Monday, July 22, 2019

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

The price of anything is the 
amount of life you exchange for it.
--- Thoreau

About six years ago, a friend of mine was sitting in a restaurant with his wife in a small town in France and noticed that almost everyone in the restaurant was looking at their smartphone while they were having dinner. Then he noticed he and his wife were doing the same.

When I told him I was writing a book on this subject, he asked, “Are you sure spending less time on the Internet and their smartphones is something people want to do?

At the time, I didn’t know how to answer him.

“It’s kind of like legal heroin,” he continued. “It’s really come to this point where people are addicted and many are happily addicted.”

Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal begs to differ. “People have a pathological relationship with their devices,” she claims. “People feel not just addicted, but trapped.”

Perhaps most disconcerting about this story is that it occurred in 2011. Today, this story is no longer a story: it’s what we witness just about every time we go out.

To share this story today is like recounting that you went to a baseball game and observed the fans standing up and cheering. What’s not new is not news.

This week, take some time to reflect on your relationship with your phone. Design some strategies that keep you in control of how you use technology rather than the other way around. The quality of your relationships with the people you love hangs in the balance.

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Anthony Silard is the president of The Center for Social Leadership, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC 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, enter your email here (1-step only). To support The Center for Social Leadership's Young Leaders Program for disadvantaged youth either directly or through Amazon.com purchases, click here.

Monday, June 24, 2019

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

When there’s not commitment, 
there's confusion.
--- M. Scott Peck

Commitment is not for everyone. I didn’t think it was for me for the first forty years of my life.

I was never able to “think” my way into it. The mind can come up with reasons to support just about anything, which in my case included a dystopian view of marriage and an inability to confront inner demons.

I was only able to commit to marriage once my love for my (now) wife became stronger than my fear. I wish I could tell you exactly how it happened; the only savior I can point to is empathy.

After being apart for a year-and-a-half, I experienced a moment of knowing with her that transcended rational thought. I had been teaching Compassionate Communication and realized that I hadn’t understood her well when we had been together.

When we saw each other again, I told her I loved her.

“I love you,” she replied.

“You loved me before, but you weren’t getting what you needed in our relationship,” I shared. “Let’s sit down and talk about what you would need to feel comfortable in this relationship.”

We agreed that we would give it another try, and if it was going well, I would propose within six months and we would marry within a year of our engagement.

I proposed just over two months later. Six months afterwards we were married. That was over eight years ago.

This week, ask yourself what you most wish for in this area of your life, whether it’s marriage, children, or simply a more intimate connection with your partner.

Make a commitment not to make a commitment, but to confront the inner demons obstructing your path toward what you desire.

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Anthony Silard is the president of The Center for Social Leadership, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC 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, enter your email here (1-step only). To support The Center for Social Leadership's Young Leaders Program for disadvantaged youth either directly or through Amazon.com purchases, click here.

Monday, June 10, 2019

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

Life requires you to learn and then balance two foundational skills: how to choose how you want to live, and how to live with what you choose.
--- Anthony Silard

About ten years ago, I was wrestling with my inner demons about commitment and went on a walk along the Potomac River outside of Washington, DC with a close family friend who had been married to his wife for over forty years.

“How have you managed it,” I asked him.

Robert looked at the turbulent rapids and thought for a while. Then he said, “I think the best advice I ever received was from my aunt, while I was fixing my tuxedo just before Charlene and I were married.”

He had my attention. “She said, ‘Robert, always remember this: Whatever Charlene does, just give. No matter what happens, always give. And you two will be fine.’”

Robert helped me to understand what marriage truly means: commitment to giving to the other person through thick and thin.

Challenging advice to hear at the time. When you’re single, it’s all about you: choosing how you want to live. That’s what you need to do: go exactly for what you want (without stepping on anyone along the way) because later you’ll be living with your choices.

As Robert’s aunt illumined, it’s not about you anymore once you’re married. Especially once you have kids.

Don’t get me wrong: you’re still important—the way a servant is important. You are still a human being, but not one that’s being served anymore; instead, you are now serving others.

In so doing, you enable your potential future spouse and children to build their lives around you. This is both the rawest and most rewarding form of leadership available to humankind.

This week, reflect on how you wish to live in this area of your life so you can later live with what you choose.

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Anthony Silard is the president of The Center for Social Leadership, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC 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, enter your email here (1-step only). To support The Center for Social Leadership's Young Leaders Program for disadvantaged youth either directly or through Amazon.com purchases, click here.

