There seems to be a stigma behind Mondays. Every Monday of the year is observed as the dreadful start of the business week. The alarm goes off early in the morning, and you’re still feeling the effects of the weekend, and yet, you know you have to get up. The temptation between hitting the snooze button and getting up begins to settle in. Whether the weekend was highly productive and fun or just a drag, nothing seems to be worse than hearing the alarm on Monday morning. And yet, the first Monday of the year is met with high optimism; why is this so?
The assumption seems to be that the first Monday is when you start a new routine. The idea is that this Monday initiates new beginnings, and it creates a fresh start and new perspective. What if we could harness this energy? What if the optimism that’s built into the first Monday of the year could be taken into the second, third, or 50th Monday of the year? With 52 weeks in a year, that’s 52 Mondays that we could decide to start with great optimism or with a dreadful “not again” attitude.
But how do we do this? How do we face each Monday, and subsequently each day after that, with great optimism?
It all cannot be meetings and planning; there must be some downtime, some mindless fun, or, as Stanford Business School professor James G. March calls it, “organizational foolishness.” Between the hustle and bustle of the long to-do list, we must prioritize disconnecting and having fun. As a kid, having fun is the only mission we have. But along the way, we left fun behind. I understand if your schedule is packed, but don’t forget to take time for mindless fun. For me, mindless fun is playing video games, which I’m also able to do with my daughters. Watching videos about wrestling from Fightful Wrestling or listening to Ariel Helwani talk to different athletes are just some of the things I do as mindless fun. It’s a way to disconnect, although I find myself studying how Ariel Halwani conducts his interviews and how Sean Ross Sapp (managing editor of Fightful.com) can have fun while still getting business done. Whatever mindless fun or “organized foolishness” looks like for you, make it a reality. Awaken your inner child and remember their one mission was to have fun.
Several years ago, I got hooked on the show Parks and Recreation. It’s an uber funny show about the people who work in the parks and recreation department of Pawnee, Indiana. This cast is connected because of their love towards Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler), who loves Pawnee, Indiana, even when it doesn’t love her back. There is an episode within the series where Tom Haverford (played by Aziz Ansari) and Donna Meagle (played by Retta) celebrate “Treat Yo Self.” Once a year, they get together and celebrate by treating themselves to whatever they’d like. And while the episode takes some funny twists and turns, there is a lesson to be learned. When was the last time you treated yourself? Take time to celebrate your wins and treat yourself. Take a moment to breathe and treat yourself. What’s that one thing that you enjoy doing but never get to do? Make the time and remember you, remember to treat yourself because you’ll be much more optimistic in doing so.
If you allow them, some people will hijack your happiness. It’s your job to protect your happiness and stay vigilant for those people or projects that want to hijack your happiness. Spot out the naysayers and the haters and be willing to say no when something threatens to hijack your happiness. Remember to surround yourself with people that will nourish your vision, and for those who don’t get it or believe in it, they can keep it moving. Don’t lower the standards you’ve set for your life for people or projects that will hijack your happiness. Those people or projects will come disguised as helpful but keep a close eye because they will reveal themselves to be happiness hijackers. Keep a pulse as to how those people or projects make you feel, and if it isn’t your optimal best, don’t hesitate in blocking them/it out.
To be optimistic takes work! However, it takes much more energy to be mad, angry, pessimistic, or negative. But optimism allows you to see opportunities even in the face of adversity. Our natural state is abundance, not scarcity, and optimism welcomes abundance. Allow the blessings in your life to flow and decide today to be more optimistic — make every Monday, the First Monday.
I’m Miguel, and the above is just my opinion. Are you looking for more content like this? Here’s a complete list of articles and information for a free 30 Minute strategy session. Here’s what I’m doing now, and I don’t do. I’d love it if you listened to my podcast, Strategy Rewind.