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800 6th Avenue
New York, NY, 10001
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Life Coach, NYC, Executive Leadership Coach, Personal Development Coach, New York - Coaching Leaders, Entrepreneurs, and Creatives to be more Confident, Productive, and Fulfilled.

Notes from Yourself

 

 

Filtering by Tag: lifecoach

How to Get Your Mind Out of the Gutter

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development mindset

Your thoughts dictate your reality.

I see it in myself, my friends, and my coaching clients. We are all influenced by what we think every day, in the same way that we're influenced by what we eat every day.

If my junk-food intake outweighs my intake of nutritious food then there will be consequences. And by the same token if I'm thinking a lot of unproductive, negative thoughts instead of affirming, encouraging ones, there will be natural consequences for that as well. 

Productive thoughts are those that open up opportunities for solutions and growth. Unproductive thoughts are those that shut down opportunities for solutions and growth. "I don't know what to do," is unproductive. "I can figure this out," is productive. "I'm a big fat pig," is unproductive. "I have the power to change," is productive.

3 Tools for a Productive Mindset:

  • The Gold Star - Acknowledge yourself for the things you do, even if it feels like you could do them longer, better, or more often.

  • Course-Correct - Have a handful of productive thoughts that you can pull out when you catch yourself engaging in unproductive-thinking.

  • Habits v. Goals - Take some of the emphasis off of the end-goals and focus more on the habits and routines required to get you there.

Your thoughts dictate your reality. More productive thoughts = a more productive reality. 

#redpill

John

Rock The Damn Boat

John Kalinowski

life coach, life coach nyc, mindset coach, leadership coach, personal development

If you're walking on eggshells with people in your life, or allowing something to fester.

Rock the damn boat.

Spouses, parents, friends, and bosses... "Because it's not worth it to make him/her mad." 

Rock the damn boat.

I just did some boat-rocking with a good friend recently and yeah, it was awkward, but it was also really good. 

We chatted like grown-ups. No finger-pointing, no defensiveness. 

Also, bottling up your feelings is just not cute anymore.

So, rock the damn boat.

With a little practice you'll be running around tipping boats over left and right, and guess what.

You'll be glad you did. 

#redpill

xJohn

Also published on ANewsCafe.com 

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

Also published on ANewsCafe.com 

"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 a mindset of “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! Mindset shift.

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 a mindset of 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 simply a mindset. 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 of being your own life coach, showing up for the climb, being fulfilled by the journey, and allowing the triumphs to be beautiful moments to savor. 

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

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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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

Also published on ANewsCafe.com 

Trust Yo Self, Trust Yo Life

John Kalinowski

Personal Development Life Coach Trust Yourself

 

Life is a river, a current you can float on or fight against.

There’s no need to fight your way upstream. The current will take you where you need to go, but only if you can float.

If you’re thrashing around trying to hold onto the current, trying to direct it and make it give you what you want - you will sink.

Floating requires a mindset of trust… being open, being vulnerable, being love - without resisting, without resenting, without fighting, without blaming.

And life will start to support you.

The current can be unpredictable, you may get stuck or run into rapids or a rocky patch. So give yourself permission to be in a rocky patch.

Without judging, without being mad, without hating, without forcing an outcome... set the course and allow the journey to unfold.

Trust that you are exactly where you need to be, and every experience is an opportunity to become a better you.

That’s when your wildest dreams will start to materialize.

 

Be your own life coach. You got this!

John

Also published on ANewsCafe.com 

How to Game the System

John Kalinowski

Life Coach Personal Development Coach Game the System

Life is a system… “a set of connected parts forming a complex whole.”

You are in and of yourself a system, part of many other systems - family, friends, business, government… every relationship you have.

When one part of a system changes then everything changes - even the smallest cog can impact an entire system.

If you want to change a relationship with a family member, friend, boss, coworker, or even yourself, then change what you have the most control over.  

Your mindset.

If you want something to change in your life then start by being your own life coach - coaching yourself through one little adjustment at a time.

Just be willing. Be willing to let go of old wounds. Be willing to learn new ways of seeing and doing. Be willing to operate from love instead of fear.

You change and everything changes… You have all the power.

Time to take it back. 

John

Also published on ANewsCafe.com 

What If I'm Lazy??

John Kalinowski

Life Coach Personal Development Coach Lazy

I recently had the most liberating epiphany… “what if I’m lazy?” At another time in my life I would have been mortified at the possibility that it might actually be true. And yet, in my current mental/emotional state it feels more like a relief, because it means I don’t have to keep up with anyone or anything else, and I can trust myself to know what’s right for me. What if it’s just how I’m programmed? What if I just move more slowly than other people and that’s ok? It’s not that I’m giving myself an out from doing the work, it’s that I’m giving myself an out from unproductive, unrealistic expectations.

