time management

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

THE SECRET TO OVERCOMING PROCRASTINATION

Monday, June 29th, 2009

It works. It’s easy to find an hour to do anything. What this means is that you can complete major projects without altering your schedule. Just knowing this gets rid of a lot of stress. First estimate how long you think the particular project will take. Let’s say five hours. Then schedule it into your appointment book. Then it’s a matter of honoring what’s in your appointment book. It seems that when we write something down it has more significance…It makes it more real.

Here’s another way to look at it. Think about all the things you are “good at” or perhaps were “good at”. All of them required practice and commitment. Big projects are nothing more than a bunch of little ones. A movie is really hundreds of stills moving at an accelerated pace.

Part of living in this day and age is to slow down the pace. So the movie of your life is nothing more than just a series of moments. And as you become more focused on these moments rather than the future you’ll be less stressed out. You’ll enjoy what you’re doing more and less concerned what will happen down the road.

So slow it down and enjoy the moment. The one hour formula is a good start. As you are consistent with this practice your life will be dramatically different.

Mark Susnow’s 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 will be released in early 2010. mark@inspirepossibility.com 415.453.5016

Do you know your ultimate destiny?

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

Almost everything that I have done in my life has been a stepping stone for something greater down the road, even thought I didn’t know it at the time. Perhaps you wonder if you embarked upon a wrong path. You might even think that you are wasting your time. What does that really mean? As I have said we learn from everything.

Perhaps when comparing the past to what we know now, we might think that we could have avoided some of the steps we took and some of the wrong turns. It might have been a bad relationship or a mistake in trusting a friend. It might have been selecting the wrong major in college or a dead-end job.

There have been times in my life when I have been most productive, and times when nothing seemed to get done. Both were necessary for my growth and evolution.

I don’t think we can waste time, even though I spent a year and a half in graduated school that I can’t figure out what it contributed to my life. But when I think back I realize that it kept me out of the draft. We have know way of knowing what our ultimate destiny is. Just about everything that I have done or experienced when looking back at it comes together like an invisible web. But it’s only in looking back with hindsight that the web begins to become visible.

Trust that it’s all unfolding as it should. Everyone you meet and every experience you have is all grist for the mill. You learn from it and it contributes to who you are today – even the so-called negative things.

We keep repeating the lessons of the past until we learn them and then we are ready to move on. It took many relationships to become clear as to what I wanted in a soul-mate. With each one, I learned more about myself. That’s the purpose of our life’s experiences. With each one, we learn more about ourselves and what is important to us.

It’s a lifelong journey of discovery. Enjoy the journey. Happiness is a choice that you make each moment. And remember to smile and laugh a little bit more than yesterday.

JOURNEY ON,
MARK

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, JD, is an Executive and Life Coach who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former successful trial attorney for 30 years as well as a 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. He also publishes Letters on Life, an inspirational ezine. To sign up, visit his website, http://www.inspirepossibility.com

MAKING THE CHOICE

Monday, November 10th, 2008

We are so adaptable. For the last few months I was obsessed with the election. A few times a day I must have gone to five different sites to catch the latest polls. Now it’s over.

I am in between…there’s nothing right now that has caught my fancy. I’m also a big sports fan. What’s interesting is that the most popular political site, Fivethirtyeight.com is run by Nate Silver, who used to have a sports website for sports betting. In Fivethirtyeight, Nate transferred his expertise developed in the sports world to the political world. His predictions about the ultimate outcome were quite canny.

Right now my teams aren’t doing that good. So what’s a guy like me going to do? I guess be quiet and go inward before the next big phase.

And that what’s I have been doing for many years and that’s what helps me get through the changes that occur in day-to-day living. We can’t avoid them. We have to be flexible.

It takes making a choice on your part to live consciously. It takes making a commitment to make that choice a way of being. It’s a choice that you make over and over again. Choosing to start your day with meditation. It will set the tone for the day.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. 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. His articles reflect this journey in an inspirational way. http://www.inspirepossibility.com

Get over it!

