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Life Coach, Personal Development Coach - ACC, Professional Organizer, Career Coach - Coaching Leaders, Entrepreneurs, and Creatives to Wake Up and Live Better. 

The Wake-Up

 

 

The Domino Effect

John Kalinowski

"Different" is a fertilizer for growth.

"Different" makes way for "different."

"Same" makes way for "same." 

It's a Domino Effect. 

"Different" can be uncomfortable.

Find comfort in discomfort.  

Your life will open up.

#redpill

xJohn

A Question that Can Change Your Life

John Kalinowski

life coach nyc personal development opportunity

What's the Opportunity?

I ask myself this question all the time. In moments of doubt it keeps me from going to a dark place, that fear place, the one where I'm thinking/feeling, "Oh my God, this sucks! What am I gonna do?? What if it doesn't work? What if I can't figure it out? What if it all falls apart??" 

And more often than not I also stumble onto an answer to the question, because, the funny thing is, there is almost always an answer to "What's the Opportunity?" 

It's usually easier to ask ourselves that question when everything's stable. But when things suddenly shift or don't go our way many of us make a mental/emotional beeline to resistance, stress, anger, anxiety, and depression. "Oh no, I didn't get the job I wanted." "Oh no, I didn't get the loan I wanted, or the man or woman I wanted - life is so unfair." 

That's just victim-thinking and for many of us it can spiral into a whole mess of "I'm not worthy" and "why don't good things happen to me." Well, they're probably not going to happen to you if you always revert to playing the victim every time life doesn't go your way.

What's the Opportunity? 

We squander opportunities all the time because we're so consumed by fear and victim-thinking. Of course there are really traumatic things that happen like death, divorce, and health issues. But even then, there are so many instances where the events were hard for everyone at first, then they paved the way for some really significant personal development and healing. But only when the people involved were open to the opportunities.

So, when the shit hits the fan and things don't turn out the way you want, acknowledge your disappointment, cry about it, grieve if necessary, but even in the worst of circumstances there is an opportunity for something good to come of it. You just have to be open. Only then will you see that maybe dropping your phone was an opportunity to unplug, or getting fired from your job was the nudge you needed to make a career change and get your ass back to the gym.

You can be your own coach by asking yourself this one question, "What's the opportunity?"

(But beware, you might turn into one of those "glass half-full" people.)

Have a beautiful week!

John

5 Minutes To Accomplish Anything

John Kalinowski

The title of this piece is pretty much the whole enchilada. 

You can do anything with 5 minutes. Meditation, planning your day, working out, learning a language, or writing a book... If you just commit 5 minutes a day (or 5 minutes a week!) to a task, you will move it forward. You could feel calmer, healthier, more focused, more accomplished, all from 5 minutes a day. Who the hell doesn't have 5 minutes? 

I've seen myself (still see myself) procrastinate on a number of things I've wanted to accomplish because I didn't feel like I had an hour or more per day to work on it. So I did nothing. Funny how nothing creates more nothing. And everyone knows how amazing you feel when you procrastinate and don't do the things you want or need to do. It feels shitty, and it brings you down.

But through my coaching practice and understanding more about personal development, I've come to realize that all we need is 5 minutes. Start there. And watch it accrue! There's a reason why billionaire Warren Buffett is obsessed with The Power of Compound Interest - because everything adds up. 5 minutes per day is 35 minutes per week, 2.25 hours per month and over 30 hours per year. Boom.

That's 30 hours spent on something that you would have spent zero hours on before. But there is one additional requirement - if you just show up to a task for 5 minutes then it is REQUIRED that you give yourself a gold star, i.e. a pat on the back, a "nice job!". That's the only way this works. Beating yourself up about how you should have done more will derail everything. 

So, what's one thing you want to accomplish? Write it down and commit to 5 minutes per day. If you go longer great, but start with 5 minutes and then sit back and watch it compound.

Have a beautiful week!

John

The Wake-Up

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development matrix

"What is... real? How do you define 'real'? If you're talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then 'real' is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain." - The Matrix (1999)

We are all on auto-pilot in some way, shape or form, blindly accepting the "reality" and the programming with which we've been indoctrinated. 

If I were to offer you a red pill to fully wake up, see yourself, your thoughts, your decisions, and everyone around you in perfect clarity, would you do it?

