Monday, September 24, 2012

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


 
The only Zen you find on the tops of
mountains 
is the Zen you bring up there.

--- Robert Pirsig

This couldn’t be more true. The sunset, the mountain, the cool running stream do not enable you to dream—you enable you to dream! It’s not nature, after all, that makes the decision to open up your mind to your dreams. Even in the middle of a bustling city surrounded by people, you can close your eyes and walk to the top of a mountain, watch the sunset, or hear the sound of the ocean. Imagine you are stuck in a traffic jam and watch an elderly man step off a bus and meander along the street with his cane. You start to ruminate on what his life is like and are soon  reconnected with your deeper values and envisioning what’s important to you.

Take a long walk this week and let your mind drift for awhile. Then think about what you would do if you received two messages on the same day: first, you have inherited millions of dollars and never need to work another day in your life; second, you have a terminal illness and have only a few more years to live. What would you do with your time? This mental exercise will help you focus your mind on what you most deeply value. Reflect on this question, and use the answers to take a disarmingly honest look at how you are spending your time.

How do you find time to disconnect from your daily activities and reconnect with yourself? Tell us about it in the comments.


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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, September 17, 2012

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


http://www.highonhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/heart.jpg 

I would never join any club 
that would have me as a member.
---Groucho Marx

If you want to form a special society of people who truly love you and want to make you a priority in their lives, you have to become the first card-carrying member. Without self-love, hoping for other-love is fruitless. Why? The only way to lead is from the front, by example. Otherwise you’re expecting others to do what you’re unwilling to do yourself. Trust me on this one: I know because I’ve been there. I spent the first half of my life second-guessing others because I couldn’t believe they actually enjoyed being around me. Why? Because I didn’t enjoy being around myself. I couldn’t detect on the outside what I wasn’t familiar with on the inside—no matter what the evidence objectively stated. Just as you only hate in others what’s already inside you, the same is true for love.

What about you? In the workplace, does your self-doubt lead you to distrust your instincts and let opportunities to speak up and suggest important changes pass you by? Do you refuse to allow your creativity, imagination, and brilliance to surface for others to experience because you don’t believe in what you have inside? In your personal relationships, do you push others away by questioning their motives since, after all, they can’t genuinely love or care about you? Until you accept love from yourself, you won’t accept it from others. This week, meditate on how you can transform your self-voice into an enduring source of support in your life.

How do you build your self-esteem? How do you handle those moments when your self-confidence is shaken? Share your successes and challenges in this area with us in the comments. 


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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, September 10, 2012

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


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Your judgment in differentiating between a mood 
and a feeling will determine
 your ability to
bring success and happiness into your life.

--- Anthony Silard

While feelings are a make-or-break factor in developing a viable Vision, moods disguised as feelings often steer you away from your Vision. Your moods go up or down depending on the pleasure or pain you associate with any decision—rather than the decision’s alignment with your larger life goals. Feelings, on the other hand, are like love. They resonate deeply within you. They are congruent with and become a part of your Vision. Imagine you just met someone for the first time and are starting to have romantic feelings toward him or her. Moods are like those first rushes of emotion you’re not sure if you will act on. A protracted mood that can last for weeks or even months is similar to infatuation. You think about the other person all the time, yet there’s a voice deep inside telling you to slow down. To understand how feelings work, imagine you meet someone and get acquainted at a slower pace. Each time you see the person you share a little more of yourself, and he or she reciprocates. Over time, you feel more comfortable, strong, and passionate in the relationship. Even if your mind initially questions them, your feelings can feel so “right” and become so deeply entrenched in your heart that your Vision evolves over time to accommodate them.

This week, pick a situation and ask yourself whether a mood or a feeling is driving your actions. If a comment from your partner causes you to feel jealous or insecure, sit with your emotion and try to determine if it’s a temporary mood. Let it go, knowing if it’s a long-term feeling it will consistently return.

How do you distinguish between moods and feelings in your life? Share your successes and challenges in this area with us in the comments.

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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, September 3, 2012

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


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It is no use walking anywhere to preach

unless our walking is our preaching.

--- St. Francis of Assisi

It was my first college literature course. My class at Berkeley had just read a story about an old man lying on his deathbed ruminating on his life. This man thought he had deceived the world his entire life because no one else knew about the evil thoughts he often had. He thought he had fooled others into believing he was good by being kind to them and suppressing his true, darker Self. I listened for over an hour to other students discussing how unfortunate it was that he couldn’t have been a better person. Then I had an epiphany I’ve never forgotten since. I raised my hand and exclaimed, “He was a good person!” “What do you mean?” another student asked, squinting at me. “If he was kind to other people his whole life, he was a good person.” I replied. “What does it matter what he thought? He was a good person because that’s how he treated others. He just never realized it.” I feel even more strongly today that the old man in that story was a good human being. His thoughts had very little impact on the world. His impact, or the difference he made in other people’s lives, was determined by his actions.

This week, take some time to reflect on the impact you want to make on the world in your limited time here. Take one action—any action, no matter how small—toward your goal. Experience the feelings your action generates—they will guide you toward more compelling actions in the future.

How do you jump-start yourself into action? 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).