Monday, June 30, 2014

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


Don’t just do something, 
sit there.
--- Thich Nhat Hanh

The best way to connect with your inner purpose is to take time alone to consider what you truly want out of life. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Almost everyone around you reinforces your activity and steers you away from inactivity.

Your parents, teachers, and other role models most likely taught you how to do, but not how to be. Yet, in the words of Ram Dass, you are a human being, not a human ‘doing’.

You were probably told countless times as a child: “Don’t just sit there, do something!” Yet why didn’t anyone ever say, “Don’t just do something, sit there!”? If no one else ever told you it was OK to just be, how will you feel telling yourself?

Refuse to take time out of the game and you’ll only win until those who slow down enough to contemplate not where the ball is, but where it’s going to be next, render you obsolete.

If you design clothing, your styles will soon fade as designers with more creative vision steer consumer tastes in other directions. If you teach children, your lessons will lose their edge as other teachers discover methodologies that kids relate to more. If you run a company, you will lose market share as other companies rapidly innovate while your products designed for yesterday’s consumers make their way to the back of the shelf.

This week, make a commitment to integrate regular, periodic time to reflect on your life into your schedule.

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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, June 23, 2014

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


If you hate a person, you hate something 
in him that is part of yourself.
What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.
--- Hermann Hesse

Do you see ‘For Rent’ signs when you walk around your neighborhood? Sure, if you’re looking for an apartment. Do you notice the Volkswagens on the road? Yes, if you’re in the market to buy one.

I once contracted a roofer who showed me a page of sample shingles and asked me to pick the color I wanted for my roof. The next day, I walked around my neighborhood and was surprised to find the shingles on my neighbor’s roofs were all different! I had never even noticed them before.

Do you even know what color the shingles are on your own roof? You only see in the world what’s already inside you.

The same is true for every other person you know, and this is why fretting over disapproval is not worth your time. When you don’t get the job, or your call isn’t returned, or you get stood up on a date, it means the other person has projected their cumulative life baggage onto you and you haven’t passed their subjectively-designed test.

You remind them too much of their older brother who stole all the attention, or their ex-girlfriend who was too needy, or not needy enough, or the teacher who never called on them. Approval is not a reflection of you, but of how others project themselves onto you.

This week, write down one strategy you can implement to be less influenced by the good opinions of others and more influenced by your own life priorities.

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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, June 16, 2014

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


Be who you are and say what you feel, 
because those who mind don't matter,
and those who matter don't mind.
--- Bernard M. Baruch

Every great performance—every piece of art that inspired you, every book that kept you turning the pages, every movie that kept you on the edge of your seat—was created by someone who had the courage to express their inner truth.

Like any great artistic initiative and like life itself, the truth is never picture-perfect. Yet it has feeling, draws you in, and makes a connection with you.

If you want to speak authentically, you have to share your difficult moments as well as your glorious ones. You are most likely a very honest communicator when you are sharing the more mainstream sides of yourself with which you know others are comfortable.

Yet here’s the million-dollar question: can you share the darker and quirkier sides of yourself? Until you do, you avert real connection. It’s the sharing of your challenges and idiosyncrasies—which, truth be told, are what make you interesting and unique—that makes you feel accepted by others for who you really are.

Without risking the misunderstanding and rejection that may come with being yourself, it’s all just a show. Your life is a TV set with you locked inside, as it was for Jim Carrey in The Truman Show. He ultimately had to break out, because he could no longer accept the fallacy that was his life.

This week, write down three actions you can take to be more authentic and live your desired 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, June 9, 2014

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


Death comes to all, but great achievements build a monument 
which shall endure until the sun grows cold.
--- Emerson

I’m sure you’ve heard many people proudly declare: “My goal is to come in first place in the cross-country race,” or “My goal is to break our sales record.” Yet few of these people translate these desired results into a clear description of the process they will put into place to bring about those results.

Envision someone you consider successful. To become a world-class athlete, or to write a best seller, or to create a surprisingly useful new product, which question do you think they asked themselves more often: “Can I do this?” or “How can I do this?”

Instead of making grand proclamations of what you’re setting out to achieve, or getting stuck in the do-I-have-what-it-takes self-defeating mental quagmire, focus your energy on how you will get there.

Goals like “Run a minimum of forty-five minutes at least four times per week” and “Study a minimum of ten hours per week for the CPA exam” are certainly not as sexy as “Produce a Grammy-award winning CD,” or “Become salesperson of the year.” Yet these are the real, tangible day-to-day activities that—through repetition and a commitment to continuously improving how you execute them—will usher you toward achievement.

This week, write down, in as much detail as you can, the specific action steps you will take to achieve an important life goal. Honor each action step as just as critical as the final expenditure of your effort that will transform your goal into an achievement.

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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).