Monday, December 31, 2018

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

The only journey
is the one within. 
---  Rainer Maria Rilke

There is a word in Swahili, kutoboa, which means ‘to unearth.’ East Africans use it to let you know they are about to go deep. To the core. To break it down. To explain what’s really going on.

You have to consistently place time with yourself as one of your priorities if you want to kutoboa and dis-cover (read: uncover) your vision, which is covered with layer upon layer of people, activities, appointments, attachments, ‘should’s’, concerns about deadlines, anxieties, fears, guilt about the past, and worries about the future.

You can make a concerted effort to remove these layers one at a time as you would peel an onion—until you uncover the core (ignore: an onion has no core).

You don’t have to go anywhere to rediscover yourself. Renewing your self-relationship does not involve seeking; it involves seeing.

Seeing what has caused you suffering in your life. Seeing how you’ve handled that suffering—including any dysfunctional habits you may have picked up along the way to avoid it, including constant texting, retail therapy, alcohol, emotionally shutting down, and so on.

This week, take some time to reflect on your life and what truly motivates you. Spend some time in reflection and you will feel more present and engaged with the people in your life.

You will begin to see them less as obstacles to pursuing your goals and more as opportunities to learn, share ideas, and form lasting connections.

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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, December 17, 2018

Smile, It's Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Make a Difference in the World

I am the one who sees. From back in here somewhere, 
I look out, and I am aware of the events, thoughts, 
and emotions that pass before me. 
--- Michael Singer

You have both a player within who takes action from day to day and a spectator within who observes the player and evaluates what she or he does.

The relationship between the player and the spectator is paradoxical: the player must leave the field to build their comfort with the spectator, yet if the player doesn’t have an initial faith in the spectator they won’t seek out this meeting.

In other words, you have to take time to dream to build your self-faith, yet you need self-faith to feel comfortable dreaming—and spending time with the spectator—in the first place.

Your success depends on your willingness to take a leap of faith and believe in the goodness and beauty within. This leap of faith builds your comfort with yourself, which enables you to dream and create a vision for your life.

To better understand the spectator, take some time this week to think about what you are content with in your life. Then reflect on what makes you feel uncomfortable – what makes you say to yourself, “This is not as it should be! The world simply should not be like this.”

Your discomfort will lead you to your passion and the discovery of what you want to change in the world.

_____________________________________________
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, December 3, 2018

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

The only way to achieve quality time in any relationship, 
including your relationship with yourself, is through quantity time. 
--- Anthony Silard

Have you ever noticed that in the in-flight safety presentation, the flight attendant advises you to put the oxygen mask over your own mouth before helping even your own children?

Actually, in most cases we as parents put our children before ourselves. Their survival arguably depends on it.

Yet the in-flight presentation is a helpful reminder that taking care of yourself enables you to take care of others.

At any rate, the real problem is not that we offer to take our kids to swim practice before taking time to go for a walk and decompress—that and many other acts of self-sacrifice are an inextricable part of parenting that just about every parent understands.

The real problem is that we offer to do whatever it takes to maintain our status at the office. The real problem is that we return every last email before taking time to go for a walk and decompress.

The real problem is that we have forgotten how to take care of ourselves.

This week, try out a few new ways to take time to develop your relationship with the one person upon whom all your other relationships depend: yourself.

_____________________________________________
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.