Monday, October 31, 2016

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

Either write something worth reading
or do something worth writing.
---Benjamin Franklin

Staring death in the eyes can wake you up to life.

A colleague of mine is the CEO of a high-tech company in Palo Alto, California. Tom has a black belt and teaches kids karate on weekends. He lived for two years in China and speaks fluent Mandarin. He loves going to museums and learning about just about anything.

I was inspired for many years by how Tom was able to do so much with his life. I always wondered where he drew his energy from. A few years ago, I decided to ask him.

“I used to sit at home and do nothing all the time. I failed most of my classes in high school and was very involved with drugs,” Tom replied.

“One day when I was seventeen, I was driving drunk and crashed straight into a tree at forty miles per hour. I was in a coma for three months. The doctor told my family he didn’t think I would survive. I spent two years in a hospital bed wearing a body cast, not knowing if I would ever walk again.”

“That gave me a lot of time to think,” Tom continued. “I vowed that if I ever got out of that hospital, I would make the most of my life.”

Make a pact with yourself to make the most of the limited time you have left on this planet. Embark on activities that will enable you not merely to exist, but to live.
_____________________________________________
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, October 17, 2016

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

My best ideas—those that deviate more from the norm and 
are more likely to break common assumptions, or in other 
words, be more groundbreaking, come to me on vacation: 
I have a theory that the truth is never told 
during the nine-to-five hours.
---Hunter S. Thompson

One of the best strategies I know of to take more time away from work is to commit yourself to taking vacations by booking them in advance.

If you can schedule blocks of time to work on an important work project, why can’t you schedule blocks of time to just play and have fun with the people you love or on your own?

What are you living for anyway? If you can’t enjoy yourself along the way, what’s the point of working in the first place?

Taking time to become a well-rounded person rather than an office drone means scheduling trips in advance and spending some time planning them just as you so easily schedule time to plan your work goals.

As with work goals, planning vacations dramatically increases your chances of making them happen.

Committing yourself to a vacation (and, hence, your inner well-being) is important because otherwise it’s too easy to keep putting it off in the name of productivity, more money, and all of your other worldly concerns.

I’ve taken more vacations than I can count that I wouldn’t have taken if I hadn’t planned them ahead of time because of the work pressures in the weeks leading up to lift-off. Do you think I regret even one of those vacations?

Every single time I have returned to work rejuvenated, more productive, and with much more innovative ideas for completing the projects I’m working on.

This week, dedicate some time to researching and scheduling your next vacation.
_____________________________________________
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, October 3, 2016

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

None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent 
or commanding 
except when he listens to this whisper 
which is heard by him alone.
---Emerson

I worked with a man in his mid-forties who felt like a hamster spinning on a wheel going nowhere. John had been working for a few years in an advertising firm in Santa Barbara, California.

At four on a Friday afternoon, his boss would come into his office and berate him for not finishing a promotional presentation, and then say, “Why don’t you work on it and let’s check-in at six.” At their meeting later that evening, he would give John more tasks to complete by Monday morning.

John wanted to speak up to his boss but couldn’t get up the nerve. I encouraged him to take some time alone to figure out what he truly valued in his career. John started meditating on Wednesday evenings with a local meditation group.

John found the inner clarity to initiate a difficult conversation with his boss about the limits he needed to establish to experience more work-life balance. While his boss was initially understanding, in practice he still pressured John to work evenings and weekends when there were “short-term deadlines”—which was just about all the time.

John took a position in another advertising firm that took a more holistic approach to working with its employees and clients. While still working some evenings, John felt more aligned with the values of the company’s founders and became more passionate about his career.

This week, take an inner detour to reflect on where your life is and what you want it to become
_____________________________________________
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).