy to us, do we take it for granite and not value it as much. Quite often that is what happens with some of our most primary relationships. We take them for granite and don’t give them the attention they need. We have adopted the belief that if something seems too easy, we don’t value it as much. We’re already looking in a different direction, looking for our next challenge.

It’s time to adopt a new mindset. It can be easy and have great value.

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 Challenge is There to Support you

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Most of us have, at times, wished that life was a little easier. Yes we do “struggle” at times, probably more than is necessary.  It’s one thing to work hard, but when we caught up in the hysteria of not succeeding that hard work turns into struggle which can be draining and stress- invoking. The struggle is not in the ‘doing part’, but in the mental  conversation that we have with ourselves about the doing of the actual project.  Quite often the thinking about doing something consumes more energy than the actual doing.

Let’s change the concept of ‘struggle’ to ‘hard work.’   With hard work you know that in the end you will succeed if you apply yourself.  The time, energy and preparation that went into the successful completion of the project gives you a great feeling fulfillment.

If everything was just handed to us, free of difficulty and effort, then we wouldn’t have the same level of fulfillment.

The difficulties are there to challenge us to dig deeper and transcend our current level of expertise.  Every challenge provides us with many opportunities for us to be the best “us” we can be.

Recently I was the keynote speaker at an important conference. I took on the preparation for my talk as a challenge.  The enormity of the event motivated me to prepare more thoroughly than I normally would have, so that when I took the stage I was confident and didn’t have to think about what I was going to say. I felt great afterwards.  Without the challenge I wouldn’t have had the same result. The challenge is there to support you.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

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

CULTIVATING A PERSONAL LEGACY

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Most of you who read this blog have been on the path of self-discovery for some time. You think about what’s important and meaningful. You’re curious about what the future might hold for you. Perhaps you worry more than you would like.

If we sat down and talked with each other, we would find that our ideas, beliefs and concerns are quite similar. I just returned from Peru and was privileged to experience the sacred Incan city of Machu Picchu and to learn about its civilization. Let me take you back to that first day. As I boarded the train that would take me through the mountains to the town of Aguas Calientes, which lay at the base of the mountain, I was bursting with excitement. As I got off the train and walked through the markets, I glanced up at the magical little town, with the train going through its center that was the gateway to the lost city. The more vigorous folks could hike the 27 mile Inca trail, at an elevation of 10000 feet, that would take them directly to Machu Picchu.

From Aguas Calientes, we took a bus up to the city and saw it for the first time. I was in awe. Words are inadequate to describe how I felt. Mallku, a local shaman and author of Incan Power Places, shared his knowledge and wisdom about the many wonders of the ancient city. I was struck by was how similar his wisdom was to what I believed. I was reminded that there are many paths to the mountaintop. When you get there you experience an ancient peace within your heart. We all have had glimpses of what that is. As I meditated and played my flute in the many power places on the mountain I experienced that ancient peace. When Mallku related some of the concerns of this ancient civilization, I thought about how some of them were so similar to the ones we have today. For example, how do you create a technology that enables you to have sufficient water during the dry season?

On more than a few occasions, I was reminded that the more you learn, the more you realize how much you don’t know. Every culture has its own legacy and wisdom that we can learn from. It’s also true that each of us has a history and body of knowledge that we can learn from, which becomes our wisdom. It also can become our legacy if we share it with others.

Our wisdom keeps evolving the more that we allow ourselves to experience life, but it’s not that often that we take the time to sit down and just think about what that is. As you continue reading, I invite you to take a few minutes and explore what that is for you. Perhaps it’s in the form of a message to a loved one. This is what I wrote in Dancing on the River.

“I have frequently thought about what I want my children to know about life. This is my message to them and to you:

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. Let us not forget about the physiological changes that occur during the aging process. The currents of the river 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.

What worked at one time 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. There are some things we can’t control. 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.”

The trip also reminded me of the irony in life. Let me take you back once more to the town of Aguas Calientes. When Annie and I first got there, I noticed that our hotel was near the Urubamba River. Some rooms faced the train tracks, while others overlooked the river. I was hoping for the river. When I saw our room for the first time, which overlooked the river, I was excited. There was a magic that I experienced for a few minutes before departing for the ancient city. When we returned in the evening after a day of climbing, the sound of the river soothed my soul .

I looked forward to waking up early and sitting on the balcony while listening to the sound of the river. I did wake up early but not to the sound of the river. Instead it was the sound of a crane moving rocks. When I looked out at the river I saw the crane and a host of workers. I laughed to myself. An hour later we again took the bus up the mountain. I was again reminded of the perfection in life. Life happens. It has it’s own way. We let go. We all are on this journey together. We sometimes forget to laugh at ourselves.

I am excited to announce a book signing at Book Passages on October 9th for my book, Dancing on the River. In the process of writing I have come to discover what it truly means to be truly dancing on the river of life. It is a consciousness that is a reflection of a life decision that you make over and over again to be happy in the moment.

Journey On

Mark

Mark Susnow, is an executive and life coach, 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.

MAKE THE DECISION TO BE HAPPY

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Recently I’ve developed a new habit…In the morning I’ve been frequenting a new coffee shop to sip my tea and read the paper. There is a specialty paper that is only sold inside the Safeway.

I seldom shop at Safeway….usually buy organic at the farmers markets and the local health food store…but here I am early in the morning walking into Safeway…usually early in the morning things are a little slow as folks are just getting into the rhythm of the day.

Most checkers I have experienced not only at Safeway but at many markets are just putting in their time earning their paycheck.

