Monday, July 25, 2016

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

Sand, Foot Prints, Prints, Walking, Footprints, Ocean
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime
And, departing, leave behind
Footprints on the sands of time.
--- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

What will be your legacy? What footprints will you leave for posterity? If you’re unwilling to take the time to consider what you want your footprints to look like now, how can you expect to recognize them later?

You will only ever achieve what you are first able to conceive.

If you’re like most people, you make appointments with everyone around you without even giving it a second thought, yet you find it challenging to make an appointment with yourself.

When you spend all day at the office and can’t even find the time to go for a fifteen-minute walk mid-morning or after lunch and reconnect with yourself, what do your actions say about your priorities?

When you fill your entire weekend with social obligations—many with people with whom you have little to talk about—and realize on Sunday night that you edged out any time to just relax and do nothing, how does your busy social calendar translate into the value you place on time with yourself?

If you take the unconscious route through life, be prepared to be very conscious you wish you had done more with your life once you have lost most of your strength to make an imprint.

This week, schedule some time to reflect on how you want to influence others during your limited time on this earth.

_____________________________________________

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 audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).

Monday, July 11, 2016

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

Rest, Relax, Concerns, Cozy, Sleep, Man, Person, Human
Sometimes just before I walk on stage, if there’s a pinball 
machine back there, I’ll play it because it clears my mind out;
it centers me—it’s almost like a Zen thing
.
--- Guitarist Joe Perry of Aerosmith

Have you ever tried to build a fire with too many logs? It doesn’t work. The space between the logs creates the fire just as much as the logs because the wood needs oxygen to light.

Similarly, if you try to create music without leaving space for silence between the notes, you will not create music, only noise.

You also need to leave space in your daily activities so you can breathe, reflect, and create a life in harmony. The space rekindles the fire within.

Visualizing a fire is much less unsettling than imagining a human stampede. It’s a horrific image: a mass of human flesh with no space in between the bodies. Without air to breathe, people suffocate.

Just as a fire needs empty space, music needs silence, and human beings need air, we need emptiness to balance the activities with which we fill our lives.

In the same way that the log and the empty space conjointly create the fire, and the note and the silence join together to create music, activity and recovery coalesce to create balance and meaning in life. Together, they transform the fire within into a sustainable passion.

The alternative—the stampede of incessant work and relentless activity—tramples our senses.

This week, make a commitment to schedule time every single day for psychological recovery, emotional renewal, and the rejuvenation of your energy.

_____________________________________________

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 audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).

Monday, June 27, 2016

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

Couple, Love, Tenderness, Sweethearts, People, Two
When you close your doors, and make darkness within,
remember never to say that you are alone, for you are not alone;
nay, God is within, and your genius is within.
And what need have they of light to see what you are doing
.
--- Epictetus

Four years ago, I worked with a woman in her late-twenties who had just hit a wall in her intimate relationship of two years. Amy and Marcus had planned their New Year’s trip to Mexico for about a month. Then he told her over dinner one evening that he didn’t think it was a good idea to go.

She wanted to angrily reply, “Who do you think you are? I’ve been planning my whole vacation around you.” Instead, she just listened without reacting.

I encouraged Amy to take some time alone to process what had happened and to think about what was behind the way Marcus was acting, and to also consider how she was feeling about the relationship.

Amy took a long walk alone after work in a nearby park the next day. While gazing at the distant trees, she decided that maybe she, also, needed to think more about where the relationship was going.

After taking time to relate to the inside, Amy was able to listen to Marcus’ commitment issues and help him to understand his fears, but also to clarify for both herself and for him her goal of starting a family over the next few years.

While Marcus was initially reluctant, he was also struck by Amy’s newfound strength. He realized he didn’t want to lose her. They are now happily married and have already had their first child.

This week, carve some time in your schedule to embark on your most important journey—the one within.

_____________________________________________

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 audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).

Monday, June 13, 2016

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

Kid, Child, Happy, Fun, Happiness, Children, Girl, Joy
Most children see the extraordinary within the ordinary.
Most adults see the ordinary within the extraordinary
.
--- Anthony Silard

My son, Daniel, is the inspiration for this quote. When I spend time with him, I realize that he sees beauty every day that I am rarely still able to see.

For example, when we walked up the street each day last December, he stopped in every single store window with a Christmas tree and exclaimed, “A Christmas tree. How beautiful!” (He says it in Spanish―Un arbolito de Navidad. Que bonito!”).

He would point up to the Christmas lights adorning the street and similarly comment on how beautiful they are. I always stood next to him, often preoccupied with my typical work concerns and glossing over the beauty available in my life every day.