It seems so simple. I mean, I talk to clients all the time about comparing, because it’s really one of the meanest things we can do to ourselves. We’re basically shaming ourselves for not being more like who or what we think we should be. And shaming doesn’t work in the long-term, whether directed toward yourself or others. What does work is acceptance and compassion and positive reinforcement. In this case, accepting myself might mean, “it’s ok if I’m lazy.” Of course, if I’m missing deadlines and upsetting clients then that’s one thing, but if I’m just operating at a slower pace than my self-shaming-inner-gauge says I should, then who cares?

Don’t get me wrong, I know that I’ve accomplished a lot, and I plan to accomplish a lot more. I’ve got goals and vision boards and affirmations, and I’m about as prepared as I can be for what I set out to do. But, I am also acutely aware that I could always be doing more. However, doing “more” inevitably comes at the expense of something else. Maybe it comes at the expense of activities that weren’t serving me anyway, which is fine. But if it means sacrificing sleep, exercise or relationships on a regular basis, I’m gonna say “no thank you.” Am I lazy? Maybe. But the better question might be, “What if I’m balanced?”

Slow and steady wins the race!

John

Also published on ANewsCafe.com 

I'm Better than You... And???

John Kalinowski

life coach, life coach nyc, mindset coach, leadership coach, personal development

Something I’ve realized over the years is that anytime I make somebody “wrong,” I’m just judging them and inflating my ego. Making someone wrong can be as simple as being annoyed because they’re late or because they did or said something disrespectful. This seems like relatively normal stuff to be annoyed about, and it is. But “normal” doesn’t mean it’s productive… for you, for them, or for the relationship. Judgment is not productive. By no means am I the standard-bearer of brotherly love, but I am increasingly aware that when I point the finger at somebody, I’m making myself feel superior and thereby feeding my ego. And this is addictive, because once your ego has a taste of superiority it’s gonna want more.

I’ve pointed my finger at people many times throughout my life, probably daily. And I will continue to do so. But, I’ve also realized that I don’t need the ego boost that’s brought on by feeling better than other people. When I see some racist, homophobic conservative whackjob dishing out ignorance, there’s definitely judgment happening on my part and LOTS of superiority, and for now I’m generally ok with it. But at the end of the day, when I get really honest with myself, I know that I’m just feeding my addiction, which doesn’t serve me. I also know that it totally eliminates any miniscule chance of changing that person’s mind or even being open to the areas where my own mindset could shift as well.

Sometimes people need to vent their frustrations toward one another and it can be incredibly healing. But more often than not, indulging in judgment, either out loud or in your head, is damaging and unproductive even if that person (really f-ing) deserves it. A large part of our life’s work is learning how to manage the ego, and to realize that we don’t need to bolster our sense of superiority on the backs of others. Superiority is just cheap confidence, because real confidence takes practice, diligent daily practice. Real confidence comes from love and humility, not just toward other people, but also toward ourselves. We can do both by using those superior ego moments to be a life coach to ourselves and remember that we don’t need to be better than someone else, we are already spectacular all on our own.

Cheers to being enough!

John

 

Also published on ANewsCafe.com 

Cut the Cord and Run

John Kalinowski

I tossed my TV in the closet on April 1 and have not looked back. I live in a studio apartment and can see the damn thing from every angle. So even when it’s not turned on it takes up a significant amount of space and importance in the landscape of my home life. And it’s so easy at the end of a workday to unconsciously flip on the TV. Not that there’s anything wrong with that because I think it can be healthy to zone out sometimes. But it too often trumps other options like reading or listening to music or writing or even doing a little more work before bed, i.e. stuff that might actually enhance my brain and my life.

I needed a break, and in this case that meant limiting my access to TV so that I’d be forced to do other things. Just like with food, there are certain things I don’t buy because I know it will push me to eat healthier options by default. In general, I rarely buy chocolate or ice cream these days. I definitely eat way too much peanut butter, but I ain’t given that shit up for nobody. I also stopped buying crackers and chips (as often) because I’d seen way too many bags of baby carrots turn ashy in the fridge after sitting untouched for months. When I finally got sick of this game I stopped buying crackers and chips. Guess what happened. Yup, those bags of carrots are flying off the shelf. Funny how that works.

What I can say after 1-2 weeks of making TV less available is that I have been way more productive. I’ve been writing more, reading more, and getting more work done overall. Even from an aesthetic standpoint, my entire apartment feels lighter, like the TV was weighing not just on my productivity, but on the overall energy in my home. Which doesn’t mean I’m not still watching a few shows on my iPad. Cuz who could give up Billions, Shades of Blue, or RuPaul’s Drag Race?? But, it’s frankly just not quite as enjoyable to watch TV that way, which is exactly what I was banking on. That poor TV’s a goner.

