Monday, July 30, 2012

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


http://remyvanruiten.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/6a00d8341e26ef53ef00e5518b4e098834-800wi.jpg
Any act of creative genius begins with the
door closed
 and ends with the door open.

--- Anthony Silard

Whether you are an author, a clothing designer, or a software developer, you begin a new project by closing the door to outside influence and connecting with your creative Vision or original intention for what you want to produce. Once you reach a comfortable level of inner clarity, you open the door and solicit feedback from others. Based on your calm analysis of this feedback, you determine how to adapt your book, clothing line, or software—without relinquishing your core intention—into a language others will understand so they can integrate it into their lives.

Are you currently tapping into your inner creativity—your deep desire to create something new in the world that will reach other people and add beauty to their lives? What creative project is beckoning you to stop going through the motions in other areas of your life and give it some of your attention? Take some time this week to go on a walk alone in a place that inspires you with its natural beauty. After you return home, write down one act of creativity you can take in the next few weeks. Go on a few more walks—keep the door closed—to allow your initial idea to germinate. When you are ready and feel the integrity of your idea has become more solid, open the door and share your idea with others.

How do you tap into your inner creativity? Tell us about it in the comments.

_____________________________________________

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, July 23, 2012

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


http://www.slymf.com/forum/attachments/58d1281385497-jeff-bezos-brain-behind-amazon-com-bezos.jpg

Profits are the lifeblood of a company but not the reason to
exist. 
You don’t live for your blood, but you couldn’t live without it.

--- Jeff Bezos, CEO of amazon.com

“It’s all well and good to focus on character,” you may be thinking, “but to survive I need to focus on profits!” The best companies do good and do well. As Norman Schwarzkopf said, leadership is a potent combination of character (doing good) and strategy (doing well), and only the former is non-negotiable. Character—which generates your raison d'ĂȘtre (“reason for being”), your larger life vision, your core values—is what you live for, and the most stable and enduring part of who you are. Just as you can’t squeeze an orange and obtain grapefruit juice, you can’t be an honest person and feel comfortable committing a dishonest act.

Consider an important decision you need to make this week in your career. Ask yourself which options will enable you to do good and which will result in your doing well. Are there any options that will generate both outcomes? Make your decision based on your deeper integrity that guides you to never sacrifice the needs of others to fulfill your own.

Have you experienced a critical life decision that called upon your deepest moral reserves? How did you handle it? Tell us about it in the comments.


_____________________________________________

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, July 16, 2012

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



Inspiration is much higher than reason, but it must not contradict it. 

Reason is the rough tool to do the hard work; 
inspiration is t
he bright light which shows us all truth.

—Swami Vivekananda

Would you describe yourself as a person who gets lost in their thoughts or as someone who gets carried away with their feelings? Which do you trust more—your mind or your heart? If you could only use one of these internal instruments to make your decisions from now on, which would you choose? Try this quick exercise: look straight ahead, point to yourself, and say with conviction, “This is who I am.” Really, try it. I’ll bet you just pointed to your heart, not your mind. This simple test demonstrates which part of your body you identify with more.

Ask yourself this question: “What can I do this week to honor my heart?” You honor your heart when you do at least some of what you truly feel you want to do rather than solely engaging in what you think you should do. Integrate some time into your schedule to do what fills your heart with joy—whether that means to go for a massage, or to a concert, or to watch some stand-up comedy, or to just hang out with someone you really care about and catch up about life.

How do you honor your feelings and take time to truly enjoy your life? Tell us about it in the comments.

_____________________________________________

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, July 9, 2012

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



It’s not a question of getting rid of the fear. It’s a question of tolerating it. 
You just say, ‘Yeah, my heart is pounding, OK.’ You learn to live with it.

--- Best-actress nominee Annette Bening,
when asked by an interviewer before 
the 2005 Academy Awards,
“Does the fear of failure ever go away?”

A Machiavellian strategy is to keep your adversaries close. By keeping an eye on them you can prevent them from becoming too unruly. Apply this same strategy to your relationship with fear. Keep it under close supervision so you can anticipate the direction it’s going to push you in next. “But if I open myself to the fear I feel inside, I will become paralyzed,” you may be thinking. Like the actress, you can learn to accept your fear and move forward anyway. To transform your relationship with fear, simply say to it, “I know you’re there, and I accept you as I accept any other emotion I naturally feel. But I will never allow you to control me again.”

Take some time this week to identify the fear that has been paralyzing you in an important area of your life. If you love singing but are afraid of being ridiculed, or want to further your education but fear you will prove yourself inadequate, or want to have a closer relationship with your father but fear his rejection, take the simple yet unparalleled step of naming your fear. Once you see it clearly, you will be better able to manage it. Start by asking your fear, “Why have you shown up in my life?” Listen to what it has to say, thank it for its wisdom, and then resolutely decide how to move forward in your life.

How do you handle your fear? Share your successes and challenges in this area with us in the comments.


_____________________________________________

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, July 2, 2012

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



You only know how strong a dam is 
when water is trying to push it over.
--- Anthony Silard

How do you treat others when you are in a bad mood, or not getting the results you want? Do you choose to act based on your long-term values or your short-term emotions? You only know how much integrity a person has when you observe whether they treat people with decency and respect when they don’t feel like it, or when one of their buttons has been pushed, or when they don’t need the other person’s allegiance for their strategic aims. The next time you are on a first date, or meeting with a potential business partner for the first time, observe how the other person treats the server. Why? As the old saying goes, it’s how they will be treating you in six months.

Take some time this week to reflect on the core values that will dictate how you act toward others. Then ask yourself this question: “How will I incorporate these values into how I act from moment to moment?” What strategies will you put into place to keep your emotions in check when they threaten to derail you from acting in ways you can be proud of later? Write down these strategies and read them over regularly—especially when your emotional triggers have been pushed and you are in danger of trespassing on the values you wish to guide your life.

How do you manage difficult emotions when they show up in your life? Share your successes and challenges in this area with us in the comments.


_____________________________________________

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).