Monday, September 28, 2015

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


Forget about happiness and sadness
 and seek truth
.
--- Anthony Silard

Our society impels you to fixate on short-term pleasure. It sends you packages of information every day—from television ads to advice columns to Hollywood films—laced with values not your own.

These messages encourage you to seek immediate fulfillment and avoid anything that causes you to feel complex emotions. You are encouraged to seek happiness and avoid whatever makes you feel sad.

You become what you give your attention to. Fixate on short-term pleasure and you may become someone who experiences occasional short-term pleasure. Alternatively, determine what you’ve been put on this earth to do and then pursue it with everything you have and this is what you become: someone who lives an aligned, values-driven life.

How do you steer yourself away from truth—and, ironically, happiness—by seeking happiness? You move in with someone you quickly become passionate about because it makes you feel happy now, but ten months later realize that being with them is not aligned with your vision of finding the person with whom you want to start a family.

You drop out of college to pursue music because playing the guitar fulfills you and Sociology 101 doesn’t, and years later realize that you ignored one of your core values: to have an education—a value you learned from watching your father shift from one low-paying job to another.

When you seek truth, be prepared to feel very uncomfortable at first. Yet know in the long term you will feel more comfortable, solid and authentic.

_____________________________________________

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, September 21, 2015

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


All of humanity's problems stem from
man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.
--- Blaise Pascal
In a startling experiment, University of Virginia social psychologist Timothy Wilson and colleagues asked 146 student participants to sit in a room, put away their smartphones and other belongings, and just think for 6 to 15 minutes.
Some were prompted to think about specific subjects, such as planning how they might play a sport or go out to eat, and others were told to think about anything they like.
About half of the participants stated they were unhappy with the experience. Most reported having trouble concentrating and high levels of boredom.
Now for the most, well, shocking part. Wilson asked students to shock themselves and rate how they felt about the shock, which was invariably negative. Students were placed in a room again for a similar “thinking period.”
Despite having shared they would pay money not to receive another shock, 67 percent of the men and 25 percent of the women elected to administer more shocks to themselves rather than sit in the room with nothing to do.
Wilson and his colleagues infer that people prefer doing something rather than nothing, even if that something is unpleasant.
This week, consider the meaning of this experiment in our digitally-mediated society in which distractions are at our fingertips 24-7.

Come up with at least one strategy—such as going to a meditation or taking a walk alone in a park after work—to expand your comfort with the one person you will be stuck with for the rest of your life: yourself.

_____________________________________________

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, September 14, 2015

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


A good marriage is that in which each
 appoints the other guardian of his solitude.
--- Rainer Maria Rilke

These days, so many of us are woefully deficient at being alone. We avoid ourselves at all costs.

Our accomplices are many, and include social media, our smartphones, acquaintances that are not truly friends, retail therapy, and many other means―more abundant than ever before in our digital age―of distracting ourselves from….ourselves.

When we avoid developing a relationship with ourselves, our other relationships suffer. They become like castles built upon shifting sand rather than a solid foundation of self-awareness.

When we lack a personal identity, we look for others with whom we can form a relational identity―a self-image predicated on the existence of a particular relationship.

This week, make a pact with yourself to cultivate your (current or future) relationship through the intention of protecting your solitude and the solitude of your partner so each of you can develop a healthy, unique personal identity.

Whether it’s meditation, going dancing, exercising more or writing in your personal journal, allocate some time this week to your self-relationship. Allow the love within you to gradually manifest and once again become present in your life.

At the same time, reflect on how your intimate partner can also benefit from your helping them to make time to redevelop their relationship with themselves.

In so doing, both you and your partner will experience lasting intimacy without sacrificing your unique identities as human beings.

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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, September 7, 2015

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


The things we see are the same things that are within us...
That is why so many people live such an unreal life.
They take the images outside them for reality
and never allow the world within to assert itself.
-- Herman Hesse, Demian

Having lunch with my sister is one of my favorite ways to take a break in the middle of a busy day.

About a year ago, I was sitting in my sister’s car after lunch, and she was about to drive me to my next meeting. As she was backing out of her spot in the parking garage, a woman driving towards the exit honked loudly at her three times.

I felt the anger well up in me—I couldn’t believe this woman could be so obnoxious just so she wouldn’t have one more car in front of her before leaving.

I immediately thought: That’s why we don’t have more community in America—people are so overly concerned about their own welfare.

Once my sister joined the line of cars, the woman stepped out of her car and started walking back towards us. The nerves in my mind started racing as I braced myself for the confrontation about to ensue.

My sister rolled down her window, and the woman smiled at her and said, “I just wanted to make sure you know the reason I was honking at you was because you were about to hit that pole behind you as you were backing up.”

This week, question your habitual ways of thinking. Acknowledge the scripts you adhere to each day that may be preventing you from experiencing the love and connection with others you need to survive and thrive in your life.

_____________________________________________

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).