Monday, April 28, 2014

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

Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, 
perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing 
in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two,
and I k
now it was not the last blow that did it,
but all that had gone before.
--- Jacob August Riis

To set a goal is to take a bold stand. It’s expressing your willingness to do whatever it takes to bring your desired future into existence. Most people spend their lives designing elaborate excuses to avoid this heightened level of self-effort.

When you refuse to put your goals down on paper, your actions translate as either “I’m content to just go with the flow and see what happens” or “I’m not serious enough about my goals to hold myself accountable to them.”

Setting and pursuing goals can bring up many deeply-entrenched issues within us. It’s not easy to handle the voice of self-doubt. There are times when you might feel that you will never reach a goal and transform your life into what you deeply desire it to become. At these times, your actions might seem futile and pointless.

Yet once you achieve your goal, you will know it was these moments of doubt when your resolve was tested—when you had to dust yourself off, pick yourself back up and try again—which were the most crucial in generating your success.

This week, identify the rock you are chipping away at—whether it’s to finish a project, learn how to communicate better in a relationship, or make more of an impact in your career. Then ask yourself if you are truly honoring the effort you are mustering up with each blow.

Remind yourself that each ounce of effort brings you closer to transforming your goal into an accomplishment. 
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Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Instituteand 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, April 21, 2014

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

The least of things with a meaning
 is worth more in life
than the greatest of things without it.
---Carl Jung

All the possessions in the world won’t give you as much to live for as one ounce of purpose. This is why connecting with your inner motivations and greater life purpose is the greatest promotion you will ever obtain.

When we do not make this connection, it is easy to become obsessed with drugs, alcohol, sex, money, food, or vain arguments that squeeze out any time to truly relate to others. We unwittingly transform our lives every day into a quest to experience short-term pleasure and avoid pain without assessing that pleasure or pain with respect to anything.

If you are unwilling to put your short-term needs for intimacy, sexual pleasure, an assuring nod from your parents, or bringing in those dollars on the back burner, then don’t expect to move toward your long-term goals. How can you reach your destination if you’re heading in another direction, or in no direction at all?

I know it’s not easy to shelve what feels in the moment like a burning desire. Yet it’s even more difficult to live with the consequences of decisions that transform you into someone you don’t want to become.

This week, ask yourself why you are here on this planet and what you, uniquely, are here to contribute to the rest of us. The universe awaits your response.
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Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Instituteand 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, April 14, 2014

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

It’s a little bit like American Idol,
except everybody is Simon Cowell.
-- President Obama, on his first two months in office.
Although his father wanted him to be a farmer, a seventeen-year-old from Michigan dropped out of school to follow his passion for mechanics. In his own words, his family had “all but given [him] up for lost.”
In 1899, his employer offered him a promotion with the condition that he give up his private obsession with designing a gasoline engine that would inexpensively transport people. He refused, and quit his job.
He became the object of much derision for trying to ‘democratize’ the automobile by producing one at a price the common man could afford. The founder of the Ford Motor Company went on to become that rare person to mass-produce his own invention. By the time the Model T gave way to the Model A in 1927, the pioneer of modern assembly-line production had sold fifteen million worldwide.
Do you have to lead knowing some of the people you’re leading don’t like you very much? If you want to become a leader who “makes a ding in the universe,” as Steve Jobs once said, you have to be willing to go against the grain when your deeper values require it.
This week, make a pact with yourself to do three things: First, to accept that some people will not support you or what you are trying to create. Second, to learn what you can from their good opinions. Third, to discard the rest and get on with the challenge of effective leadership.
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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, April 7, 2014

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

Usually, your best idea or work 
is going to be attacked the most.
-- Francis Ford Coppola

An unknown writer from Lousiana unsuccessfully looked for a publisher for his book for over eight years. Simon & Schuster commented that John Kennedy Toole’s book “isn't really about anything.” At age thirty-one, Toole gave up, and committed suicide.

His mother spent another five years searching for a publisher with no luck. After she accosted him repeatedly in his office without an appointment, a literature professor at Loyola University in New Orleans, where the novel is set, finally took some interest in the manuscript and helped her publish it. 

Within a year of publication, A Confederacy of Dunces became the first book ever published by a university press to win the Pulitzer Prize. In my opinion, it still stands as the funniest book ever written.

This week, ask yourself this one question: “Do I want to be liked by everyone?” If your answer is yes, your end-goal translates as: “I want my actions and opinions to be congruent with the values of everyone I know.”

That’s tantamount to answering the question, “What music do you like?” with “Whatever is currently in the Top Forty,” or responding to the question, “What is your favorite football team?” by exclaiming, “Whichever team wins the Super Bowl.”

Opinions are like friends: choose a few and your life has meaning. Choose them all and you end up with none.

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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).