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

You are having a perfect day. It’s beautiful outside and then you get home and get back to work. You can’t get on the internet. So you do what you need to do to make it work again and it still doesn’t seem to work. So then you call your ISP.

The person you talk to is new on the job and can’t seem to help you. And then you go to pay your credit card bill. Of course there is a mistake that you called about last month that still hasn’t been cleared up.

You feel yourself start to get annoyed when you again have to call the company and go through the whole procedure of identifying yourself and explaining the problem. They say they’ll correct the problem on your next statement but of course they said that last time.

While I’m waiting on the phone…I’m listening to some good reggae music on ITunes….I’m smiling and it’s still beautiful outside.

TAKE THE TIME

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

I slept in a little later than usual. i still made my yoga class. I feel better about myself when I start my day with yoga and meditation. And I feel better in general. There is the world of external reality and our inner experience of that world. It’s only when we can transcend our thoughts about that outer world that we begin to experience that peace that we long for.

Whether it’s a life coaching session or executive coaching session my message is the same.How you start your day sets the tone for the day. My body responds well to yoga and it sets the tone for the day. As I make decisions throughout the day, I make them with more ease. I feel more of a freedom in the way I move and hold myself.

Last night I went to an important business meeting. I took just 5 minutes to center myself by meditating. Not only was I more present, I enjoyed myself the whole evening.

Take the time for your inner work. It’s difficult to become fulfilled without doing it. Make it part of your life just like flossing. Think of it this way. Flossing your teeth is your external reality. Mental flossing is your inner experience that affects everything else.

It’s ok to cut yourself some slack occasionally…but is it worth it if it affects your experience of
life.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow,JD, is an Executive and Life Coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former successful 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. He also publishes, Letters on Life, an inspirational ezine. Signup! http://www.inspirepossibility.com

A Voice for Optimism

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

My journey of the last nine years has led to many conversations some of which have been inspiring, and others a little disconcerting. There is a voice of concern and resignation that I have been repeatedly hearing that seems to be louder than the voice of hope. Many are concerned about the global and planetary challenges that we all face. At the heart of these challenges is an uncertain future. During an election year these concerns are exacerbated. Although I wrote about this earlier in the year, since that voice is getting louder I felt that it deserved revisiting.

The media bombards us with information most of which is negative. When there is an event or tragedy somewhere in the world, within seconds we are aware of it. It’s difficult to tune it out. This negativity, which is constantly reinforced, colors how we perceive our personal reality and the challenges that we experience in day-to-day living. We wonder how we can find fulfillment on a personal level when there is so much suffering and uncertainty in the world.

Lately I have been hearing a louder voice of those who are in the camp of the pessimists. They’ll rattle off the war, the economy, the environment, and our dwindling resources as justifications for their feeling the way they do. They’ll also say that it’s worse this time. When one tends to focus on what’s wrong and isn’t working, they will always find a litany of reasons to justify why they think the way they do.

I am in the camp of the optimists. No matter what is happening in my life or in the world I believe that there will be a better day. In fact I don’t think we have a choice but to be optimistic. This is so, even when there is so much suffering in the world.
I think back to the sixties. Not only did our country seem stuck in a senseless war in Vietnam, our country was hopelessly polarized. There seemed to be little hope. What made matters worse was that we were on a collision course in the bigger cold war with the Soviet Union. Numerous pundits and leading edge periodicals predicted a nuclear holocaust. I remained optimistic. This is what I wrote in a poem back then:
“Should there be a day when the visionaries of peace stop loving, then the prophets of doom will have their day of gloom.””

No matter what is happening, we don’t know how things are going to turn out. No one knows the future. Things are never as bad as they seem. Feeling pessimistic or hopeless doesn’t help things. Remaining optimistic does. Researchers estimate that we think over sixty thousand thoughts in a day, some of which are positive and others negative. The question is which one do you focus on. There’s a Native American Story that reminds me of this human dilemma.