Or would you take the blue pill to stay blissfully ignorant, asleep at the wheel, plowing through potholes oblivious that there's another road entirely?

We all travel 'round and 'round on the same unconscious loops every day. 

Work, money, relationships, and even how you organize your sock drawer - all of these are informed by the programming we've been receiving since birth. 

Question... Everything.

Family, friends, school, religion, media, government, corporate America.

If you've never questioned or renegotiated the primary relationships in your life, then you're probably asleep at the wheel in some, if not all, of them. 

The most integral relationship to renegotiate is the one with yourself and your thoughts. 

Welcome to The Wake-Up - a blog, a Youtube channel, and (soon) an online store.

I'll be sharing my own "wake-ups" and hopefully inspiring a few of yours. Below is my latest:

Cheers to the #redpill!

John

"I'm SO Busy..." or Are You?

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

There’s something very gratifying about being able to tell people how busy you are. Somehow it serves as a badge indicating that you’re very important, very successful, and clearly an overachiever. I can’t tell you how many times I catch myself and the people I know saying, “I’m so busy.” That’s not to say that people don’t have a lot going on, because they do! Many people have careers and spouses and children and that can be a recipe for a very busy life! But, we make it even busier by always thinking and talking about how busy we are.

What if you just stopped telling people you’re busy? What if you just erased it from your vocabulary? What would happen? Would you lose a piece of your identity? Maybe it would feel like you’re cheating yourself out of a certain status that comes along with being “busy?” But, what about happiness? What about balance? Wouldn’t it be worth trading in the constant “I’m busy, I’m busy” for “I’m getting everything done and feeling stable and balanced?”

Something I’ve realized is that I get a lot more done when I’m not constantly running through a mental laundry list of everything I have to do and telling myself how busy I am. Instead, I write things down in various places, I try to maintain a schedule/planner for when I’m going to do them, and I find myself doing most everything without thinking about the actual amount I have to accomplish. Without the “I’m so busy; I don’t have time for anything” feeling, I actually end up being more productive.

There are tons of options to keep yourself on track: there are To-Do apps for your phone, Daily Planners, notebooks, or you can even maintain your task list on a hanging white board. The simple act of extracting things from your head and parking them somewhere, and taking a moment each day to plan what you’re going to tackle, can help to quiet that constant mental laundry list and leave you feeling less busy and less stressed. Who doesn’t want that?

Have a beautiful week!

John

You CAN Have What You Want

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

Every January I try to pick a word that will set my overall intention for the year. This year I chose the word, “flourish.” Surprisingly “flourish” wasn’t necessarily about money, but rather my entire life, from having more friends to being in better shape, and just feeling generally good about myself. And guess what? That’s what has been happening. The only real difference is how I’m managing my thoughts, and that I’ve been saying, “Yes,” especially to things that make me uncomfortable.

I’ve spent a lot of time in my life feeling like I didn’t have enough. I remember years ago my friend Cyndi was visiting from California and I had been trying to find a full-time job for quite awhile, with no luck. Though I had a nice roof over my head, clothes to wear, and food to eat, I kept telling myself that I didn’t have any money. One day, toward the end of Cyndi’s visit, she said to me, ”All I keep hearing from you is, ‘I’m broke, I’m broke, I’m broke.’ If you’re constantly telling yourself you’re broke, how do you expect to see the opportunities when they present themselves?” Boom!

That really landed for me. If we are constantly focused on what we don’t want, how can we expect to be open to attracting and seeing what we do want? Just think about how you feel when you’re having thoughts like, “I’m broke” or “I’m fat” or “I’m alone.” For me personally, those thoughts make me feel defeated and desperate and closed off. How do you respond when you encounter someone who seems defeated, desperate, and closed off? Do you want to be their friend? Do you want to hand them a great opportunity? Most people would probably say, “No.”

This year, I’m attracting more opportunities than I’ve ever had, I have more friends than I’ve had in a long time, and I’m the happiest I can remember being. It hasn't always been easy. It takes a lot of work. But, much of that work I can do anywhere at any time by diligently steering my thoughts away from the unproductive chatter, affirming myself in some way, and allowing myself to say, “Yes.” Yes to stepping outside of my comfort zone, yes flourishing, and yes to life.

Have a beautiful week!

