Monday, February 25, 2013

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


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I would rather be ashes than dust –
I would rather my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze

Than it should be stifled in dry rot.

I would rather be a superb meteor,
Every atom of me in magnificent glow,

Than a sleepy and permanent planet.
Man’s chief purpose is to live, not to exist.

I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.

I shall use my time.

--- Jack London

Do you continue down certain life paths—a job, a daily routine, a pattern of communicating (or not communicating) in a relationship—because they feel secure, even though you know they’re no longer working? One of the most difficult skills to learn and successfully integrate into your life is how to take risks. Just like any other human being, you have a natural tendency to stick with what you know, with your habitual patterns, with what feels safe—rather than stepping out of your comfort zone. Without taking risks, you will be unable to keep your actions aligned with your evolving Vision. By definition, your Vision—unless it paints a picture of the future exactly the same as the present—requires you to commit actions that will propel you into uncharted territory. You may prefer the safety and ease of sticking with your habitual patterns to putting yourself on the line and allowing the possibility of failure.

This week, ask yourself which risk you have known for some time that you need to take but have been putting off. Alternatively, consider which important goal in your personal or professional life you have been thinking about pursuing but have allowed to dissipate out of fear of failure, rejection, or not being “good enough.” First, acknowledge what is truly important to you. Then let the risks inherent to achieving it diminish in importance to achieving it.

How do you approach taking risks 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, February 18, 2013

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


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The art of progress is to preserve order
amid change
 and to preserve change amid order.

--- Alfred North Whitehead

In his book Built to Last, leadership theorist Jim Collins wrote, “The key to prospering and adapting in the coming decades amidst an ever-escalating rate of change is to first be clear about and resolutely dedicated to what you stand for and why that should never change. You must then be just as resolutely willing to change absolutely everything else.” Once you define the core of what you stand for, it’s easier to embrace change. Why? You’ve identified what you will not change. Determining what is non-negotiable also defines what is negotiable.

Do you have a clear mission, Vision Statement (my book The Connection includes a guide to creating your own Vision Statement), and set of core values that guide your work? This week, step back from the mountain of tasks that circumscribe you daily and take stock of the values that inspire you and your team. Let go of your thoughts about the short-term results you crave and let your mind enter a more expansive space where deeper thoughts can percolate and the larger picture comes into view. Have a discussion with your team about what is non-negotiable in your work. Then design some strategies that give each team member free reign to innovate while honoring the core values and long-term Vision of your company or organization.

How do you balance order and change in your work? 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, February 11, 2013

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


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Action and inaction have one thing in common: they’re
both self-generating. 
Each propels you down its own path.

--- Anthony Silard

Do you sit around your house or apartment thinking about how you would like to meet the right person, but the men (or women) you meet are always too this, or too that? Alternatively, have you convinced yourself that you are just too busy right now, or you have too much to work on since your last relationship fell apart? Sound familiar? All these “too’s” are convenient excuses that keep us safely within our own comfort zone. In the romantic area of your life, ask yourself if your mind is taking you on a long ride to nowhere or if action is fueling your heart and generating more action. If you’re tired of sharing the highlights of your week with your cat and want to meet someone new, stop letting your mind play the leading role.

Make a pact with yourself this week not to prohibit the sublime beauty that could enter your life through a new friendship or intimate relationship for a moment longer. Instead, imagine there is an invisible hand pushing you in the direction of someone who looks interesting and just walk up to them and say something. More often than not, the imaginary obstacles you erected in your mind will vanish right before your eyes.

How do you work up the courage to meet new people? 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, February 4, 2013

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


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The only limits to our realization of
tomorrow
 will be our doubts of today.

--- Franklin D. Roosevelt

While it’s true that every opportunity you create in your life begins with an inner belief in your ability, it’s also true that every opportunity you destroy has its roots in your questioning this ability. The voice of self-doubt is like a stubborn and angry spouse, or a dog in your neighborhood that won’t stop barking at you. Once it starts yapping, you’ll never silence it by trying to argue with it on its own terms (although this would be quite entertaining to watch). Negative thoughts, like positive beliefs, only verify and regenerate themselves.

This week, go on a long walk and allow yourself to breathe some fresh air and relax. Once you start to feel more connected with yourself, monitor your self-voice. Reflect on a challenge you are currently facing and how you are narrating it to yourself. When you find your voice beginning to entertain doubts, instead of trying to argue with your doubts, switch tracks and bring positive, nurturing thoughts about yourself into your mind. Like a barking dog not getting the attention it desires, your doubts will go away.

How does your self-voice handle those moments when you doubt yourself? 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).