A grandfather is discussing with his grandson a tragedy that just occurred.
The grandfather says, ” I feel like I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One is an angry vengeful one and the other is a peaceful loving one.”
The grandson then asks,” Which one is going to win?”
The grandfather replies, “The one I feed.”

I recently viewed Al Gore’s latest talk on climate change, which he presented at the TED Conference. I found another voice of optimism. While he laid out the disturbing environmental challenges before us, and the crisis in democracy that we faced, he suggested that we reframe the challenge by seeing the challenge as one that motivates us to action. He urged us to reach inside of ourselves to tap into a greatness that we never knew was possible. He went on to ask, “How many generations before us have had the opportunity to rise to a challenge that is worthy of our best efforts-a challenge that can pull from us more than we thought was possible?”

Imagine approaching your whole life in this way. What will the challenges be in the future that are worthy of your best efforts? Think of the challenges along the way that have helped you get to this point in your life; the challenges that have inspired you to surpass what you thought was possible in your life.

There’s one habit or pattern that most likely will get in your way of thinking this way. Once you have a better handle on it, you’ll feel freer and more optimistic. There’s always that voice-that voice of doubt or judgment- that limits what you think is possible in your life. I know that voice well.

It’s powerful and has been reinforced by a lifetime of negative conditioning. Here’s what I do to try to become free of it. As soon as I notice that I am thinking negatively I catch myself by talking to that voice. In coaching we refer to that voice of judgment as your “gremlin.” I suggest that you give your “gremlin” a name. I call mine Ralph.

The sooner I recognize Ralph, the sooner I am able to break free from the hypnotic spell he has over me. I remind myself that this voice has nothing to do with what’s really going on today; it’s an old habit that I adopted consciously or unconsciously many years ago. By just recognizing and noticing Ralph I am able to break free of the hold he has over me. This enables me to reframe what I initially considered a problem into an opportunity and create an empowering future.

I don’t think we can get enough inspiration in our life. It takes a conscious effort to live an inspired life. Nature has been a great inspiration for me. Sometimes it’s getting together with a dear friend or reading a great book. Sometimes it listening to music or watching a great dancer. We each have our own way of getting there. A big smile always helps. When you are living an an inspired life, no matter what the challenge is, it’s much easier to remain optimistic and to see the possibilities around you.

Share your voice for optimism by sharing this message to those in your circle.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow,JD, is an Executive and Life Coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former successful 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. He also publishes, Letters on Life, an inspirational ezine. Signup! http://www.inspirepossibility.com

MAKE THE UNKNOWN YOUR FRIEND

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

As an executive and life coach it’s not unusual to hear about the same concerns from several different people.

Usually these concerns are about the future. Will I have a job next year is a common concern. So is will my business continue to grow? What happens frequently is that this concern affects how one lives today in two different ways.

The first is that people tend to conserve more and live closer to the vest. This is not necessarily a bad thing but it can be if you shut down and use it as an excuse not to live today fully.

The other is that their concern about the future tempers their experience of today. Instead of enjoying today they think about tomorrow. This gets in the way of their experience of the “now.”

For most people the future represents the unknown. We want certainty in an ever-changing world. Impossible! What has to happen is that we need to change our relationship to the unknown.

Think of the unknown as your friend. Instead of being anxious, be curious. When you do that you allow more room for possibilities. You might want to think about the many ways in which your business can grow. You might also wonder about how great your next relationship is going to be and what you’ll learn from that person. Instead of thinking that a particular relationship won’t develop think about the many ways it will develop. Your imagination is useful in creating the picture of the life you want. After all don’t we use our imagination when we worry. So here we use in a more constructive way.