John

5 Minutes to Find Happiness

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

We were all raised in a world where we place a huge amount of importance on what other people think of us. We are still “keeping up with the Jones’”, or maybe now it’s the Kardashians. Whether these people are actually neighbors at the end of your suburban cul-de-sac, or close friends or total strangers, we live in a culture obsessed with acquiring “stuff” and status and importance in the eyes of others, and none of it actually makes anybody “happy.”

For me, it’s so deeply programmed in my psyche that I don’t even realize I’m chasing after the Jones’ until I’m running so fast that I fall on my face. It’s then that I ask if this is just another thing outside of myself that I am hoping will fill me up and “make” me happy? More money, an impressive career, a hot body, a beach house… do any of these things actually help me learn how to be happy on a day-to-day basis? Nope. Happiness only stems from learning to love myself and others on a deeper level. But, I can’t always see that.

Each day I have to practice detaching from my thoughts, so that I can see more clearly. My most important tool is meditation. Six years ago I began by taking just five minutes every morning to close my eyes and focus on my breath. When a thought passes through my head, I just keep coming back to the rhythm of my breathing. This practice helps me to listen to myself on a deeper level, which is where the real answers are, and the way in which I continue to gain a firmer grasp on what happiness really means.

Somewhere deep inside, we each know the answers. Happiness is nothing you can acquire, it comes from unearthing the calm peaceful loving core that exists in each one of us, and using it to navigate all of the challenges we face. It’s one challenge at a time, one day at a time. But, the more we practice even just five minutes per day, the easier it becomes.

Have a beautiful week!

John

Waiting For Life to Start

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

One of the biggest traps we fall into in this achievement-focused time is the idea that everything will be better when... Everything will be better when you meet that soul-mate, when you find or quit that job, when you fill up that bank account, when you buy that house, when you have that child, when you publish that book, when you catch your big break, or when you retire. The truth is whatever you’re waiting for will never bring the happiness you expect because you have to be able to be happy now in order to be happy when.

Marianne Williamson says, “the top of one mountain is just the bottom of the next.” There will always be a mountaintop we’re trying to reach, but the key to happiness is finding joy and fulfillment in the climb. Everything in the outside world is temporary. Happiness is internal. Marriage, parenthood, homeownership… all of them hold the allure of security. But, the reality is, security is a myth. The only thing we can truly control is how we respond to the constantly shifting terrain of life.

Sometimes I think about how happy I’ll be when I have reached a certain level of financial comfort, while other times I look in the mirror and think how much happier I’ll be when I can see the outline of those abs just a little more clearly. But, it’s not true. I can be just as happy anytime I want. I can choose to affirm and embrace my body or my life exactly as it is, while still working to improve it. “I love my life just as it is, and am working to make it even better.” That’s where confidence comes from. That’s where happiness comes from.

What if this whole adventure comes to a screeching halt tomorrow and you’ve just spent a lifetime waiting for all of the things that symbolize happiness? And all you had to do to be happy was be willing to look at it differently, to find the Gratitude where you didn’t see it before? Though it’s not always easy, it is simple. It’s about making it a daily practice to show up for the climb, be fulfilled by the journey, and allow the triumphs to be beautiful moments to savor, rather than the reason for living. 

Have a beautiful week!

John

Finding The One

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

I’ve always heard that “The One,” is a special person with whom we fall madly in love and live happily ever after. It’s a beautiful idea for sure, but it’s also a very limiting idea and ends up feeling like a whole lot of pressure. I mean, what if you think you met The One, but years later they no longer feel like The One? Or what if you haven’t met The One yet and they’re nowhere in sight? What then? More importantly, what does The One even mean???

I subscribe to the idea that life is a series of learning experiences all geared to teach us how to grow into more loving people. “The One” is just a special person who has something that your soul needs to learn in order keep growing, and their soul has something to learn from you as well. Sometimes a relationship with The One may last for many years or even a lifetime, but it can also last a few months, or even a few hours. The point is that not every romantic partner is meant to be your partner forever. The One is just The One for as long as both parties are still growing.

A relationship is not a failure simply because it didn’t last a certain amount of time. The only failure is if you don’t learn what you need to learn from that relationship. But, the beauty of failure is that it’s just a steppingstone to success. By missing an important lesson in one relationship, you’ll be that much more available to learn it in the next. We have a lot to learn in a lifetime, and we have to give ourselves some grace along the way.

