Monday, September 29, 2014

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


All truly great thoughts
 are conceived by walking.
--- Nietzsche

Picture a constant race taking place between your actions and your thoughts. Your actions are almost always far ahead and winning the race. One of your greatest life challenges is to provide your thoughts the regular opportunity to catch up.

Thought of in this way, your life is a continuous two-tier process of thinking and acting. You’re either thinking about what you want to do, doing it, or thinking about what you’ve already done. Thought, action, thought, action—thoughts and actions fill your entire life, one after the other!

Since your thoughts will enter the scene at some point, the real question becomes whether they will come before or after your actions. Ask yourself this one question: “Will I take the time out of my life to set its direction, or will I allow my actions to leap so far ahead of my thoughts that I cease to recognize them?”

If you take time regularly to reflect on your life, your thoughts are more likely to precede and guide your actions. If you don’t, they are more likely to follow your actions and yield guilt and remorse. Inspiration or regrets—which will you choose?

This week, integrate time into your schedule for a smartphone-free walk in beautiful surroundings. Start with a ten-minute walk around your office building if necessary; whatever you do, begin. This simple action will lead to other strategies that expand the space for reflection and meaning in your life.

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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, September 22, 2014

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


Half the world is composed of people 
who have something to say and can’t,
and the other half who have
nothing to say and keep on saying it.
--- Robert Frost

If you want to feel connected to others, the words you share have to reflect what you truly care about. Consider this dynamic in light of a sobering fact: speaking authentically is not a problem when you’re saying what the other person wants to hear.

It’s when your inner truth requires you to speak up about issues the other person may not want to hear that you are more likely to avoid it entirely and shut down.

Pick a situation and ask yourself if you’re being authentic or holding back. If you’re unhappy at work, is it because you’re afraid to try to redefine what you do? Do you say, “But others are used to me this way? I don’t know how they’ll react to my ideas.” By definition, if an idea is new you’ll never know how anyone will react to it until you put it out there.

Think of the people you know who go for what they really want in life. Do they become paralyzed with “What if?” questions? Do they spend endless hours mulling over the possible consequences of their actions? The truth is they do entertain such thoughts. What sets them aside from the rest, however, is that they know how to live with their fear and move forward anyway.

This week, identify when a feeling keeps returning to you (which separates it from a temporary emotion). Search for the right ways to express your genuine feelings in your family, friendship, intimate, and professional relationships.

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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, September 15, 2014

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

Don’t hide your heart but reveal it, 
so that mine might be revealed,
and I might accept what I am capable of.
--- Rumi

Many people are hesitant to ask for what they want in their relationships because they don’t want to use up their ‘relationship capital’. They don’t want to tell the other person what’s important to them because then if it’s given they’ll feel like they ‘owe’ them something.

I would like to strongly urge you to burn the scorecard once and for all. When we keep tallies in personal relationships, we all lose. Let love be your guide, not the barter system. Just give, and have faith that love will come back to you in its own form.

You won’t regret learning how to ask with clarity and specificity for what you want in your relationships. You’ll free up a tremendous amount of emotional energy that is constrained when you give unrecognizable signals that something is important to you and then feel resentful when you don’t get it.

The other person is not a seasoned detective able to decipher cryptic clues you might leave to help them understand you. Once you transcend the delusion of if-they-loved-me-they-would-already-know thinking, you will begin to witness firsthand how liberating it is to speak plainly and honestly about what you value.

This week, make a concerted effort to be more authentic and real in the way you approach both your friendships and your (current or future) intimate relationship.

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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, September 8, 2014

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


Most people…are like a falling leaf that drifts
and turns in the air, flutters, and falls to the ground.
But a few others are like stars which travel one defined path…
they have within themselves their guide.
—Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

Have you ever driven to a party without good directions? Can you remember trying repeatedly to find the house, pulling over, and feeling lost and frustrated? Locating a physical address is easy compared to discovering your life vision.

When it comes to your vision, no one can give you accurate directions. You can’t click on MapQuest or Google Maps and, in the box that says “Destination,” type in “Vision.” While it would certainly simplify the process to receive a printout that reads, “Go to medical school for 3.4 years, then go out with Morgan for 2.6 years, then take a trip to India for 1.2 months …,” to develop a life vision you have to write your own directions.

Unlike your job, an argument you’re embroiled in, or today’s headlines, your life vision is timeless and permanent. It provides something stable to hang on to, come what may.

Once you develop a vision for your life, you will finally be able to confront your fears because you will view them in a new light: as nothing more than obstacles to the attainment of your goals. You will become a part of something larger than yourself, a greater purpose. Held in this light, your fears will pale in comparison.

Take time out of your busy schedule this week to paint a picture of what your life could be like if you would only allow it to honor your deepest motivations. Then write your own directions and get started on your journey.

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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, September 1, 2014

Smile, It’s Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Become Your Greatest Fan


Life shrinks or expands 
in proportion to one's courage.
--- Anais Nin

Do you wish to create something that doesn’t currently exist in your life—such as earning a degree, or keeping your body in good physical condition, or building a lasting intimate relationship?

Writing down a concrete goal helps you stay focused on what you want to create. This skill—maintaining your focus on a specific objective—has never been more critical in the history of humankind. With the advent of email, Facebook, and smartphones, never before have we had so many options—and distractions—at our fingertips.

You may enjoy jogging, painting, or interacting with a new social group after you’ve begun performing the action—yet may have trouble getting yourself to begin. Setting a goal impels you to step out of the starting gate more often with the hope that you’ll reach the point where you actually enjoy doing something enough to integrate it into your life.

Taking this first step toward a new goal, however, is a daunting challenge. We often sit paralyzed because we fear rejection, incompletion, or coming to terms with our own limitations.

Yet our limitations shrink or expand in proportion to our courage. It is an inverse relationship: the more courage we pull up from inside, the less salient of a role our limitations play in our lives.

This week, detect a new goal in your life that you have been intimidated to pursue, come up with a strategy to pursue it effectively, and get started.

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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).