Monday, February 24, 2014

Smile, It's Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Make a Difference in the World

The day you find the job you love
is the last day you have to work.
--- Anthony Silard

Why is it so important to discover your passion? Because you have something unique and unrivaled to contribute.

You can discover your passion and integrate it into your life’s purpose by asking yourself, “What have I been through, or seen others go through, that I could dedicate myself to preventing?” and “What about the world agitates me and makes me feel uncomfortable?”

Make your resolve concrete by asking yourself, “What would wake me up in the morning and make me want to go through the doors of my office, my school, my hospital, or my stadium and do something with my life?”

Best of all, the day you confront the suffering you or others have experienced and convert it into your passion will be the last day you have to work. You will never again have a job. You will no longer even have to ponder, “What will I do in my career?” Instead, you will have a calling.

Your greater purpose will evolve out of a deeply rooted inner passion you won’t be able to shake even if you try, and it will drive you to achieve spectacular results.

Make this metamorphosis happen in every area of your life—starting today.

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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 17, 2014

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

                                         
What you do speaks so loud
that I cannot hear what you say.
--- Emerson

Many people spend their lives telling others who they are. Their words rarely have the intended effect. Why? Their private versions of themselves are usually inaccurate. They’re almost always either too inflated or too modest.

People don’t tell you who they are. They either tell you who they wish they were or share a lesser version of themselves to keep your (and their) expectations low and easy to manage.

Your words mean very little unless they are backed by concrete actions. For this reason, people form their opinions about you based on only one thing—how you act. They read you like a book. The pages? Your actions.

Not grand, sweeping actions that will shape your relationships forever. It’s not that easy, unfortunately. Your friends, family members, and coworkers have already been burned enough times by empty promises and high-flying declarations with lots of air but no weight.

Make a commitment this week to think twice before speaking to ensure you are prepared to back up what you say with specific actions. This simple strategy will enable you to build more trust with the people around you and create more fulfilling, meaningful, and sustainable relationships in your life.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What You Told Us---The Results of the Smile, It's Monday Title Survey

First of all, thank you to all of you who completed the brief, two-question survey asking:

1) Which of these titles do you prefer: Smile, It's Monday or Stumbling Over Truth ?

2) Do you prefer the text all in one paragraph, or broken up into multiple paragraphs?

Here are the results:

1) In total, 30 people participated in the survey via either email or one of our Facebook Pages.

2) 25 out of the 30 respondents (83%) preferred Smile, It's Monday. The other 5 (17%) preferred Stumbling Over Truth.

3) 26 people shared their opinion about the paragraph issue. 24 of them (92%) preferred multiple paragraphs.

As a result, Smile, It's Monday will retain its name and now be broken up into multiple paragraphs.

A few interesting notes for those of you interested in marketing and especially how people from different cultures respond to titles and brands:

1) Smile, It's Monday was generally considered more positive than Stumbling Over Truth. Emblematic of many comments we received, one respondent shared, "I find it's more positive, casual yet effective." Another shared that it "gives a good reason to look forward to the week" and is "optimistic." Another liked it for being "less intense, first thing in the week" than the second title.

2) The 14 (out of the 30) respondents for whom English was not their native language were much more aversive to the second title. One even found it "prescriptive and morbid." As one respondent from Portugal stated, "'Stumbling' is not a familiar English word for most non-native English speaking people." This sentiment was echoed in other comments from global respondents. Interestingly, the American respondents were less aversive to Stumbling Over Truth, and 4 of the 13 (31%) American respondents preferred it.

3) The same Portuguese respondent, a marketing professor, also stated that he preferred Smile, It's Monday because "You start with a nice emotion (smile), which raises people's mood, and therefore it's easier to convince them of things (like reading your blog)."

4) Regarding the paragraph issue, he shared, "I prefer multiple paragraphs. People live in a rush, therefore, they : a) Avoid big tasks, e.g. a big paragraph; and b) Just read the first lines of the paragraph. If you only have one paragraph they will only read a couple of lines; but, if instead you have three paragraphs, they will read the first 2 lines of 3 paragraphs (6 in total), and therefore, get access to more information."

There were many useful and interesting comments, too many to include here. I have tried to include some that might be useful for those of you who also have ideas you want to share with the world and desire to understand how best to package them so others will be open to and receive them.

This exercise has been a true learning experience that has left me with many insights. I hope you also take something away from it. Thank you so much to each and every one of you who participated for giving your time, thoughts and energy!




Monday, February 10, 2014

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

I love thee to the level
of everyday’s most quiet need.
-- Elizabeth Browning

This is one of the most beautiful quotes I’ve ever read. It speaks to the most challenging task in every intimate relationship: to detect the continually evolving needs of the other person.

Consider the relationships in your life in which you feel undetected, as if understanding your needs is not a high priority to the other person. Ask yourself if you feel this way because the other person doesn’t care about how you feel or doesn’t know how to draw out those needs from you.

In short, do they lack the motivation or the ability to detect what’s important to you? Now ask yourself, with unadulterated honesty, what your level of motivation and ability is to understand the needs of the people in your life.

Shift your thinking to your intimate relationship (or, if you are single, consider how you handled intimacy in the past) and consider how you can improve your motivation to understand the needs of your partner. Why do you love them? How does this love translate into the practice of empathy and compassion? Reflect on how you can enhance your ability to understand your partner. Could you take a communication skills course? See a couples therapist together? Find a good book on communication? (The Top Five Communication Books of All Time)

Make a vow to yourself this week to improve your daily effort to detect the needs of your partner (or, if you are single, another person in your life who is very important to you) and to take actions consistent with your values to meet those needs.

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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 3, 2014

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

Begin to be now 
what you will be hereafter.
--- William James

Here’s one of life’s great ironies: you become not what you think you will become, but what you do while you’re having those thoughts. In other words, your life happens while you’re thinking about your life.

Plan to buy a house while going to Vegas every month to gamble and you become a renter who gambles. Talk about traveling to distant lands while working your days away and you become an office drone who daydreams. Alternatively, you can make the decision to start doing whatever you visualize—even if only a little bit at first.

If you want to become more resolute, take a few small, resolute actions. If you want to become empathetic, start acting empathetically in little ways and they will add up and strengthen your sense of empathy over time. Reading books on empathetic communication and studying how empathetic people act will give you plenty of theory to hide behind, but are unlikely to make you more empathetic unless you also practice empathy daily.

The same applies to any significant change you want to make in your life. Whatever you wish you hadn’t done in the past . . . don’t do it now―act differently! It only takes a short period to feel the new energy in your life that new actions generate, and soon you become someone resolutely headed toward their goals.

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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).