Life is not meant to be boxed up and topped with a perfect little bow; it’s an ongoing journey of self-discovery. It’s imperfect and uncertain, and the only real requirement is that you allow it to unfold in whatever way necessary for you to become the best, happiest, most loving person you can be.

Have a beautiful week!

John

Jumping The Gun

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

Too many times in my life I’ve pigeon-holed myself into doing something a particular way because I couldn’t see beyond my own stress, fear, or impatience to take a more measured approach. Note to Self: I do not make the best decisions under stress. I might be able to get the job done and I might even make reasonably “good” decisions, but they are not going to be my best decisions. My best decisions come when I am grounded, centered, grateful, open, and I am giving myself permission to be exactly where I am, even if it’s not necessarily where I want to be.

A few years ago, when I took the leap into coaching full-time, I was convinced that the natural next step was to find an office. The problem was that when I left my part-time job I hadn’t yet built up my clientele to be able to pay my current bills, let alone take on another big expense. But, in my mind, I was convinced that if I was going to attract the right type of clients then I needed to have certain things in place, and that meant an office. So, that’s what I did, and I ended up taking on a bunch of unnecessary stress and debt.

I did eventually attract those clients and become financially stable, but in hindsight, it was probably a little too early in my career to have an office, assuming I ever even needed one at all. But sometimes we become overwhelmed by how we think things should look or by our impatience with how slowly things are moving instead of allowing ourselves to be where we are, especially if that means being a beginner. Sometimes we just need to wait until we have a clearer plan, a little more money, experience, or even confidence before we ascend to that next level.

Reaching the top of the mountain can be really exciting, but so can the climb itself. These days I have plenty of goals, and as I work toward them I try to give myself permission to enjoy each stage of the process.

Have a beautiful week!

John

Gimme a Break... From Myself

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

I think too much, and sometimes it’s nonstop: “There’s a blue Jaguar, it’s such a beautiful day, I need to cut my hair, look at the pants she’s wearing, why is she with that guy, I should call my mom tonight, I can’t believe how much work I have to do, when am I going to do my laundry…” and so on. Sometimes I’ll have entire conversations or arguments in my head, sometimes aloud, and yup, if somebody saw me I would look like a total nutjob. I’ve also become acutely aware of how this barrier of constant thoughts is keeping me from being my happiest, most productive self. So, I decided that it’s time to get it under control.

In the book, “The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer, he says that when your mind starts chattering you just simply have to notice it. That’s it. You just say to yourself, “there’s the chatter again,” and the chatter immediately starts to fade. You don’t judge it, try to stop it, or get annoyed by it. You just acknowledge it, and suddenly your mind is a bit quieter. The trick is consistency. If you can consistently notice that stream of thoughts over the span of days and weeks then you will start to find that your mind is chattering a lot less often, giving you a lot more time to think about things you actually want to think about.

The other thing you’ll start to notice is that you say some really mean things about yourself and other people. Once you learn to take a step back from your thoughts, you’ll also see that the negative ones are just threads leading back to some old story or wound from your past which is requesting your attention and healing. Thoughts like, “You’re not good enough. You’re so fat, stupid, or selfish. Nobody will ever love you.” All of these stem from some old story or stories and it’s up to you to recognize it and let those stories go. All it takes is willingness. Each time you catch yourself in your old story just notice the thoughts, take a step back, and affirm your willingness to let it go: “I’m willing to release this story so that I can heal.” Over time, your mind will get a little clearer, your heart a little lighter, and your life a little richer.

Have a beautiful week!

John

This piece was inspired by the book, “The Untethered Soul,” by Michael Singer.

When People Are "Wrong"

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

Last week I gave a free consult to a prospective client and the next morning I had an angry, accusatory email in my inbox. What in the heck happened?! Well, I was honest and encouraging and supportive (for free), but I also conveyed that I didn’t feel like we were the right fit. Maybe there were hurt feelings? Maybe I really was the horrible coach she said I was? I’m not really sure, but I still had to ask myself what I could learn from this situation. How is this happening FOR me instead of TO me? When I reflected back over the past several weeks I had quite a wake-up call.

I’ve been acting like a bit of a bully lately. No I haven’t been beating kids up on the playground or abusing anybody in my life. But in moments when I’ve been unhappy with a particular service or product that I’ve received or with the way somebody treated me, I’ve been very vocal and feeling very entitled about how wrong they were, how right I was, and how I expected them to fix it. Maybe that sounds fair to some people, and I agree that we need to be able to voice our dissatisfaction if someone or something disappoints us. However, it’s about HOW we go about doing it.

