Monday, April 4, 2016

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

 Woman, Girl, Blonde Hair, Blonde Woman, Black Hat
There are two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.
--- Albert Einstein

If you don’t take the time to dream, your life will operate on the dull, mundane plane where nothing is a miracle.

You can instead choose to give your mind the periodic time it needs to discover the meaning that nourishes it. In so doing, you will transform everything you experience into a miracle.

Taking time to dream is the only way to consistently experience the wonderful feeling of being calm rather than stressed and purposeful rather than irritable as you carry out your daily responsibilities.

The irony is that if you neglect your need to disengage, you will soon no longer be able to engage.

Instead, you will feel low on energy, as if you are running on empty.

Once you begin scheduling time for self-nurturing along with your other priorities, you will naturally become adept at integrating this practice into your everyday life.

Why? Because you will feel the renewed energy that permeates your every act. This feeling of inner harmony will become as important to you as the air you breathe, and you soon won’t be able to imagine how you ever did without it.

This week, schedule time not for a work engagement or meeting, but for an activity dedicated to only one person: yourself.

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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 every other 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, March 21, 2016

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

 Talk, Communication, Conversation, Chat, Speak
A mind all logic is like a knife [that is] all blade.
It makes the hand bleed that uses it.
--- Rabindranath Tagore

Imagine being stuck at a party for half an hour on the living room couch next to someone you don’t find very interesting. Sound enticing? Society has been working in your favor over the last few decades to help you avoid this social trap. 

Have you ever noticed that most guests at parties these days prefer to stand and congregate in the kitchen or a large room without chairs? It’s because there’s no commitment involved: they can mingle freely with whoever is around as opposed to getting stuck in a seated conversation with someone who excites them almost as much as a shot of cod oil. 

Why has society evolved in this way? Developments in technology have exponentially multiplied both the amount of information we receive every day and our capacity to customize its content. 

We are constantly in information-overload mode and have very little patience for any medium—including drawn-out chance encounters—that forces us to listen and receive information we don’t consider relevant to our lives.

Conversations evolve more naturally when you’re standing in that large room. Some sticks rub together and create a fire; others have no mutual traction and create nothing. 

You simply start conversations with enough people until you find someone with whom you feel engaged. At this point, you become animated and remain engaged. 

This week, step out of your digitally-mediated box and talk with some new people. Trust how your heart feels in these encounters, and expand your effort to befriend those whose company you enjoy.

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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 every other 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, March 7, 2016

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

 
Character develops itself in the stream of life.
--- Goethe


A woman from a local village is reported to have visited Mahatma Gandhi with her son. “Gandhiji, please tell him not to eat sugar,” she pleaded. “He is eating sugar all the time and it isn’t healthy for him.” 

Gandhi asked the woman to come back in two weeks, after which he would tell her son not to eat sugar. When she returned, Gandhi had a heartfelt talk with her son, and said that he shouldn’t eat sugar as it is unhealthy. 

After he finished and they were preparing to leave, the woman asked him, “Gandhiji, I don’t understand, why didn’t you just tell him this two weeks ago when I first came to see you?” 

Gandhi replied: “Two weeks ago, I was eating a lot of sugar myself. I had to first understand what it is like to not eat sugar before I could tell him.”

To be a leader, you cannot sit in an armchair and send others to do what you are unwilling to do yourself. 

This week, get out of your office. Go experience some of what the people you lead experience every day. 

Ask them what they like about what they do, what they don’t like, and how it makes them feel.

You will open yourself to a deeper understanding of the nature of what your organization truly does. You will invite into your life the information, emotions and creative ideas you need to become a better 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 every other 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, February 22, 2016

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



Want to dominate on the field, court or mat? Then be like Will Power. Who's Will Power? He's the guy who joins his teammates at local fast food restaurants but resists the greasy, high-calorie fare in favor of healthier alternatives.
At every single moment in your life you are making a choice  
to either act on a temporary mood such as anger, fear or 
anxiety or to act on your deeper vision for how you want 
to live your life. Discipline is choosing your vision.
--- Anthony Silard


“I don’t get this whole discipline thing,” you may be thinking. Why should I incorporate a strategy into my repertoire that curtails my freedom?” 

Yes, I know this is hard to digest. Yet consider what discipline enables. Your freedom may urge you to tell your brother to shove it when he asks for your forgiveness, but how will your harsh words affect your relationship with him? 

You may exercise your personal liberty by dropping out of college in your senior year and backpacking across Europe with a few Kerouac books to keep you company, but what effect will this decision have on your long-term success? 

(Actually, making this decision could be pivotal in helping you envision your future career, but consider the long-term effects of exercising your discipline by waiting a few months until you earn your degree to set off on your journey.)

This week, make a pact with yourself to write down some of your core values into a Vision Statement. (My book The Connection: Link Your Purpose, Passion, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World includes a guide to creating your own Vision Statement.)

The next time you feel a magnetic pull toward a bad habit or a decision you know you will later regret, stop for a moment and read a few lines from your Vision Statement. 

Gradually make the transformational shift toward allowing your life vision—rather than your momentary emotions—to direct your life toward a destination that fulfills you.

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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 every other 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, February 8, 2016

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


Don’t let another season pass you by.
--- Tagline of a bed-and-breakfast agency on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

If you can’t find any good reason to take time for yourself, try this one: When you haven’t had time to find balance, you are likely to attach to negative emotions and then become unable to extricate yourself from the negative moods they generate.

This natural human tendency to over-focus on negative emotions is supported by research on cognition and emotion. Douglas Derryberry of Oregon State University and colleagues found that when we experience negative emotions, we construct a filter that rules out all other thoughts except those encoded in the negative emotional event.

Why do we do this? To seek information that renders our environment more controllable and understandable.

Living your life at balance, then, requires you to be proactive not in managing the stress you feel (which can be counterproductive in that it enables you to increase your tolerance to—and experience of—stress) but in generating less stress to tolerate.

It requires you to acknowledge that while you feel your life is out of balance when you feel stress, you also feel stress because your life is out of balance. Stress and a lack of balance, then, collectively degenerate into a vicious spiral that detaches you from your authentic self.

To prevent your life from spinning out of control, take this simple step today: schedule time for an activity dedicated to yourself. Whether it’s going for a long walk or to a dance class, think about what you truly enjoy and make time for it. You’re worth it.

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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 every other 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, January 25, 2016

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


The greatest struggle of your life, 
for which all your other struggles are mere preparation,
is to truly love yourself exactly as you are.
--- Anthony Silard

Life’s greatest struggle does not require you to reach a financial goal, or achieve a certain measure of status, or even to find the right partner or raise healthy children. It requires you to love yourself unconditionally.

Sound simple? It’s not. It means loving even the parts of yourself that you perceive as undesirable, or unlovable, or those of which you are ashamed.

It means to love these parts as much as every other part, and to know you are the only person who will ever love and accept you with no preconditions, clauses or requirements.

Reflect for a moment on where you are struggling in your life. Are you fed up with a dead-end job that no longer motivates you? Are you in a relationship with someone who shows up physically but not emotionally? Do you feel drained and distraught around some members of your family?

Take a step back for a moment from all the actors on your stage: they are mere reflections of your self-image.

Do the hard work of cultivating your love for yourself. Confront the mental barriers that obstruct your self-love—your inner critic that mutters, “I can’t believe you did this,” or “You would be something if only you were able to do that.”

Silence this voice and attune to the other, stronger voice that believes in you.

This week, begin to take the time you need to build this faith in yourself. Then return to the stage and create a new story.

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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).