Monday, December 26, 2016

Smile, It’s Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Build Meaningful Relationships

Language... has created the word ‘loneliness’ 
to express the pain of being alone. 
And it has created the word ‘solitude’ 
to express the glory of being alone.
---Paul Tillich

How do you feel when you are alone? In research I conducted on loneliness with Sarah Wright at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, we distinguish between loneliness and solitude.

Loneliness is subjective—a negative, distressing emotional experience associated with being alone. Solitude, on the other hand, is merely the objective state of being alone without the negative emotional experience associated with it.

To illustrate, suppose you are physically alone, for instance walking in nature or sitting by yourself in a room. You have the choice to be either in a state of solitude or a state of loneliness. If you do not feel any negative emotions associated with being alone, you are experiencing solitude; if you do feel the negative emotions, you are experiencing loneliness.

This week, make a commitment to develop your relationship with yourself. Each day, spend a little more time with yourself until you find the good friend that awaits you within.

Once you encounter this part of yourself, you will cease to experience negative emotions such as insecurity, fear, anxiety, and distress when you are alone. Accordingly, you will cease to experience loneliness.

In addition, make an effort to get out there more and meet people. New friends are unlikely to just show up and knock on your door. The connections you develop with the people around you will also fill you with joyful feelings when alone that will help you to replace loneliness with aloneness.
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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, December 12, 2016

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

Boredom is the feeling that everything 
is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.
---Psychologist Thomas Szasz

I’m convinced there are two kinds of people in the world: those who see time as abundant and don’t quite know what to do with all the time they have, and those who see time as scarce and never have enough time for all of their projects.

Most of us endure a hand-to-mouth existence in relation to time where we struggle to fill our days with the excess of time we don’t know what to do with. Others don’t exist, but live, experiencing each moment with a wondrous curiosity not unlike what we had (and most of us have since lost) as children.

What many consider to be vices—drugs, alcoholism, casual sex, over-consumption, shopping as a second vocation—are merely attempts to avoid the self. Boredom is what we feel when we have not dedicated time to develop this relationship with ourselves.

Like most things you fear, boredom is similar to a barking dog. Fear it, and it will chase you for the rest of your days. Confront it, and it will run away.

When you confront your boredom, you work through the stored emotions you’ve been avoiding. You face the deeper issues that have been festering within and leaving you feeling disconcerted and irritable, not unlike the feeling of having put off a term paper for months and becoming aware that it must be turned in soon.

This week, do something that enables you to clear your mind and begin experiencing the feelings deep within that have been awaiting your attention.
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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).