Monday, September 19, 2016

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

 
Travelers, it is late. Life’s sun is going to set.
During these brief days that you have strength,
be quick and spare no effort of your wings
.
---Rumi 

An accountant from Memphis I used to coach told me in one of our earlier sessions, “I’m thinking about taking two weeks off. I’m sure I’ll pay for it later.”


I replied, “If you don’t take time off, you can be sure you’ll pay for it later.”

Many people share Francis’ thoughts about “time off.” It’s a very limited outlook. Why? Because time off is really “time on” other dimensions of your life besides your career.

One of the primary problems the executives I coach face is they can’t take time for themselves or the people they love. They always feel they’re ‘too busy,’ or that taking a vacation would be ‘selfish.’

This week, try making a list of the true price Francis (and you) will pay for not taking time away from work.

Here are a few of the adverse side-effects you can anticipate from neglecting to take “time on” the non-work areas of your life: disconnection from your values and priorities, damaged or even lost relationships as others (rightfully) give up on your playing a consistent role in their lives.

Then of course there’s the lost productivity at work because you’re cutting with a dull blade. Productivity requires cognitive space to revisit and improve work processes—in other words, “time off.”

Then of course there’s the assortment of vices and illnesses that accompany self-evasion: excessive drinking or drugs, petty arguing, physical or emotional infidelity, headaches, ulcers, emotional bankruptcy…the list goes on.

After reviewing your list, schedule some “time on.”
_____________________________________________
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, September 5, 2016

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

Efficient information sharing:
#1—Digital. #2—Phone. #3—Face-to-Face.
Building meaningful, enduring relationships:
The reverse
.
--- Anthony Silard

Despite wearing a brace on each forearm, receiving regular cortisone injections, and facing surgery on her hands from sending up to 4,000 texts per month, a 16-year old from Chicago continued to send about 30 texts per day. 

“I know it’s not good enough, but I am trying,” Annie Levitz shared. “It’s not even good texts. It’s things like, ‘Hey, what’s up?’”

According to a Pew report, texting became the highest-growth mode of communication for teens from 2006 to 2009, doubling during this period from 27 to 54 percent. 

Further, half of teens send over 50 texts per day, one in three sends over 100 texts per day, and 15 percent send over 200 texts in a day or 6,000 texts per month.

The MBA students I interviewed reported that texting and IM-ing using the application WhatsApp are not only the predominate mode of communication between students, but in many cases the only means through which students communicate outside of class. 

“I made one phone call to another student from my smartphone during the first week and then never again for two years,” one student remarked. “It was just understood that we all used WhatsApp.”
 
Consider the ramifications of this digital shift for the development of communication skills such as listening with empathy and speaking with authenticity: when these complex interpersonal skills are not developed through practice, they atrophy.

Call a few people today that you usually text. Keep a journal of how these small changes influence your everyday relationships.
_____________________________________________
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, August 22, 2016

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

Sometimes you have to take
a step back to jump further
.
--- Mexican proverb

Imagine you are at the edge of a precipice between two cliffs six feet apart. You don’t just jump to the other side. You retreat ten or twenty feet, catch your breath, begin running, and then leap.

You go through the same process if you want to push something heavy forward such as a dense, solid door. You first take a step or two back.

Why? If you just push from your current position, you are less likely to achieve the result you desire. You won’t exert enough energy or force to move it forward.

Consider how this metaphor applies to your life. You may be in a relationship that’s experiencing a lot of friction. Balance your activity (interacting with the other person) with recovery (time alone) and you may conceive some better ways to relate to them.

You may be stuck in a dead-end job that fulfills you about as much as doing your taxes on a Saturday night. Find an equilibrium in which you do enough of your job to manage outward appearances while dedicating significant emotional energy and time to searching for a position more consistent with your inner passion. 

Take a moment to consider an area of your life in which you’ve been running on auto-pilot and, truth be told, are no longer experiencing much happiness. Retreat a few steps and reflect on its value to you and how you can either step back up and make it more meaningful or continue your retreat.
_____________________________________________
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, August 8, 2016

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

Hope is a waking dream.
--- Aristotle

Let’s consider the role of hope in your life. Without the hope that comes from connecting with your vision for a different future that includes more inspiring goals and milestones than your current life provides, you lose your motivation. 

Like the Auschwitz prisoners documented by the Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl without a strong reason to live after the war—such as to care for a child or complete scientific experiments—you gradually wither away.

In fact, hope drives all progress and forward movement. Your belief that your life can be better than it currently is (this belief is what we call “hope”) inspires you to think different, act different, be different in order to usher into your life what it does not yet contain. 

Yet Aristotle’s words may help us to realize that hope only becomes a powerful motivator when combined with action. 
As Albert Bandura of Stanford University has demonstrated, the stronger an individual’s beliefs in their “self-efficacy,” or their ability to achieve their goals, the higher their level of motivation to persevere toward those goals. 

People with low self-efficacy, on the other hand, shy away from their goals because they don’t feel they have the wherewithal to attain them.

Action in the present combined with the time and ability to develop first hope and then plans for a better future will provide the inner peace, motivation, and equilibrium to stay on course toward your goals. 

This week, dedicate yourself to finding a balance of hope and action in 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 new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).

Monday, July 25, 2016

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

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).