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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

 

 

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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

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 to be your own life coach. 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 be 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.

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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I invite you to follow me on Twitter: @johnkalinowski

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 coach ourselves to move out of a reactive state of pointing fingers, shaming and blaming, and 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, mindset, 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

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