Monday, November 28, 2016

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

To a hammer, 
everything looks like a nail.
---Old proverb

It all started way back. As children, we take cues from our parents and other adults who wield power in our lives. We internalize what we think they think into our self-view.

When people who don’t love themselves or possess low levels of self-esteem become parents, they don’t know how to convey love to their children since they never received much of it themselves.

Instead, they are critical. Why? Because we always criticize others when we are critical of ourselves, and vice-versa. Their criticism, whether open or indirect, roughly translates as I don’t love you the way you are and You cannot be your true Self if you want my love—you must change.

As a result, we begin at a very early age to believe that receiving love depends on meeting certain conditions. We adopt the belief that we are unworthy of love and must mold ourselves into someone else in order to obtain it.

And why don’t we stand up and object against this tyranny? Because when we were children, our parents were so large in our minds that they were our world.

If they acted in an unhealthy way toward us, we couldn’t disagree with them, because to believe they were unhealthy and misguided would be to entertain the thought that our world was unhealthy and misguided. That would be too painful and would sweep the rug from under our feet.

Rather than blindly plodding along in the life you’ve inherited, take a bold step toward living the life you create.
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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 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, November 14, 2016

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

If you chase two rabbits, 
both will escape.
---Old proverb

I have found this proverb particularly instructive in my own life. If I don’t write as the first activity of my day, it usually doesn’t happen that day. (I am now writing this Smile, It’s Monday, for example, as my day’s first activity.)

Think about it: If you want to see a movie, where do you park? Do you park somewhere else and hope to make it to the movie? Alternatively, do you drive to the theater, park, and walk in to see the movie?

Whatever is most important to you, do it first.

Yet the problem may be that you are not sure which movie to see. As Marcel Proust sagely wrote, while there are many pleasures in life, the real question is which one is so important to you that you would be willing to forego all the others.

There are some areas of your life that do not require a value judgment on which is higher priority because they are mutually compatible—for example, loving your spouse doesn’t mean that going to work is a repudiation of him or her.

(The same, however, may not be true for staying at work over a reasonable number of hours, or refusing to miss a work meeting when your spouse wants you to accompany them to an important medical appointment.)

Take a moment to reflect upon what is most important to you in your career. Then meditate on what you most value in your personal life. Whatever they are, do them first.
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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 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).