Your approach to Mondays are an index of your approach to your entire life, whether you are aware of it or not. If you approach your Mondays and the rest of your week with expectation and verve, chances are that you approach your entire life in the same way.
Very early in my career, as a freshly minted Employment and International Finance Attorney, the notion of Friday as the only day of joy was strange, and unacceptable to me. Therefore, I rejected it. That was one of the best decisions that I have ever made in my life. I believe that decision continues to fuel my passion and excitement about my professional life. At that time, as a new entrant into the workforce, I saw every work day as one full of possibilities, and worked expectantly on using my knowledge and skills. I continue to think of my work as my contribution to my organization and the world. My days, even when they do not go as planned, continue to challenge me to make the next day better. It is a choice that we can all make. Make each day worthwhile, including Mondays.
I have to add a caveat about finding joy in work. I am not advocating that folks become workaholics because they enjoy their work. I view workaholics with compassion because they mostly do not work smart. A long time ago, I tried the workaholic route, and it was tasteless despite my touted successes. Now, I work smart. My balanced life continues to create more successes for me, than my brief experience as a workaholic. From the lives of most successful men and women, it is apparent that a balanced life is needed for true success.
Mediocrity is frequently created by imbalance in one’s life. Therefore, I make time for my fitness competitions, and love of running, rowing and other sports, I create time for people I love, manage projects that I am passionate about, such as working with the underprivileged etc. I work smartly to have a good life. I encourage workaholics stop and rethink their strategies. It is better to work smarter as opposed to harder.
PS: Jeff Bezos of Amazon, and Richard Branson as incredibly successful and hard working as they have become, worked smart to the echelon to their careers, and continue to do so to date, despite the categorization of these successful men by the media as workaholics. They are smart workers who are passionate about their personal and professional lives.
Here are a few important guidelines to create a better work week as a whole, AND BETTER LIFE for yourself:
1. Review your personal goals and objectives for your life. If you have none, create them. Who are you and where are you going? Those two are no easy questions, so consider them regularly and carefully. Read GOOD books on self-improvement and watch clips on motivation and success. Associate with people who are seeking better and more meaningful lives. These will enable you better understand or review your abilities and personal characteristics. A knowledge of self is the beginning of any form personal or professional success.
2. Reassess your work life. You can make a valid assessment by using Analytical Tests available in GOOD Industrial and Organizational Psychology Instruments. Consult a good Employee Relations professional for assistance in choosing a good test. You can also contact an experienced Career Counselor to assist you with the dual task of reviewing your professional abilities, and assessing the best work environment for you.
3. Assess your associates at work and outside of work. People with whom you associate are typically an index of who you are. Are you friends with miserable folk who see nothing good about work, their lives or you? Sometimes, those closest to you might not see your full potential. In such instances, it is worth a conversation, and pursuit of counseling to repair that critical aspect of your relationship. As for other less intimate relationships/friendships lacking in compromises and lacking in a win win relationship, these are damaging for you. However, it is important to note that choosing such damaging and limiting relationships are about YOU. Why do you retain such friends? What do you really believe about your life? How can your work life be better and happier for you? You can and should do better for you. If you have good friends who value you, your life from Monday to Sunday will be more positive.
4. Lastly, be mindful about your utterances and actions. If you have damaging dialogue internally and externally, such as “Another day, another dollar”, “Life is hard and then we die”, “Work is all about kissing up to the boss”etc. etc. Stop it! Practice Metacognition, and control those thoughts. Your negative and hysterical thoughts will manifest in the way you view Mondays, and the excitement and lack thereof with which you view the rest of your work week, and your life. Change your dialogue by creating and speaking positive affirmations about YOU and your life, that you repeat throughout the day. Your internal positive dialogue will continue to provide you a very affirmative view of your professional and personal life.
I worked for a long time in an organization where I was called “Sunshine Sonia”… I assumed it was because I was friendly with almost everyone. I had great relationships with people that I reported to, and those that reported to me. But, I later found out that the reason for my name was my attitude. It was consistently positive, professional and humane through the full gamut of my work day and outside of it, and remains the same to date.
I believe that I am no different from anyone else with respect to creating a positive attitude about work and life in general. It starts with a decision to live well and happily, and to take actions that evince that decision. You can start today to embrace Mondays, enjoy everyday, and approach all that you do with positive expectation. Choose your job, organization, and professional and personal relationships wisely. Nothing is more important than making good choices in your professional and personal life. Your personal and professional choices are entwined, and determine the trajectory of your life. Make your Mondays and everyday positive for you.