Monday, April 23, 2018

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

The worst loneliness is not 
to be comfortable with yourself.
--- Mark Twain

Boredom simply means time alone that is uncomfortable.

How do you become comfortable talking with someone you haven’t seen in a long time and no longer know very well other than becoming reacquainted with them and conversing until a feeling of comfort reemerges?

How do you become comfortable playing basketball other than … by playing basketball?

Similarly, you build your comfort level with spending time alone by …  spending time alone.

Most of us are so afraid of boredom that we run from it, which prevents it from maturing into an opportunity for self-understanding and psychological clarity.

Others can’t stand boredom because they associate it with inefficiency—a four-letter word in a culture hyper-focused on productivity.

Yet love, truth, happiness, inner peace, meaningful relationships—all the things we care about are never efficient: they involve trying, retrying, and retrying different approaches again until we find one that works, and then reworking it again once it stops working.

How can we develop this tolerance for the necessary inefficiency of developing meaningful relationships—including with ourselves?

The answer lies within you: in your case, it may be walking for forty-five minutes after work and watching the sunset. It may be going to a concert and allowing the music to connect you with your soul. It may be through meditation or yoga.

This week, make a pact with yourself to loosen your attachment to short-term results and open yourself to doing what it will take to form a deeper connection with yourself and others.

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Anthony Silard is the president of The Center for Social Leadership, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC 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, enter your email here (1-step only). To support The Center for Social Leadership's Young Leaders Program for disadvantaged youth either directly or through Amazon.com purchases, click here.

Monday, April 9, 2018

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

Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself
even though you never touch its coattails.
--- Clarence Darrow

Can you recall the times in your life when you stumbled over the truth—when you realized what your true inner calling is, or the kind of person you wish to spend your life with, or what family truly means—even if only for a brief moment? 

Most of the time we let these moments pass us by because our ego doesn’t allow our soul to fully absorb what’s holding its attention. 

Our ego diverts us back to our worries about what we have to do tomorrow, or our insecure need to regain our traction on the hamster wheel to nowhere we’ve been sprinting on in our job, or our impulsive desire to follow up with so many people so we can feel as if we know everyone—while in truth we know no one. 

Due to our constant preoccupations, we turn a blind eye to that faintly perceptible feeling inside instead of letting it grow. 

Here’s my simple advice: go back to those moments in your life when you actually felt something. Remember those feelings, give them room to freely evolve, and learn what they came into your heart to teach you. This is your passion.

This week, take some time to reflect on what has given your life meaning. Recall those moments from your past in which you felt a connection with the deepest part of yourself. Then consider how you will enable what you most value to emerge in your life.

_____________________________________________
Anthony Silard is the president of The Center for Social Leadership, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC 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, enter your email here (1-step only). To support The Center for Social Leadership's Young Leaders Program for disadvantaged youth either directly or through Amazon.com purchases, click here.