Monday, October 29, 2012

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


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Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged
in a fortnight,
it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

--- Samuel Johnson

Are you aware of how limited your time is on this earth? As long as you think the time you have left is infinite, there’s no need to get started doing what really matters. Until you realize you may not have the time you think you do, you won’t know how to truly live today. Before you hit your big deadline, or get married, or your kids go to college, or have their own kids, you’ll always be in this position: no guarantee you have any days remaining; capable only of enjoying today.

Take a break from work for ten minutes and go outside for a walk. Internalize this awareness of your mortality and let it focus your mind now on what you truly value. What, at the end of the day (or your life), is most important to you? Who do you most love that you would like to spend more time with? Which disadvantaged people in our global society do you want to see make positive changes in their lives? How will you become a part of a process that helps them make these changes? What legacy do you wish to leave to your children, or other people you love? Do you want to be remembered as someone who efficiently did all their work day in and day out, or is there something greater you aspire toward? How will you translate this higher goal into compelling action now while you still have the opportunity?

What larger goal has been beckoning you for years that you never seem to find the time for, yet is critically important to leaving the legacy you wish to leave on this earth? 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, October 22, 2012

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


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When fear knocks on the door, 
courage opens it and sees no one.
--- Italian proverb

I once listened to Les Brown, the motivational speaker, speak about fear in a church in Oakland, California. I’ll never forget one of the lessons he imparted on that day: FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. Fear is like a group of little barking dogs. If you run away from them, they will chase you for the rest of your days. If you confront them, they will run away. The scariest moments of our life never actually happen. It’s commonly understood in psychology that many dreams are “dress rehearsals” for what we anticipate will happen in our lives. This is in large part because life offers no dress rehearsal; on the contrary, the dress rehearsal is your life. What fear truly means is we doubt our ability to handle what’s coming down the pipeline.

The antidote for fear, then, is trust, love, and self-confidence (the literal translation from Latin of which is “trust with ourselves”). All of these come from one common source: faith. Just as you will never “prove” to yourself that God exists, you will never prove that you are worthy, or capable, or of value. You have to just take this leap of faith. Then, and only then, will you stop focusing your energies on all the false evidence to the contrary. Those who seek to prove their worth say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” What they don’t realize, and what I issue to you as a challenge this week, is to do the opposite.

How do you handle those moments when you feel afraid, or your self-confidence is shaken? 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, October 15, 2012

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


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Discipline is not just doing what your Vision guides you to do.

It’s refraining from doing what your Vision guides you not to do.

--- Anthony Silard

Identify your everyday habits that are taking you in the wrong direction and preventing you from experiencing the intimate relationship you know is possible in your life. If your weekends with your partner frequently decay into the next episode of The Same Old Argument, take a moment to acknowledge what is transpiring and the insecurity, fear, or resentment underlying it. If you are hunched in front of your computer looking at potential mates online until the wee hours of the morning, recognize your habit and the loneliness at its root. Then visualize what you imagine intimacy could be like in your life.

After taking time to reflect on how you want to be, how you know you can be, integrate your new thoughts into an inspiring Vision to guide you from this day forward. Create a goal in your Action Plan (my book The Connection includes a guide to designing your own Action Plan),  such as, “Check internet dating sites a maximum of two times per week and turn off the computer by 11 pm” or “Go on at least ___ dates and spend at least ___ months with someone before allowing the relationship to progress physically,” or “When I feel like reacting, take a few moments to calm down, and gradually relinquish my need to defend my point of view. Work on practicing empathy instead.” This week, create a new goal for the intimate part of your life. Then review whether you are achieving it daily until you internalize it.

Is the intimate part of your life aligned with your greater life Vision? Why or why not? What can you do about it? 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, October 8, 2012

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


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Action generates feelings 
and feelings generate commitment.
--- Anthony Silard

When you open up to others about your book idea, or the new company you want to launch, or your desire to travel to Southeast Asia, your relationships evolve to make room for your dreams. “Not my relationships,” you may be thinking. “The people in my life get in my way.” The people in your life are the way. Without them, you’re taking a long walk on a short pier. This is why finding mentors is so important. If you want to have an intimate relationship that’s healthy, meaningful, and sustainable, observe someone who has an intimate relationship that’s healthy, meaningful, and sustainable and ask them how they do it. If you want to launch a successful company based on an innovative idea, observe someone running a successful company based on an innovative idea and ask them how they do it. And so on. You have to do more than think about something you want to do well. You have to feel what it’s like to be in the shoes of someone who does it well. And you have to start doing it.

Take some time this week to focus your mind on one of your most important goals. Then identify a mentor who has already achieved this goal or is living the kind of life you desire. Contact them and invite them to coffee or lunch (or request a phone call) so you can ask them how they have become so successful at what you value you so highly.

How many mentors do you have? How often do you meet with them? Alternatively, do you have trouble asking another person for directions, much less allowing them to be in a position of influence in your life? 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, October 1, 2012

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


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The foundation for making and keeping commitments
to others
 is making and keeping commitments to yourself.

--- Anthony Silard

A good image of leadership is … a highway. This highway has many toll booths, and you need a specific currency to pass through them. Every time you keep your word or act with integrity, you earn a coin. Every time you don’t, you lose a coin. You can only travel on the leadership toll-road if you have this currency. As soon as you run out, you are out. You can make mistakes, you can refuse to listen for awhile, you can even fail to inspire, but if you lose their trust, you’re done. The same is true with yourself: if you lose your self-trust, you stop following yourself; you stop believing in your ability to be the person you have imagined.

Identify a few small ways in which you will honor your word with yourself this week—whether it’s to wake up early, or exercise a certain number of times, or meet with a new person each day about an initiative you want to launch. Once you start building your self-commitment muscle, try making first smaller and then larger commitments to others related to what you want to create in your life. Make good on these commitments and you will be well on your path to leadership.

What helps you to make good on your word—first to yourself and then to others?  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).