The key is to see every moment as an opportunity. Each experience, “good” and “bad,” is simply a means to teach us how to love ourselves and others in a more profound way. Loving ourselves and others doesn’t mean making anybody “wrong” simply because we’re disappointed. If I expect to live a loving, abundant life then I need to trust that I will always get what I need, even if I may not always get what I want. So, in those disappointing moments we can simply say, “What’s the most loving approach for myself and the other person(s)?” If you take a second to ask yourself that question on a regular basis, the most loving approach will also become the most natural one.

Have a beautiful week!

John

Knowing Your Limits

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

I started this week exhausted. Last weekend I had four of my closest friends in town and of course I wanted to spend quality time with each of them. This was in addition to other plans I had with other friends who actually live here. But the reality is that quality time means a party, brunch, an afternoon in the park, dinner, a show, a yoga class, another party, and many drinks throughout. It was a fantastic weekend, but it doesn’t mean it didn’t wear me out.

So, how do we fit it all in?! How do we have fun with friends, do the things we want to do, and still maintain our energy to be productive? Well, if we have a busy week ahead of us and we really want to stay on top of things then we have to be realistic about what we can do. That said, the first harsh reality is that drinking is not imperative. (Wait, what?!) Yes, you heard me, drinking is not imperative. Sometimes that means being super selective about when, where, and how much, or sometimes that means not imbibing at all.

Secondly it’s about knowing that regardless of who you are, you need to rest in order to function at an optimal level. It can feel unproductive to take a break when you have a million things to do, but so much evidence shows that regular breaks, a full night’s sleep, days off and vacations actually make you more productive overall. I’ve never seen anyone running on all cylinders in every area of their life without prioritizing downtime.

The truth is, we get to have it all! But, it requires setting boundaries. Sometimes that means saying, “No” to having that drink, saying, “No” to your friends or family, or even saying, “No” to your boss. And sometimes that means sitting down at the end of each day and planning out the next one to insure that you’re getting everything done while setting aside time for rest. Because being truly productive depends on being truly rested.

Have a beautiful week!

John

The Truth Can Hurt

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

Most of my life I’ve been known for being too blunt. When I was younger, it was a way for me to shock people for attention and to take out some of my adolescent aggression. As I got a little older, it wasn’t quite as cute for me to act that way, so I had to learn to take it down a notch and become more aware of how people might receive my “honesty.” In other words I had to develop more compassion. But, ironically enough, as I’ve settled into adulthood, it’s become clear that compassion is not all about being sweet and accepting. Real compassion can actually require using some of the bluntness I’ve been working to tame.

Brené Brown says it best: “compassion cannot exist without boundaries and accountability.” So, even though it’s important to have compassion for someone else’s situation, it’s also important to set boundaries and accountability for the behavior we’re willing to accept from the people around us. In other words, real compassion can actually require having tough conversations from time to time. But, that’s part of loving somebody, to step up and lovingly share what you’re seeing when they might not be able to see a situation clearly for themselves.

Where I’ve been tripped up, and still am sometimes, is in thinking that I’m sharing something from a place of “honesty” when it might actually be tinged with judgment or nagging. One thing I’ve learned is that I should often ask permission before I launch into a tough conversation, and that the more I try to understand the other person’s position rather than blaming them for being in that position, the more likely it is that the conversation will have the desired impact. That said, if you avoid the tough conversations altogether, then you may actually be enabling bad behavior in the people around you, and maybe even enabling your own bad behavior as well. As Iyanla Vanzant says, “go out there and tell somebody the truth!”

Have a beautiful week!

John

It's OK To Be A Slacker

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

I have just not been feeling motivated to workout lately. Yes, it’s summer, and maybe I’m feeling lazy, but I’ve hit yet another breaking point with that place called “the gym.” And along with it comes the awkward feelings of “how can I be a life coach and not be fit and healthy and happy at all times?” Well, the reality is that whether it’s exercise, work, love, life… all of them operate on an ebb and flow, meaning they have periods of intense productivity and periods where things slow down. The crucial part about slowing down is that we don’t beat ourselves up for it, but rather use it as an opportunity to reflect on the bigger picture and maybe find a new approach that works even better than the old one.

