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).

Monday, August 25, 2014

Smile, It's Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Make a Difference in the World


I am America. I am the part you won’t recognize. 
But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky;
my name, not yours; my religion, not yours;
my goals, my own; get used to me.
--- Muhammad Ali

Cassius Clay disturbed many people when he became a conscientious objector and refused to honor his draft notice to fight in Vietnam. They were disturbed even more when he joined the Nation of Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali.

Can you also ‘float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’ and boldly stand up for what you believe in regardless of how others perceive you?

If you want to live a complete life, expect to disturb others who do not agree with your goals or the strategies you practice to achieve them.

Your parents will be disturbed when you go against their wishes in choosing your career. Your teachers will be disturbed when you disagree with their views. People who hold tightly onto their power will be disturbed when you take up causes that diminish unfair treatment of workers, immigrants, people of color, or women. They will consider your agenda a threat to their well-being.

This week, ask yourself a simple question and answer it with total honesty: Are you willing to pursue your life vision, even if it disturbs others who do not agree with your beliefs?

Make a pact with yourself to act based on what you deeply value, rather than on what will win the (ephemeral) approval of 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).

Monday, August 18, 2014

Smile, It’s Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Become a More Effective Leader


Managing is like holding a dove in your hands. 
If you hold it too tightly you kill it,
but if you hold it too loosely, you lose it.
--- Tommy Lasorda

Here’s one of the burning questions that I have observed keeps leaders up at night: “How can I be sure the people doing the work are really doing the work?”

Many of these leaders come into work the next day and—reacting to their insecurity about whether everything is getting done up to snuff—ask questions about how much work has been done, such as “Did you get Isabel’s feedback on the proposal yet?” or “When do you think you will have the report?”

These transactional conversations are necessary at times, but when they become the centerpiece of the employer-employee verbal exchange, they sap the same energy employers so desperately need in their employees for their companies to be successful.

Herein is the argument for engaging primarily in transformational rather than transactional dialogue: transformational dialogue inspires each of your employees to own their work, to see you as a critical partner in their success whom they feel comfortable approaching for advice, and to increase their confidence in their own leadership style; transactional conversations turn you into a watchdog your employees deal with out of obligation to protect their jobs, and turn them into obedient, obsequious yes-people who do what you say and are too timid to take on real responsibility.

This week, reflect on how you can curb the micro-management and control tendencies we all share, and take a few concrete steps toward becoming a more transformational leader.

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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).