Monday, May 25, 2015

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


Disapproval is an emotional transfer
from a stronger human being to a weaker one.
--- Anthony Silard

Let’s suppose someone knocks on your door and offers you a gift of envy-inspired criticism, unbridled anger, or negative thinking. If you decide not to accept the gift, then who does the gift belong to?

Like any gift anyone wants to give you, disapproval only becomes yours if you accept it.

If you bring disapproval into your possession, you allow the strength of its supplier to overpower you and reduce your self-esteem. Yet all you have to do is say, “Thanks, but no thanks,” and the disapproval still belongs to them!

Consider a situation where someone is offering you their gift of disapproval, such as when your boss says you need to work on your writing style, or your partner says they don’t like what you’re wearing, or your mother says your hair looks thinner. Now consider your internal strength and God-given right to accept or deny anything that’s offered you.

This is not to say you shouldn’t take other people’s opinions to heart: others can provide a valuable source of feedback to help you determine how to improve your writing, or dress to impress, or do anything even better—and it can always be done better—the next time around.

Yet the moment another’s opinion goes beyond constructive feedback and trespasses into the realm of disapproval, it paralyzes you and ceases to be an asset to your growth.

This week, make a commitment to only accept gifts from others that you truly desire to keep.

_____________________________________________

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, May 18, 2015

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


Everything that is really great and inspiring
 is created by the individual 
who can labor in freedom.
--- Albert Einstein

What does it mean to “labor in freedom.” It means increasing your want-to-should ratio.

Please allow me to explain. The want-to-should ratio is the percentage of the time you spend working in which you are doing the work you feel (in your heart) you want to do rather than the work you think (with your mind) you should do.

Why the bad rap for the should work? Because the work you think you should do is almost always the work others think you should do or the work you think you should do to gain the approval of said others.

In this sense, such work is not emanating from your heart and soul. To do such work is not, accordingly, to “labor in freedom.”

Yet we must all keep in mind that, just as a wonderful marriage has its moments of drudgery and angst, to do the work we feel in our heart we want to do does not mean to do what we feel like doing every hour of every day.

This truth notwithstanding, when you are working with your values toward your vision—rather than those inherited from others who loom large in your mind—the mundane tasks required to realize your vision on a daily basis are tolerable and can even be embraced with joy.

This week, ask yourself what it means to labor in freedom. Take action accordingly.

_____________________________________________

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, May 11, 2015

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


While I can crawl upon this planet 
I think myself obliged to do what good I can, 
in my narrow domestic spheres, 
to my fellow creatures, 
and to wish them all the good I cannot do.
--- Lord Chesterfield

On Christmas Day in 2014, emanating from growing anti-Muslim sentiment in Europe, a mosque was set aflame in Sweden. Two other mosques were set on fire before the New Year. On one of the mosques, the arsonists wrote in graffiti, “Go home, Muslim s---.”

How did everyday Swedes react? With “love bombs.” All over Sweden, the doors of mosques were plastered with hearts and cards expressing support.

Nine months earlier, a school that included Judaic studies in its curriculum in central Stockholm was defaced with swastikas and neo-Nazi graffiti, and was similarly decorated with love bombs.

Bawar Ismail, a member of the Young Liberals Party that organized the love-bombing of the school, shared, “We wanted the pupils at the school to be greeted by love in the morning instead of all the hate they saw on Monday.”

In a period filled with ominous headlines depicting the heartless destruction of human dignity and life, this story caught my attention. Instead of feeling hopeless, overwhelmed, and disillusioned with the callousness of others, individuals like Ismail decided to take action.

This week, design a few love bombs. Whether you direct your love bombs to disenfranchised people in your community or disconnected people in your own home, your daily, tangible expressions of love and caring are your greatest source of power to revitalize your relationships and create the world filled with peace and compassion that you know, deep in your heart, is still possible.

_____________________________________________

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, May 4, 2015

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


Beware that, when fighting monsters, 
you yourself do not become a monster...
for when you gaze long into the abyss, 

the abyss gazes also into you.
--- Friedrich Nietzsche

Social psychological research by Roy Baumeister of Florida State University and Mark Muraven of the University of Albany has found that self-control is like a muscle: when people exert too much self-control, they become tired and find it more difficult to exercise self-control in the future.

When you resist having that piece of chocolate cake for dessert, for example, you wear down your self-control muscle such that resisting the next piece offered five minutes later becomes more difficult, and so on. For this reason, someone saying no to drugs or alcohol is more likely to give in to peer pressure the longer they spend time with those applying it.

It should be no surprise, then, that you keep doing certain activities over and over again because they require little self-control. These activities may include responding to emails, crunching out documents and spreadsheets, and constantly checking your smartphone.

The problem is that devoting all of your time to these activities may be taking you on a non-stop journey to the wrong destination.

Other activities that you wish you would do more but never seem to find the time for—such as going to a yoga class or taking a vacation to a new town or nature reserve or country—require much more of your mental energy because you haven’t developed the same expertise in handling them.

This week, reflect on how you can take your life off cruise control and start moving it in the direction you know is possible.

_____________________________________________

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).