Monday, August 31, 2015

Smile, It’s Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Live the Life You Have Imagined


We are becoming the servants in thought, 
as in action, of the machine(s) 
we have created to serve us.
--- John Kenneth Galbraith

Your laptop, iPad or smartphone is merely a tool. An addictively fun little tool, yes; yet still just a tool.

The critical challenge in the third millennium is the same as in the first: to develop a vision for how you want to live your life.

To rise to this challenge, ask yourself a few questions: How does your best version of your Self desire you to spend your time? How does it want you to act toward the people you care about? For what does it wish you to be remembered?

Whatever emanates from this self-dialogue is how you should spend your time. If you can use your clever online tools to achieve some of your most important life goals, by all means do so.

Yet every other moment you spend on your digital devices is as beneficial to your life as getting into your car and turning on the ignition without a destination in mind.

Every moment of every day you are making decisions about how you will spend your time. If your goal is to have close friends to share your life with, then determine how you will allocate your time to build those friendships.

If you want to spend more time in reality and less time sitting behind a screen typing your interpretation of reality into a keypad, then take some time this week to design some strategies to limit your virtual time, such as a daily maximum number of hours for screen-based activities.

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Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday each week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).

Monday, August 24, 2015

Smile, It’s Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Build Meaningful Relationships


Everyone wants to feel that he counts 
for something and is important to someone.
Invariably, people will give their love, 
respect 
and attention to the person who fills that need.
--- Ari Kiev

How do you start your (social or work) meetings with others? Do you launch right into what you want, or do you listen first? If you listen, do you really listen – or do you just functionally listen until it’s time for you to take the stage and belt out what you have to say?

If you merely listen as a precursor to getting what you want, the other person is likely to feel that your listening is an instrumental action rather than an authentic act of caring.

I don’t know about you, but when I feel like someone is listening to me as a preliminary step toward a larger objective (such as asking me to do or buy something) I lose a lot of my motivation to speak.

Our society, in some ways, is an amalgam of people pretending to either truly listen or speak from the heart (because they don’t feel others are listening in the first place).

It doesn’t have to be this way. This week, make a pact with yourself to provide “psychological space” to others and listen with the intention of helping them grow and evolve toward their (rather than your) goals.

Take this simple step and you will soon be in short supply and high demand.

Why? Very few are willing to put their egos aside long enough to put others first and genuinely listen to them.

The reward for such behavior? As Kiev sagely notes, others will give you their love, respect and attention.

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Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday each week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).

Monday, August 17, 2015

Smile, It’s Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Balance Work and Life


Everyone views time as an asset or a liability.
For those who view time as an asset, 
there are too many things to do
and not enough time in which to do them.
For those who view time as a liability, 
there are too little things to do
and too much time in which to do them.
--- Anthony Silard

One of my wife’s friends, Nadia, moved to Barcelona from Caracas, Venezuela at twenty-eight years old. Once Nadia moved into her new apartment, it took a few weeks for the Internet to be installed.

“At first, I felt isolated,” Nadia shared one evening at our home. “I spent so many hours just sitting in my new home and reading books and thinking. When I look back on it, I know it was one of the most important times in my life. It enabled me to reconnect with myself. It was the first time I truly learned how to be independent.”

Although 95 percent of Americans reported in a 2014 survey that they spent some time engaged in leisure in the previous 24 hours—such as watching television, reading or socializing—83 percent stated that they spent none of that time whatsoever “relaxing or thinking.”

When you view time as a limited asset, you never feel bored. You wake up happy to greet the day and continue on your journey as there are so many important things you wish to do.

When you view time as an unlimited liability, on the other hand, you engage in all sorts of dysfunctional behaviors to avoid your worst enemy: yourself.

At some point in your life, you have to begin to make peace with and process what lies within.

This week, make time in your schedule for a new activity that enables an opportunity to reflect on your relationship with yourself and with time.

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Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday each week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).

Monday, August 10, 2015

Smile, It’s Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Create the Intimate Relationship You Desire


All married couples should learn the art of battle
as they should learn the art of making love.
Good battle is objective and honest—never vicious or cruel.
Good battle is healthy and constructive,
and brings to a marriage the principle of equal partnership.
--- Ann Landers

Are the two main goals of communication to listen to the other person and to get your point across? Answer honestly…. Are these your primary objectives for a difficult conversation?

If you answered affirmatively, then I am about to challenge your beliefs. After observing thousands of people―including myself at various times in my life―fail to use communication to develop healthy relationships, I have realized while these are certainly important actions we engage in while communicating, they are not the goals of communication at all.

The goals of communication are quite different. The first goal is to meet the unmet needs of the other person and to help them to meet your unmet needs as much as is humanly possible without abandoning your most important values.

When you take this first goal to heart, you begin to realize that healthy communication is not about who is right or wrong. Instead, it’s about whether you can identify and express your own needs and help the other person to do the same.

The second goal is to create and sustain a heart connection with the other person. It is only possible through your continued determination to achieve the first goal.

It is also important in its own right, as it prevents you from speaking words with the potential to strike down the heart connection you painstakingly construct with the other person.

This week, reflect on why you communicate, and how your communication goals will influence how you listen to and speak with others.

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Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday each week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).