One part of the bigger picture for me is that the gym feels like the epitome of what it means to “go through the motions,” and I am working diligently to insure that no part of my life is about going through the motions. So I canceled my gym membership. Another part of the bigger picture is that I want to be healthy without feeling like my body needs to fit into any particular mold. So, I’m starting to try some other avenues such as running outside, which has been beautiful in this amazing summer weather. I’ve also taken classes at a couple new yoga studios because I’d like to see what yoga could do for me if I give it a chance.

Though it’s crucial to be disciplined with exercise, it’s also crucial to trust in life’s ebb and flow. Just as we have to take advantage of when things are fast-paced and productive, we also have to take advantage of the downtime. If we’re constantly resisting or resenting the slower, more uncertain periods then we’re actually closing ourselves off to opportunities that will either lead us back into flow, or even allow us to take care of another area of our lives that maybe we’ve been neglecting. Trust… there is always an opportunity.

Have a beautiful week!

John

Riding the Wave

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

Over the past week of being back from a beautiful, relaxing trip to Paris and Amsterdam, I have been feeling so cranky and agitated, and I have not been able to figure out why! I returned home completely refreshed with a relatively easy workweek and without encountering anything particularly upsetting. I’ve been meditating daily, going to the gym regularly, eating well, and getting plenty of sleep. But, the slightest inconvenience has been turning me completely inside out. So, what’s up?!

I thought maybe it was jetlag, but as the days pressed on it seemed like the longest jetlag in history. And then it occurred to me, what if nothing’s “up?” Maybe I’m just having a few days where my mind, body, and spirit are processing through some things beyond my understanding? Maybe that’s all there is to it? Maybe it’s ok to be doing everything “right” and still have a few days where I don’t feel amazing? Maybe I just need to chill out, stop trying to find the problem, keep doing what I’m doing, and just let this pass in it’s own time?

Whether it’s traffic, rude people, or just being in an inexplicably bad mood, so much of what comprises happiness is being able to ride the wave of the day-to-day bulls***. Many people think that happiness is about avoiding challenges, but it’s actually about learning to navigate challenges from a more centered place. In order to do that, we sometimes have to allow ourselves a little more space and time to feel those feelings, let them go and get on with our lives.

For me, giving myself space this past week has meant journaling and meditating, allowing myself time to cry or be angry while also reminding myself of the things I’m grateful for, and spending a bit more time alone, so as not to inadvertently cuss out and offend the people I care about. I also keep reminding myself that everything is temporary, and all I have to do is successfully navigate this wave of unease because an easier wave is sure to be rolling along soon. 

Have a beautiful week!

John

Life Is Hard Sometimes

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

Every day I assure clients that if they keep putting in the work then their lives will get better. And frankly, that’s almost always the case. That’s what’s so beautiful about my job. But, I’m not a fortune-teller and life has a tendency to throw us the occasional curve ball. Whack! And suddenly you’re wondering what happened to all that work you put in? Are you being punished? Actually, this is where the real work is by figuring out what there is to be gained from a less-than-ideal situation.

With every one of those curve balls we can make a choice to either be victimized or empowered. For me it’s often a combination of the two. I typically have a little moment where I let myself throw a fit and then I start looking for the opportunity. What’s the opportunity here? For example, I moved out of my office on July 31 because I was supposed to move into a brand new office on August 1. But there have been construction delays and I’ve had to come up with creative ways to meet with clients in the meantime. Yes, I’ve had a few moments of disappointment as the open-date continues to get pushed back, but I’ve also had to look at the opportunities.

First of all, I’ve been able to save a little money on office rent this past month. I’ve also been spending more time outside during the day because I’ve been meeting some clients in Madison Square Park. And now the new office management company has set me up temporarily at their Lower East Side location where I have a nice office and an opportunity to meet some new people. Granted this little life dilemma is small potatoes compared to what some people are dealing with, but finding the opportunity can be applied to every life experience. The fact is, life is hard sometimes, but we have a choice in how we’re going to perceive it. Are we going to let it tear us down or build us up?

Have a beautiful week!

