Monday, November 30, 2015

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


The greater danger for most of us lies not
 in setting our aim too high and falling short;
but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.
--- Michelangelo

The next time the holidays roll around and a close friend sends you a card that reads, “I wish you the fulfillment of all your dreams,” after you bask in the warmth of their heartfelt caring for a moment or two, sober up and remind yourself, “That would be horrible! What would I have left to live for? I hope I never fulfill all my dreams.”

Many of us avoid developing an expansive, holistic life vision because we fear the inner feelings of rejection that may accompany not achieving it. Yet the things we most value in life—love, family, helping others—are all unattainable. We will never achieve them anyway!

So we might as well write down these overarching values and life goals so they can guide us in the right direction, especially when the many distractions we encounter every day attempt to steer us astray.

To put your life vision on paper so you can always refer back to it, create your own Vision Statement: a brief written description of your deepest core values and life goals. (For a guide to creating your own Vision Statement, see my book The Connection: Link Your Purpose, Passion, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World.)


Your Vision Statement never stops inspiring you because it always provides something more to do.

This week, take a few moments to develop your Vision Statement by writing down two or three of your core values and life 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).

Monday, November 23, 2015

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


The capacity to be puzzled 
is the premise of all creation.
--- Erich Fromm

In one experiment, University of Maryland researchers asked 200 students to forego all social media for twenty-four hours. Many showed signs of craving, withdrawal and anxiety.

One student said, “I clearly am addicted and the dependency is sickening.” Another shared that “Texting and IM-ing my friends gives me a constant feeling of comfort. When I did not have those two luxuries, I felt quite alone and secluded from my life.”

The major shift most people have experienced as a result of the Internet has been a decrease in transformational activities—such as going on a long walk in nature and thinking about ideas that can generate a sea change in one’s approach to life, or having a long, uninterrupted conversation with a friend that can take a relationship to a much deeper level.

Simultaneously, there has been an increase in transactional activities such as downloading a song, watching a video, sending a project update, or IM’ing a friend to say hello.

How would you define your relationship with your smartphone or laptop? Do you direct these tools to help you in your life, or do they direct you by diverting your attention to the myriad distractions they unremittingly provide?

This week, reflect on how you will make what you most deeply care about in your life your highest priority. Then define how you will limit your use of technology to the high-impact activities that are consistent with your 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).

Monday, November 16, 2015

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


For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
and the oak tree and the cypress grow 
not in each other’s shadow.
--- Kahlil Gibran

When we are unable to spend time alone, we also become unable to form a unique personal identity. Instead, we find others with whom we form a relational identity―a self-image that hinges on a specific relationship.

The main problem with such an endeavor is that you can only select the right person with whom to form this relational identity when you can view said person from a place of want, not need, inside of yourself.

You want another person in your life when you appreciate their inherent qualities. You need another person at your side when you depreciate your own intrinsic qualities and your capacity to enjoy time spent in solitude.

Relationships rooted in need usually form with people whose actions don’t correspond with your deepest values. Why? You were never objective and healthy enough to detect those values within them or within yourself before forming the relationship.

This week, make some time for the one person from whom you will never escape, no matter whether your drug of choice is social media, people who don’t share your values, retail therapy, alcohol, or any of the other usual suspects: yourself.

You will be pleasantly surprised how your small attempts to become acquainted with yourself again will begin, through repetition and determination, to usher a new best friend into your 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, November 9, 2015

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


Be willing to have it so. 
Acceptance of what has happened is the first step
to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.
--- William James

The same feeling at the root of anger—the desire for a current state to be different than it actually is—also yields over-focusing. The remedy for over-focusing, as for anger, then, is acceptance.

Accepting the world as it is. Accepting each of the important people in your life as they are.

If you are weighed down with feelings of guilt, worry or fear that you are losing valuable time when you are not with your significant other, or when you are away from your job, chances are you are over-focused on the object of your intense thought.

You may need to accept the situation as it is before considering how you might be able to change it. Yet the antidote to over-focusing also includes another feeling: self-confidence.

If you believe in your ability to obtain a marriage proposal, or a better grade, or the job you know you can handle—and your self-opinion transcends whether you obtain the objective in question—then there is no need to over-focus on that area of your life.

If, on the other hand, your self-value depends on reaching a certain state in that dimension of your life—and if it will plummet if you fail to generate such a result—you have a dependency relationship with the outcome that causes you to over-focus on it.

This week, make a commitment to yourself to acknowledge when you are over-focusing in any area of your life, and to instead practice acceptance and embrace your self-confidence.

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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).