Monday, December 30, 2013

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


Chaos in the midst of chaos isn't funny, 
but chaos in the midst of order is.
--- Steve Martin

Many decades ago, a struggling comedian made crazy jokes (chaos) while wearing long hair, a medallion, and an open, tie-dye shirt (more chaos). Steve Martin worked this shtick for fifteen years on the nightclub circuit with only moderate success. Then he made a huge transformation: he lost the hippie gear and put on a white suit (order) while making his jokes even crazier (chaos). Watching someone who looks like a normal guy at the office acting completely nuts took people over the edge. Martin hit critical mass, became the first comedian to sell out stadiums, and achieved unprecedented success in his field. His story provides a window into the need we have to balance order and change in our lives. Change without order lacks confidence and direction; order without change loses its relevance and importance to us. Think about how your work and life have been coexisting lately. Do you have more of a need for order or change? Have you been doing the same thing the same way for what feels like eons? Do you need to stretch yourself in your approach? Alternatively, do you leap before you look, and constantly jump from idea to idea without taking time to better assess their viability? Consider whether you err too much on the side of order or change, and write down a few strategies to practice this week to better balance your work and life.

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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, December 23, 2013

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


Your relationship with yourself is the basis for all your 
other relationships and everything 
you will ever accomplish in this world.

I would venture a guess that you choose to spend as little time as possible with people you don’t enjoy being around. If you don’t like Frank, you probably avoid spending time with him. Here’s a sobering parallel truth: if you don’t like yourself, you’ll avoid spending time with yourself. Yet you must be capable of comfortably spending time alone to create a vision for your life. This leads to a staggering conclusion: you must first love yourself if you wish to develop a life vision. Despite this reasoning, and that many of us find ourselves frequently moving in the wrong direction, or in no direction at all, we still neglect to make the most important investment of our time: into the development of our relationship with ourselves. Ask yourself, “Why is it that I have time for all the other demands my coworkers, parents, children, and friends heap upon me, but no time for myself?” Consider why you can schedule meetings with everyone except the one person with whom your relationship is the basis for all your other relationships: yourself. Make a pact with yourself this week to invest time in this vital relationship from which everything else in your life unfolds.

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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, December 16, 2013

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


To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years.  
To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.
--- Winston Churchill

How do you treat others when you are in a bad mood, or dissatisfied with how they are acting, or not getting the results you want in your job? You only know how strong a dam is when water is trying to push it over. Likewise, 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 one of their buttons has been pushed, or they don’t need the other person’s allegiance for their strategic aims. The next time you are at a restaurant on a first date, or meeting with a potential business partner for the first time, observe how the other person treats the server. Why? It’s how they will be treating you in six months. The next time you feel as if someone has treated you like yesterday’s meatloaf, follow Abraham Lincoln’s example and write an angry letter and then don’t send it. You will earn the trust and respect of others―and, ultimately, your own trust and respect―for valuing their dignity and humanity over your emotion du jour.

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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, December 9, 2013

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


A person who is extremely hungry is not a
good judge of food. 
Make your important life decisions 
from a place of strength, not weakness.
--- Anthony Silard

When you are really hungry, you’re not a good judge of what you eat. Everything tastes good as you are fulfilling a primal need. Let’s apply this dynamic one step up Maslow’s hierarchy: suppose you are looking for an apartment. If you are uncomfortable with where you are currently living, are unable to sleep, or your landlord is threatening to throw you out, the first apartment you see will look appealing. In your desperation, it is easy to oversee that the apartment is actually not at all in the location you are seeking, or that it’s exposed to too much street noise. Now visualize another scenario: you like your current apartment but feel that it’s not the ideal long-term place for you to live. You calmly visit about fifteen apartments, and finally settle on one. Let’s apply this metaphor to the need for intimacy. This need is higher order than the need for food or shelter, yet sometimes can feel even more urgent and pressing. The next time you consider going on a date, ask yourself how hungry you are. If you are starving for affection, you are likely to select the first potential mate who comes along, and then later wonder how you could have been so blind to what you truly desire in a partner. Whether you are looking for an apartment, a person to share your life with, or a new career, take a few days to sleep on an important decision and return to the stable place within where you know what’s right for you. 

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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, December 2, 2013

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

It’s not the cards you’re dealt in life that count,
but how you play ‘em.
--- Anthony Silard

Have you heard this story about two brothers? One is a drug user, is physically and verbally abusive toward his wife and children and has been unemployed for a number of years. Someone asks him, “Why are you like this?” He replies, “My father was an alcoholic.” The other brother does not drink or use drugs, is a devoted husband and father, enjoys his job and is a thoughtful person who often volunteers to help disadvantaged people in his community. The same person asks him, “Why are you like this?”  He responds: “My father was an alcoholic.” The moral of this story: we choose both the lens through which we see the world and the actions we generate from it. For anyone to feel empowered in life, they have to make decisions and choose a course of action from moment to moment that is right for them―choices and actions aligned with their deepest values and passion. Every successful person I’ve ever worked with―independent of their beginnings or the challenges they’ve had to handle along the way―has taught me that we don’t choose the cards we are dealt in life, but we do choose what we do with them. Now I ask you this challenge question for the week: “Why are you like this?”

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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).