Onward and upward!

John

Also published on ANewsCafe.com 

Chill The F*** Out

John Kalinowski

Testing

I just wanna be productive, energized and happy all the time. Sounds achievable, right?? So, there’s this part of me that likes the idea of being on a fixed routine to insure that I’m able to make that happen. As a life coach, I also feel some kind of self-imposed pressure to always be on track and maintain the facade that I have it all together. But, not only do I know that it’s unrealistic to always be on track, sometimes I just want to chill the f*** out. I want to forget all about work, exercise, meditation, showering, brushing my teeth, making my bed, or maintaining my life in any way. And I do let myself have days like that, which turns out to be one of the most important ways for me to stay on track.

If you’re gonna relax, then relax. Give Yourself Permission. Because if you’re “relaxing,” but you’re judging yourself the whole time and feeling like there’s always something else you should be doing, then you’re not really relaxing. What you’re actually doing is wasting time because you’re not getting the benefits of relaxing, but nor are you accomplishing whatever task(s) you may be fretting about. So, it’s a draw. If you choose to relax then be present for relaxing. If you choose to do something else then be present for that. There’s a time for both. But, if you’re constantly straddling the line between the two then you aren’t doing either one very well.  

Having a happy and productive mindset is not about being “on” all the time, it’s about showing up for what you need to do to stay healthy and centered. That means instilling certain habits to keep your life moving forward while also allowing yourself the time to let things go once in awhile. That is the sweet spot. That is the balance. If you can’t remember the last time you really unplugged (sans guilt), then give it a whirl. Go crazy! Take a 30-minute nap on a Saturday, or give yourself a day or even just an evening off from thinking about your to-do list. You don’t have to change your life in one fell swoop, in fact that rarely works, but a little tweak here and there will give you massive returns in the long run.

Have a beautiful week!

John

Also published on ANewsCafe.com 

You Have All The Answers

John Kalinowski

life coach, life coach nyc, mindset coach, leadership coach, personal development

My favorite Maya Angelou quote is, “when people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” It seems so simple right? If someone shows you that they’re kind or caring then they probably are. If someone shows you that they’re judgemental or temperamental, then they probably are. (If someone shows you that they’re batshit crazy then they probably are.) Of course, somebody can be all of those things, but then we have to recognize that too. We don’t just ignore certain aspects of someone in favor of other aspects, because that means we’re willfully ignoring the truth of who somebody really is.

A big part of “believing” who someone is, requires listening to yourself. You’ve most certainly had experiences with people where everything seemed ok on the outside, but you kept getting this feeling inside, this instinct, or intuition, telling you that something wasn’t ok and pointing you in another direction. Something didn’t fit, or sit quite right. And every time you’ve ignored that feeling, you’ve probably ended up causing yourself a whole lot more trouble down the road.

I’ve heard so many stories about people who had no idea their significant other was having an affair or capable of doing illegal or violent things. I just don’t buy it. I can accept that they didn’t know it intellectually because they wouldn’t allow it to sink in, but something inside of them knew. Something inside of them kept presenting itself in the form of suspicion or anxiety or resentment and they didn’t know where it was coming from. Well, it was coming from their innermost self and it was trying to send them a message (Heads up! Trainwreck ahead!), but they weren't ready to hear it.

We get locked in sometimes to wanting something to be what we want it to be. Maybe we don’t want to lose that person or we don’t want to be single again or we don’t want other people to think that we don’t have it all together. Well, most of us don’t have it all together because that’s life. We’re all just trying to figure it out.

Listen to yourself. You know more than you think you do.

Have a beautiful week.

John

Also published on ANewsCafe.com 

"Looking Up" - The Magic Happy Pill

John Kalinowski

life coach, life coach nyc, mindset coach, leadership coach, personal development

Do you ever look up? When you’re walking down the street do you ever look up at the sky and just take it in? Surprisingly, I find it to be one of the most grounding experiences, especially when I’m stuck in my head or when life has become particularly challenging. It doesn’t matter if cars are honking and sirens are blaring, looking up seems to give me a unique sense of humble calm. It also makes me think of the saying, “Things are starting to look up.” Where did that come from? I’ve scoured the internet (ok, I’ve searched a little bit), and it makes me wonder if someone else somewhere realized this very same thing.

Think about what you see when you look up: the sky, the sun, the moon, stars, clouds, horizons, sunrises, sunsets, rainbows, birds, things that fly… all of these are written about, filmed and photographed because there’s something inherently magical about them. I mean, how many sunset photos do you see posted on Facebook and Instagram? I know I’ve posted a few. The thing about gazing at a sunset is that it makes me see myself a bit more objectively, as the microscopic speck of an atom that I really am. Not in a way that makes me feel hopeless or insignificant, just maybe less important than I would like to think sometimes. It certainly takes the expression “first world problems” to a whole new level.