The other thing you can do is to learn to be more in the moment. Be fully present. Eckart Tolle’s book “Power of Now,” is a great work that guides you in this endeavor. Meditation and practicing non-judgment are two things you can do to help you embrace this state of mind.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

THERE’S NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW. There will always be something that holds you back; an excuse to put your life on hold. JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow,JD, is an Executive and Life Coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former successful 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. He also publishes, Letters on Life, an inspirational ezine. Signup! http://www.inspirepossibility.com

GETTING OUT OF THE BLAHS

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

In a life coaching session this morning, my client said that he had a sense of forboding. After exploring what was behind this feeling it was discovered that he felt uncertain about almost everything in his life.

Even the most enjoyable aspects of his life seemed challenging. Lately I have across others who shared his same sentiment.

What has happened is that they have become focused on the future. When they project what they see happening in the world today into the future and into their own life they get discouraged. Living and worrying about the future makes it difficult to live and enjoy the now.

We know from our work together and the work we’ve done on our own that being in the now is the key to one’s living a fulfilling life.

So what can you do to be more in the moment? Some of these suggestions I am sure you already know. But it’s good to hear them again.

Meditation….a physical discipline….exercise. Any activity that engages you. If you have too much time on your hands, you’ll be thinking about other things…anything to engage your mind. Exercise is a biggie. You just got to work it in.

Come back to your spiritual practice and if you already are committed, then deepen your commitment.

From this perspective it’s more of a natural progression to be optimistic about the future.

As you change how you think about your life, your life changes. I don’t mean to be mystical. But that’s the way it works.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

THERE’S NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW. There will always be something that holds you back; an excuse to put your life on hold. JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow,JD, is an Executive and Life Coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former successful 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. He also publishes, Letters on Life, an inspirational ezine. Signup! http://www.inspirepossibility.com

Law of Attraction or Being in the Flow?

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

We were on our way to the city to meet Jim and Fern who we haven’t seen in many years. They were in town for a conference. Our plan was to meet them for lunch, at Green’s, the vegetarian restaurant run by the Zen Center, located in Ft.Mason, the historical landmark.

I needed to be back in Marin for a series of coaching calls beginning at 3PM. This would give us plenty of time to visit, have a leisurely lunch and catch up and maybe wander around the Fort.

It was an incredibly beautiful day. As we were driving over the Golden Gate Bridge, I noticed all of the people and bicyclists making their way over the bridge. I couldn’t believe I had never done that myself. So I said to Annie, “Someday lets walk or ride our bikes across the bridge.

It was great to see them. I had known Jim for over 30 years. As we were finishing our leisurely lunch it was time to get outside. As we were getting ready to leave, Jim said that he had a favor to ask me. “Could you drop us off at Vista Point, so that we could walk back over the bridge?”

I said,”Sounds great, we’ll do that with you.”

We got in our car, drove over the bridge and parked at Vista Point, and took in the awe-inspiring views.

Our plan was to walk back with them to the North Tower. We began our walk until it was time to say “good-bye” and turn around.

As we were saying our “good-bye’s”, they mentioned that they were thinking of going dancing that evening. They said that they had been hearing a lot about West-Coast Swing, but didn’t know much about it.

Both Annie and I simultaneously replied, “We have been working on this dance for over a year now.”

And then they asked, “What’s it like?”

We took that as an invitation. “Watch, we’ll show you,” we replied.

And before you knew it we were dancing at the foot of the North Tower on the bridge.

As we got back in our car and drove back to our house, I kept smiling as I was thinking, Was this the Law of Attraction working or just being in the flow?

I’m not really sure and I don’t even know if it matters, but either way we had a great day.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

THERE’S NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW. There will always be something that holds you back; an excuse to put your life on hold. JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. 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. He also publishes, Letters on Life, an inspirational ezine. Signup! http://www.inspirepossibility.com.


Signup for our Email Newsletter

...and get inspired every month!

Close this popup

Would it be helpful to discover the self-defeating habits and limiting beliefs that are preventing you from living the life you really want? As a thank-you, you will have access to our Self-Assessment test.