But there is Maureen who I look forward to seeing in the morning who is high on life always smiling and laughing. Even though her checkout line is always the longest, I look forward to our brief conversation. She loves what she is doing and I am sure loves almost everything.

I couldn’t resist asking Maureen what her secret was. She told me that she feels blessed for everything that she has. It was a decision that she made many years ago. She’s grateful for her job, for her family and her health. She’s not concerned with what could have been or obsessed with what didn’t work out.

What a great way to start the morning….It doesn’t take anything extra. That big smile and enthusiasm is contagious.

Dancing on the River, which is the title of my new book, is a reflection of a life decision to be happy in the moment that you make over and over again.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive and life coach, 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.

SECRETS TO GREATER INTIMACY

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Although relationships are often unpredictable and confusing, we still try to make sense of them. So that’s what i’m doing here— sharing my perspective–so that the next time you reach that point of utter confusion you’ll have something to go on. In my book Dancing on the River there is a whole chapter on Love and Relationships.

But first a little history. There was that time when my focus was on finding the one. You know, Mr Right or Mrs Right. And then I met the one who I thought was the one, who was ready and willing and I started to freak out. I had been single for so long and so used to searching that I didn’t know what to do. Well I got over it and over 20 years has gone by.

Let me share with you 11 guiding principles to deeper intimacy:

1.Be respectful of your partner. You better think of your partner as someone who is pretty special and like who they are as a person.

2. Recognize each other’s strengths. Each of you has certain strengths and gifts. Utilize them to the benefit of the relationship.

3. Have you really made a full commitment? So many couples use every fight as a weapon to challenge the strength of the relationship. If you are really committed you cannot keep challenging the relationship.

4. Commitment to personal growth. Don’t think because you are in that “relationship” that you can stop working on yourself. For a while that was my thinking. When you stop growing you get boring and so does your partner and everything you are involved in. Growth is a lifelong process whether you are alone or with a partner.

5. You need to be flexible. Life evolves and things changes. As you change so does your partner and everything around you.

6. Develop a personal support system, independent of the relationship. Life is not a bowl of cherries, sometime you get a bad pit or a sour taste. In a long term relationship you will experience several challenges. It can be a financial setback, an illness, a loss of a loved one or a personal tragedy.

7. Have or develop a sense of humor, but not necessarily at the expense of your partner.

8. See relationships as a sacred path. In the process you’ll discover more about yourself than anything else you can do.

9. Learn how to deeply listen to each other, which means caring about what your partner longs for.

10. Create a safe vehicle or environment so that you can have authentic and honest discussions around potentially challenging subjects. Have you had a honest discussion regarding your finances? Do you have a financial plan that can work for both of you? Are you mutually responsible for the implementation of this plan?

11. Choose a partner who is capable of mutuality. Perhaps most important is whether your partner can make the commitment. Are they emotionally available?

What about you? Where do you shut down? Are there things in your life, that you refuse to look at? They’re usually are. And that’s our work.

So there it is.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive and life coach, 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.

GIVE YOURSELF A MENTAL HIGH-FIVE

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

When I talked with Sally in our life coaching session this morning we continued to focus on personal and professional development. Sally took over a professional practice over three years ago. She had concerns whether she could pay all of her bills and expenses. She has done more than that. She now has a successful practice and continues to get new clients.

Yet she doesn’t think of herself as a successful professional because she still has doubts and insecurities. I let Sally know that I have coached some professionals who were at the top of their game and they also had doubts and insecurities.

In a metaphorical sense, Sally graduated. With any profession, there are increased duties and responsibilities. With that comes rights and priviliges. I suggested to Sally that it was her time to accept the new found abundance in her life and to be grateful for her success.

As a spiritual practice and discipline I suggested that she express gratitude for the success in her life. I am encouraged by her willingness to take this on. I know that will give her a new sense of grace and dignity. It will also give her a confidence that whatever comes up she will be able to navigate life’s changes.

Like many of us, Sally is the first to criticize herself. We wouldn’t talk to a friend the way we talk to ourselves. We’re so hard on ourselves. I encouraged her to talk to herself in a more positive way. She asked me, “Do you mean a mental HIGH-5? I said exactly. So give yourself a mental high-5. Tell yourself how proud you are of what you are doing in your life and how you are handling things.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive and life coach, 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. 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 in the book 101 Great Ways to Improve your Life. Mark’s new book, Dancing on the River…Navigating Life’s Changes will be released in early 2010. mark@inspirepossibility.com 415.453.5016

It’s time to allow more joy in your life

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

In a life coaching session, yesterday, with Sally the focus was on helping her overcome her conditioning regarding abundance. Sally was beginning to reach new pinnacles of success in her accounting business. Yet she still hung onto old belief systems that were preventing her from enjoying her new level of success. She was very reluctant to invest in new equipment for her business that was technologically superior even though her business had doubled in size.

Sally had been so focused on survival and whether should would make it, that she hadn’t taken time to objectively evaluate where she was with her professional development. I suggested that for a moment that she imagine that she had planted seeds. In the beginning we don’t know which ones will make it. Eventually, some plants emerge–then our new focus is to cultivate and to enjoy them.

That’s what professional development is about. The first phase is making it. The next phase is to enjoy your success. Sally was in her new phase. It was time to enjoy the beauty in her life and to allow more joy in her life. Her apprenticeship was over.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive and life coach, 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. 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 in the book 101 Great Ways to Improve your Life. Mark’s new book, Dancing on the River…Navigating Life’s Changes will be released in early 2010. mark@inspirepossibility.com 415.453.5016


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