What this feeling really amounts to is gratitude. You can experience a quick dose of gratitude by simply shifting your gaze upward, even just above the horizon. If you pay attention you’ll realize that you probably rarely do it, especially if you’re someone who gets stuck in your head a lot, which is most of us. When you’re stuck in your thoughts, the last thing that occurs to you is to look up, but try to coach yourself to remember. Next time you’re outside or walking down the street just look up and take a deep breath. You might be surprised... maybe Snoopy was actually a mindset coach.

Have a beautiful week!

John

Also published on ANewsCafe.com 

Multitasking is a Myth

John Kalinowski

life coach, life coach nyc, mindset coach, leadership coach, personal development

Look at the guy above. He looks so confident in his ability to effectively do 15 things at one time. But, the fact is, “multitasking, when it comes to paying attention, is a myth,” as detailed by Dr. John J. Medina in his book, “Brain Rules.” He goes on to say that, “businesses and schools praise multitasking, but research clearly shows that it reduces productivity and increases mistakes.” Basically, we’ve created this myth to accommodate our ever-expanding and often overwhelming lives, leading many to believe that they can “do it all” and nothing suffers. This is scientifically proven to be wrong. In fact, an article in Fast Company Magazine, What Multitasking Does to Your Brain, explains how the more you multitask the less proficient you actually become at multitasking.

In some ways our brains are still very limited, in that they cannot efficiently focus on multiple tasks at the same time. For example, whenever I switch from one task to another, even if just to look at my phone in the middle of writing this piece, my mind is like a train and has to slow down, switch tracks, then speed up again as I focus on my phone. When I go back to writing, my mind slows down, switches tracks, and gains speed as I refocus on writing. Of course this is all happening at a relatively fast pace (and much faster than switching tracks on the NYC subway), but it does dramatically slow down my overall productivity.

So, how do we keep the brain-train moving at a steady clip? I find that I am more productive when I turn off my email, phone, and all other distractions while writing. Granted there are times when I can only stay in a writing-mindset for 15-20 minutes before I give into an urge for another glass of water, a bathroom break, or a quick glance at Facebook or Instagram, but it’s still a whole lot better than switching tracks every minute or two. There will always be distractions (bosses, coworkers, kids), but half the battle is just accepting that we are less productive when trying to engage in all of these distractions at once. It's when we own that fact and coach ourselves to create guidelines that help us to better focus on one task at a time, then we can make it into a habit which will eventually help that brain-train to start flying full speed ahead.

It’s all about the mindset.

Have a beautiful week!

John

Also published on ANewsCafe.com 

Handling Annoying People (Know Any of Those?)

John Kalinowski

life coach, life coach nyc, mindset coach, leadership coach, personal development

I have a neighbor who bought a new dog a few months ago. It’s a French Bulldog named Missy - super friendly and sweet, honestly the dog could not be cuter... and she also seems to have the “cutest” bladder control issues. Given that I share a carpeted hallway with said neighbor, and my building’s carpet shampooer is being serviced, Missy’s very cute pee-stains have started to build up and weigh on my sense of well-being.

Or has it?

Yes, it f***ing has.

Maybe I just need to chill out and practice acceptance?

I’m not the God-damned Dalai-lama, and people need to learn how to act right.

Well, guess what, that’s probably not going to happen, so let’s go back to acceptance.

I hate you... ok.

When you work the process I outlined last week in, What’s Holding You Back, you may start to have these fun little arguments with yourself. The reality is that most people are asleep, meaning they are totally overwhelmed by the nonstop mental dialogue inside their heads, which cuts them off from the world around them. In all likelihood you are one of those people, at least sometimes. But, don’t worry, ‘cuz we all are! And by simply incorporating some new thoughts into your unproductive mental dialogue (ex. “I trust this will all work out somehow.”), then you will save massive amounts of time and energy that can be used to achieve a new mindset of peace, fulfillment, and productivity.

Personally, I would love to float through life all zen and peaceful, and some days I do, but I’m always tested, like when I find another gift from Missy. It leaves me with a choice to indulge in my negative thoughts or to coach myself by affirming that “I trust this will all work out somehow.” It doesn’t mean I’m not taking action, it just means I’m taking action while keeping my cool. I can talk to my neighbor and/or management about the dog problem, but I’m probably not going to transform my neighbor into a super considerate human. He’s asleep, and the best thing I can do for myself is to continue accepting him for who he is while taking care of my mindset by setting boundaries when necessary. Constantly choosing to replay the story in my head and getting myself riled up doesn’t help anyone or anything.

Here’s to a new week of productive thoughts!

John