John

I Hate Waiting

John Kalinowski

Personal Development Life Coach Patience

Not that long ago I was returning from a long weekend and found myself stuck on the subway stairs behind a woman who was walking at a snail’s pace because all her attention was transfixed on her phone. I finally found an opportunity to move around her and said, “get off your fucking phone” as I brushed past. I can’t say I don’t still feel somewhat justified because people do wander the streets like zombies with their phones these days, and it can be pretty damn annoying. But in this instance, was it really hindering my pursuit of happiness to slow down a little bit? Was it going to negatively impact anything at all in the long run? No. In fact, it might have been a missed opportunity.

Intellectually I’m not really bothered by the idea of waiting, but emotionally I see myself react to it all the time. As soon as I step onto the end of a long line at Whole Foods I feel my chest clench ever so slightly before I take a breath and rein myself back in. It’s such a funny thing to witness, not to mention self-important and ridiculous. “Oh you poor little baby, you have to wait a whole 5 minutes to buy some of the most expensive groceries on the planet to take them back to your apartment in one of the most expensive cities on the planet.” Pull it together.

Being forced to wait or slow down can actually be a gift. People complain all the time about how busy they are and how they don’t have time for anything. Yet, we’re given these little moments to slow down, take a breath, and maybe even find some gratitude. There’s so much science these days behind the benefits of taking a few deep breaths throughout the day. It helps with stress, anxiety, blood pressure, and a myriad of other things. For myself, I’m working to make a habit of it, because it’s far more productive than getting annoyed. That said, do me a favor and don’t text while walking, cuz I might still cuss you out.

Happy Wake-Up Wednesday!

John

 

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A Time for Powerful Action

John Kalinowski

Personal Development Life Coach Powerful Action

Welcome to the latest iteration of my blog which I’m calling The Wake-Up. And if anything was gonna wake me up, this election sure did the trick. Consider my ass “woke,” or at least half-woke. And I think a lot of people are feeling the same way. So, now what? What do we do with our half-woke, half-in denial, half-terrified-for-the-future-of-our-planet state of mind? Well, we start by banding together and owning the fact that our biggest failure is that we’ve been operating from a place of Powerless Reaction instead of Powerful Action.

An expression I picked up somewhere and fell in love with is, “let’s move out of the problem and into the solution.” What this really means is let’s move out of a reactive state of pointing fingers, shaming and blaming, and move into an active state of thinking about what we actually want as a country (and as individuals) and start taking steps in that direction. In other words, let’s create a vision for where we want this country to go, and then go for it.

I wrote an article on Medium awhile back called “How Hillary Can Win.” It’s all about how Hillary’s primary issue in this election stemmed from a lack of vision. Sure, there were some other extremely worrisome factors that led to her eventual loss, many of which I wholeheartedly believe, but at the end of the day I also believe that she could have won over those last few necessary voters if she’d had a coherent vision that they could connect to.

We, the citizens of this country, are suffering from the same issue. What I’m coming to realize is that real democracy is about waking up out of our finger-pointing and complacency and creating our own damn vision. The mistake many of us have been making for decades, maybe centuries, is in waiting for our leaders to create a vision/solution for us. We need to create our own vision and elect leaders who seem best-equipped to take on the task of turning that vision into reality.

There are groups rising up all over the country as a result of this election, but without a coherent vision to rally around, it will be difficult for them to maintain the necessary enthusiasm and momentum to actually affect change. So let’s step up to this blank canvas and start painting, and as the vision takes shape we can recruit leaders to carry it out.

What’s your vision for the country? Let’s start a dialogue about how we can move out of Powerless Reaction and into Powerful Action, both as Americans and as individuals. 

Gnaw on that while you’re gnawing on turkey. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

John

I invite you to follow me on Twitter: @johnkalinowski

Also check out the Action Group Network: actiongroups.net

Life Without TV

John Kalinowski

Personal Development Life Coach Life Without TV

April 1 was the day I decided to "Cut the Cord and Run." 

Two months without a television; two months of feeling more productive, engaged, fulfilled. 

More reading, more writing, more friends, more fun, more balance... I’m calling this new level of productivity “The Zone."

To stay culturally aware I stream “Game of Thrones” on my iPad. And Chelsea Handler's new talk-show gives me a chuckle.

There have been some restless moments that TV could fill. Instead I filled them with daily solo dance parties.

Oh yeah - there’s WAY more music happening. More singing, more dancing…

I honestly have no regrets about dumping the television.

Kinda feelin like a rockstar.

John