Recently, we took a train journey and Daniel entertained himself for over half an hour just opening and closing the window shade. All of us “important” people cannot imagine “wasting” our time on such pointless activities.

The sad thing is that we don’t spend much of our time on anything we do not deem instrumental toward achieving a goal―whether that goal is personal or professional. As a result, we miss out on a lot of life. We exist on a stage filled with props that we continually assess for their utility rather than exalt in their beauty.

For anyone who hopes to experience a measure of happiness in their life, this dynamic has to change.

This week, stop a few times each day to appreciate the extraordinary within the people and objects that fill your life.

_____________________________________________

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 audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).

Monday, May 30, 2016

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


Candle, Guy, Young, Man, Male, Adult, Caucasian
Moods are driven by short-term emotions
such as pain, pleasure, anxiety, and anger.
Feelings are driven by the heart
.
--- Anthony Silard

The most common mistake we all make time and time again is to confuse a mood with a feeling.

Moods are brief. Their duration is usually a few moments, hours, or days—although occasionally they last for weeks.

In short, moods are feelings in disguise. A mood can be the result of what you just ate, whether you exercised in the last day or two, your reaction to what someone said or didn’t say, or a negative string of thoughts you’ve allowed to spiral out of control.

Feelings, on the other hand, last for weeks, months, years. They reflect how you truly experience your life. Your feelings consistently return to remind you of your innermost convictions. 

While moods are like small waves constantly shifting direction and stirring up the water, feelings are like a continuous swell of water moving in a specific direction. Feelings do change direction over time, but at a much slower, more stable rate than moods.

You can choose to have a conversation with yourself before you act impulsively based on a current mood such as edginess, anxiety, depression or anger. A simple reminder such as “I’m experiencing a mood. I will let it pass so I can return to a more stable, long-term feeling.” 

This week, take an inventory of the feelings that return to you over and over again. Also acknowledge the myriad moods you experience as the week progresses. Reflect on what your feelings show up to tell you about what you truly value.

_____________________________________________

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, May 16, 2016

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

 Kayaking, Canoing, Lakes, Streams, Creeks, Waterways
It is questionable if all the mechanical inventions yet made
have lightened the day’s toil of any human being
.
--- John Stuart Mill

Some argue we are more efficient than ever before. Others contend, however, that we are at times more efficient and in other moments eroding that efficiency by wasting time responding to emails and texts that aren’t aligned with our life vision.

There is no doubt that we have the capability to do things much more efficiently now. If you are in doubt, compare writing, typing, buying stamps, filling and addressing envelopes and sending out a letter to twenty board members only a few decades ago versus emailing it to them now.

The real question is where is this freed-up, newly liberated time going? To building stronger friendships, taking more vacations, playing more sports, listening to more music, enjoying life more?

For a few, yes. For most of us, however, the truth is not so illustrious. We are allocating the hours liberated by digital efficiency to other digitally-mediated activities less aligned with our core values and authentic sense of self.

This week, take a few moments to question how you are spending your time. Put simply, what are you doing with those extra hours now that you can more efficiently get things done and communicate with others? 

Are you getting even more things done and communicating even more rapidly—with briefer and briefer chunks of typed text rather than looking someone in the eye and speaking from the heart—or are you using this time to enhance your essential humanness and closest relationships? 

In the third millennium, that is the question.

_____________________________________________
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, May 2, 2016

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

 Medications, Cure, Tablets, Pharmacy, Medical
Stop worrying about how to be successful
and instead devote your time to thinking about how to be useful
.
--- Jim Collins 

In 1987, Merck scientists developed a cure for river blindness in West and Central Africa. Their market research indicated it would be unprofitable to sell the drug, Mectizan, because the more than 18 million people who needed it couldn’t afford it at the price they would need to charge to turn a profit. 

So Merck elected to ship Mectizan to West Africa for free. Merck made a similarly unprofitable decision to bring streptomycin to Japan after World War II to eliminate a tuberculosis epidemic.

“But why would a private company make unprofitable decisions?” you may be asking yourself.

The answer is simple. These were the only available options aligned with Merck’s vision of “preserving and improving human life.” 

Merck attracts some of the world’s best scientists, who are loyal to the pharmaceutical company because of its ideology. Without these top-caliber scientists, Merck would lose its internal capacity to develop other drugs that are profitable. 

Due to its adherence to a set of core values its scientists and customers believe in, Merck was extremely profitable as a company—growing to nearly $6 billion in profits and surpassing the general market by over ten times—between 1946 and 2000. 

This week, reflect on your approach to leadership. Ask yourself if you have an overarching vision of helping others or if you are just out to make a buck. The more you shift your orientation to the former, the more you will inspire others and, ironically, generate financial resources for your initiative.

_____________________________________________
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).