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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.

The Wake-Up

 

 

Filtering by Tag: lifecoaching

"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

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 be our own life coach by setting 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

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 

Judgment, Bigots, and the NBA

John Kalinowski

In the midst of the whole Donald Sterling/NBA Clippers monsoon, I just keep asking myself what justice really looks like in this case. I’m not going sit here and pretend that it’s not tempting to get all riled up and start calling him names and envisioning all sorts of ugly things happening to him. (In fact, I may or may not have already had that moment.) I mean, wouldn’t the world be better off without another wealthy bigot parading around with cheap gold-diggers? Maybe. But, could we not also agree that the world could be even better if we had a few more recovering bigots out there learning and maybe even speaking about the importance of empathy, compassion, and equality?

The NBA is taking steps to impose $2.5 million dollar fines, lifetime bans, and new ownership of the Clippers, but what will this type of punishment actually achieve? It’s not going to change Donald Sterling. In all likelihood, he will pay the fine or challenge it in court, he’ll feel singled out, wronged, victimized, and probably have a chip on his shoulder for the rest of his life. He’s not going to write out a $2.5 million dollar check and have some gross epiphany about life and race and all the time he’s wasted believing he’s better than huge segments of the global population. Get real.

This system of punishing others is archaic, primitive, and often based on our own hatred and judgment. Donald Sterling doesn’t need to be whipped, beaten, fined, or banned. He needs help. He needs to be subjected to a Dalai Lama-approved compassion intensive, which might include being on the receiving end of discrimination, maybe some face-to-face counseling with His Holiness himself, or whatever it takes to crack open Donald Sterling’s cold dead heart. Because the fact is, he would not be acting like this unless he too had some ugly, painful wounds rotting inside of him. Sure, we can still throw fines at him and whatever else if it makes us feel better. But, can you imagine the benefits to our society if we chose to focus our energy on rehabilitation rather than inflicting further hurt and pain? We can start by remembering that People Are Mean Because People Are Hurt.

Have a beautiful week!

John