Monday, May 13, 2019

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

Loneliness is the poverty of self; 
solitude is the richness of self.
--- May Sarton

Loneliness has become the suffering of our generation. Yet it’s important to note that loneliness and solitude are not the same.

Another way to think about it is that social isolation is objective: if you are physically alone, you are isolated. Loneliness or solitude, however, are subjective. They are emotional states that emerge from how you perceive your social isolation.

Just as one person’s trash is another’s treasure, two people can each be physically alone and one can experience a devastating rejection and abandonment by others while the other can feel an ineffable wholeness and oneness with the world independent of—or interdependent with—the other people in their life.

In fact, believe it or not, the same person can feel both in the same day; such is the ephemeral nature of emotions.

This distinction between loneliness and solitude is an age-old, perennial issue human beings have been managing for centuries. Yet thanks to our smartphones and digital devices, we seem to be edging toward a collective loneliness—subjective, negatively experienced isolation—unlike any we have previously experienced

This week, make a commitment to enhance how you engage with others. When you find yourself rushing around and experiencing the superficial conversations that induce loneliness, take some time to slow down and reflect on how you approach your relationships. Then reengage with others in a more meaningful way.

_____________________________________________
Anthony Silard is the president of The Center for Social Leadership, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC 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, enter your email here (1-step only). To support The Center for Social Leadership's Young Leaders Program for disadvantaged youth either directly or through Amazon.com purchases, click here.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Are you ready to build community with us?




“I’m putting my trust in renowned keynote speaker and workshop leader Anthony Silard to help me learn the rules of some rather complex games, this one called ‘life’ in particular.”

- Marshall Goldsmith, author of the New York Times best sellers, MOJO and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

You are invited to our Compassionate Communication Workshop tomorrow, May 4th, 2019 in Claremont, CA. This is a donation-based event whose proceeds go to foster youth leadership programs in San Bernardino. Our facilitator Dr. Silard has taught the art of communication to hundreds of thousands of executives over the past 25+ years and can help you communicate better and create a compassionate heart connection.

Ready to get connected with your community and learn to communicate more effectively? See the attached flyer or visit us at Meetup.com/Got-Disconnection for more information. Want to help build community with us? Spread the word by sharing our event with family, friends, and coworkers!


Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Do you want to create a compassionate heart connection?



“Anthony’s mini-workshop was outstanding! The explanations were clear and accessible, his presence was both humble and strong, and the process introduced worked very well. The concepts introduced have great value at every level of communication. We had nearly 30 people show up (an unusually large crowd)—a demonstration not only of trust in him, but also a strongly-felt need for...less hurtful communication. I am so impressed with what he has done, and with the humble generosity of his heart."

- Steven Smith, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, 
   Claremont McKenna College

You are invited to our Compassionate Communication Workshop on May 4th, 2019 in Claremont, CA. This is a donation-based event whose proceeds go to foster youth leadership programs in San Bernardino. Our facilitator Dr. Silard has taught the art of communication to hundreds of thousands of executives over the past 25+ years and can help you communicate better and create a compassionate heart connection.

Ready to get connected with your community and learn to communicate more effectively? See the attached flyer or visit us at Meetup.com/Got-Disconnection for more information. Want to help build community with us? Spread the word by sharing our event with family, friends, and coworkers!


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Do you strive to be a successful leader?


A Harvard study found that 85% of a leader’s success is attributable to personal character. Leadership—whether personal or organizational—hinges on the development of character. Anthony Silard, Ph.D. defines leadership as “the capacity to develop multiple key relationships toward a common purpose.”


Anthony Silard, Ph.D. has taught the art of communication to over hundreds of thousands of executives over the past 25+ years. He has developed an interactive and engaging model that creates a simulated environment and enables anyone to work through their most sensitive issues with the people they most care about. You are invited to our Compassionate Communication Workshop on May 4th, 2019 in Claremont, CA. This is a donation-based event whose proceeds go to foster youth leadership programs in San Bernardino. Facilitator Dr. Silard holds the belief that in these divided times, we cannot build community without the ability to effectively communicate. 

Ready to get connected with your community and learn to communicate more effectively? Visit us at Meetup.com/Got-Disconnection for more information. Want to help build community with us? Spread the word by sharing our event with family, friends, and coworkers!