Monday, February 22, 2016

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



Want to dominate on the field, court or mat? Then be like Will Power. Who's Will Power? He's the guy who joins his teammates at local fast food restaurants but resists the greasy, high-calorie fare in favor of healthier alternatives.
At every single moment in your life you are making a choice  
to either act on a temporary mood such as anger, fear or 
anxiety or to act on your deeper vision for how you want 
to live your life. Discipline is choosing your vision.
--- Anthony Silard


“I don’t get this whole discipline thing,” you may be thinking. Why should I incorporate a strategy into my repertoire that curtails my freedom?” 

Yes, I know this is hard to digest. Yet consider what discipline enables. Your freedom may urge you to tell your brother to shove it when he asks for your forgiveness, but how will your harsh words affect your relationship with him? 

You may exercise your personal liberty by dropping out of college in your senior year and backpacking across Europe with a few Kerouac books to keep you company, but what effect will this decision have on your long-term success? 

(Actually, making this decision could be pivotal in helping you envision your future career, but consider the long-term effects of exercising your discipline by waiting a few months until you earn your degree to set off on your journey.)

This week, make a pact with yourself to write down some of your core values into a Vision Statement. (My book The Connection: Link Your Purpose, Passion, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World includes a guide to creating your own Vision Statement.)

The next time you feel a magnetic pull toward a bad habit or a decision you know you will later regret, stop for a moment and read a few lines from your Vision Statement. 

Gradually make the transformational shift toward allowing your life vision—rather than your momentary emotions—to direct your life toward a destination that fulfills you.

_____________________________________________

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 every other 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, February 8, 2016

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


Don’t let another season pass you by.
--- Tagline of a bed-and-breakfast agency on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

If you can’t find any good reason to take time for yourself, try this one: When you haven’t had time to find balance, you are likely to attach to negative emotions and then become unable to extricate yourself from the negative moods they generate.

This natural human tendency to over-focus on negative emotions is supported by research on cognition and emotion. Douglas Derryberry of Oregon State University and colleagues found that when we experience negative emotions, we construct a filter that rules out all other thoughts except those encoded in the negative emotional event.

Why do we do this? To seek information that renders our environment more controllable and understandable.

Living your life at balance, then, requires you to be proactive not in managing the stress you feel (which can be counterproductive in that it enables you to increase your tolerance to—and experience of—stress) but in generating less stress to tolerate.

It requires you to acknowledge that while you feel your life is out of balance when you feel stress, you also feel stress because your life is out of balance. Stress and a lack of balance, then, collectively degenerate into a vicious spiral that detaches you from your authentic self.

To prevent your life from spinning out of control, take this simple step today: schedule time for an activity dedicated to yourself. Whether it’s going for a long walk or to a dance class, think about what you truly enjoy and make time for it. You’re worth it.

_____________________________________________

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 every other 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).