Monday, June 18, 2018

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

Learning is mandatory;
guilt is optional
.
--- Anthony Silard

Deeply rooted in Western culture (stemming from Catholicism and Judaism) is the idea that guilt is an effective way to motivate people. 

The conventional thinking instilled in you from childhood that enables others to use guilt to control you is: Feel badly enough about something and you’ll stop doing it

It only works for a time. Here’s what actually happens: Feel badly enough about something and your self-esteem will decrease—which will in turn decrease your capacity to avoid whatever behavior you’re feeling badly about

The alternative to guilt: self-love and learning. Self-love enhances your belief in your ability to learn and evolve, which removes the need for guilt. 

The next time you say to yourself, “How could I have done that? What’s wrong with me?” recognize you are heading down the intimidate-myself-to-change-through-guilt path and step off it. 

Instead, make a sharp turn toward your vision—which hopefully includes loving yourself—and say, “I acted in the past based on the informational, psychological, emotional, and financial resources available to me. I now have new resources at my disposal—including the lessons I’ve learned—and will act differently in the future.” 

This week, reflect on how you can choose self-love and learning over guilt, and the effects this decision will have on 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.

Monday, June 4, 2018

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

Decisions are not good or bad—
they’re vision-aligned or not vision-aligned.
--- Anthony Silard

You only know what darkness is because you’ve seen light. Had you never caught a glimpse of the sun, you would consider it normal to fumble around in the dark all your life.

When you develop your vision, you create the light that illuminates your path. From this day on, you will never allow yourself to live in darkness again.

“OK, this vision thing is sounding very lofty and pie-in-the-sky,” you may be thinking. “How does this work in practice?”

Your vision becomes your guiding light by providing a benchmark against which to measure all of your alternatives.

You will not give in to pressure from your so-called friends to take drugs or engage in other self-destructive behaviors for one simple reason: such decisions are incongruent with your vision for your health and well-being.

You will not get involved with someone who is married—not because anyone else tells you it’s wrong, but because it’s a decision that’s inconsistent with your vision of both how you want to treat others and how you want to go about finding the right person.

You will ultimately come to the life-changing realization that the only yardstick with which to evaluate a decision is if it’s consistent with your vision and deepest values.

This week, take some time to write down your deepest values—what you stand for and want others to remember you for—that will guide the important life decisions you will make from here on out.

_____________________________________________
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.