Monday, January 27, 2014

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

In order to endure the tests of everyday living, 
one must respect that zone of privacy where one 
retires to relate to the inside instead of the outside.
--- Kahlil Gibran

How do you handle the times when your life isn’t progressing as you’d like it to? Do you take time to relate to the inside, or do you continue acting out the same dysfunctional patterns on the outside, even when the writing on the wall is signaling you need to take a break and reassess? It is within your power to re-engineer your internal voice by discarding thoughts like, “I don’t have time to take a break. There’s just too much to do,” and replacing them with new, more holistic thoughts that recognize you as a complete human being, such as, “While I do have a lot to do, I must take the time to renew my energy regularly or I’ll lose track of why I’m doing it and how to do it well.” Take some time this week to reflect on the messaging you receive from your internal voice regarding your relationship to work and play. Does your self-voice urge you to work relentlessly with little time to rest, like a jockey overworking her horse? Alternatively, does your inner voice demonstrate compassion and caring for you as a human being and encourage you to balance the time you spend on task with time to recover your energy and even enjoy each day? This week, reflect on the scripts you replay over and over again in your mind. Then consider how you can rewrite these scripts so they become more aligned with your deeper values and holistic life vision.

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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, January 20, 2014

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

Just as faith in yourself generates more faith,
doubting yourself generates more doubt.
--- Anthony Silard

Your doubts are to your challenging moments what flies are to a cow on a gruelingly hot summer day: they appear out of nowhere and refuse to go anywhere fast. Shakespeare refers to doubts as “traitors.” Worse still, they’re traitors that regenerate themselves. Like the government agents in the film Men in Black, your doubts effortlessly replace each other, one after the other, until you realize that trying to conquer them is a worthless endeavor. Here’s how it works: First you question why you can’t get a date. Within an hour you’ve painted an ominous picture of yourself growing old alone. You wonder why you didn’t get the promotion. Before long you’re imagining yourself being fired and fruitlessly pounding the pavement because there’s no need for your skills anymore. This really happens! The traitors at work! If you have dug yourself into a hole in any area of your life through over-thinking, my advice is simple: stop digging. Recognize that you are permitting your self-voice to become unhelpful and negative, and let any doubtful thought float out of your mind as easily as it floated in. At the same time, create a mental welcome mat for positive thoughts that honor your values and dignity. This week, try to allow these thoughts to stick around longer in your mind—and generate other positive thoughts—until you start to give them the attention they deserve and believe them.

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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, January 13, 2014

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


He serves all who dares be true.
--- Emerson

As children, we were often told by adults not to say what we feel. I’m sure you’ve heard the common adage, “Children should be seen and not heard.” If you grew up playing it safe and keeping your feelings to yourself, it will be difficult to start taking risks and sharing your authentic feelings now. It may be firmly entrenched in your psyche to keep certain facets of yourself subordinated―especially the less ‘controllable’ qualities such as being energetic, opinionated, unconventional or passionate. You may have denied these qualities in your attempts to win your parents’ love, or the approval of your teachers, coaches or bosses. Ask yourself how authentic you were as a child. Gauge the tolerance level for your genuine expression with which your parents raised you. Try to form an accurate, balanced picture of how much your parents and other authority figures invited you to share your true feelings. Then visualize how authentic you want to be now, and the forms your authentic expression will take. There are times when we feel strongly that we want to speak up about an issue, only to feel a few hours, days or weeks later that the issue is not as important to us as we felt in that moment. Yet there are other times when our feelings continually resurface to remind us of what we value. Our authenticity hinges on these moments. Make a commitment this week to speak up about what’s important to you on these occasions, and in so doing to construct and strengthen your authentic voice.

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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, January 6, 2014

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


Persistence doesn't mean insistence.
--- Anthony Silard

If you are heading home after work today and the road you usually take is closed, what will you do? Will you sleep on the street until your usual route is reopened? I don’t think so. You will find another way home. The same is true of how we achieve our personal and professional goals. As the old saying goes, there are many roads to Rome. Persistence is only a powerful tool when coupled with flexibility. To access its power, force yourself this week to see the writing on the wall, even if it’s not what you want to read. Also, consider that neither does persistence mean resistance. It means blending relentless grit and determination with a willingness to embrace change. If you don’t get the results you want when you try to invent a new product, or work for social change, or improve a relationship, then consider changing not your goal, but your approach. Not change meaning, “I will change what I’m trying to accomplish.” Change meaning “I will change how I’m trying to accomplish it.” To access the power of persistence, launch a three-step process every time you come up short when trying to achieve a goal: first, stop to recognize why your strategy didn’t work; second, apply this learning toward designing a new strategy; third, give the new strategy a shot. Note there is no step called “Feel Badly about Myself” or “Become Consumed with Self-Doubt.” To achieve your most important goals, persistence is necessary. Getting down on yourself is optional.

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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).