Peace if possible, but truth at any rate.
--- Martin Luther King, Jr.
MLK hails from a long list of leaders – including John F. and Robert F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, and Gandhi – whose lives were taken from them for voicing their beliefs. This list goes back literally to the dawn of time: we count humanity’s years on earth from the birth of a man, Jesus Christ, who was crucified at the stake for what he believed. The world’s most famous philosopher, Socrates, was forced to drink poison for his views. Cicero, the Roman statesman and philosopher who laid the foundation for our political system of democracy, was decapitated for his beliefs, his head and hands placed on the speaker’s forum in Rome. What is the price of authenticity for you? While it’s most likely not your life, it may be the comfort of your job, or the patronage of your clients, or the existing patterns of your relationships. Do you stand for anything so strongly that you would be willing to risk losing this comfort? Ask yourself what you truly stand for, and start making time this week to actualize it so your life starts moving on a path now that you can be proud of later.
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).