What would happen if rather than dreading Mondays you actually had such a joyful expectation that you actually have to force yourself back to sleep cause in your eagerness to see the day dawn you’ve woken up twice already and you just can’t help but break into a smile when you think about the things you will do, people you’ll meet and the overall high you’ll get just by stepping into your office this Monday?! If this is your current state already, you are in the clear minority and whilst you may not need this now, you’re sure to need this soon either for yourself or for someone you value.
Like it or not, Mondays have a bad reputation: Most people hate Mondays! According to statistics, Mondays are the favourite day for suicides, heart attacks and low productivity. In the coming weeks, we’ll work at making Mondays happy for you. Of course there’s no off the shelf pill for your peculiar circumstances, so you’ll need to get involved, customizing the suggestions for your own individual needs.
“People fail because of ignorance “, yet ignorance is not a tenable excuse “your life is a summation of your choices…” One of the greatest choices you will make that would enable you enjoy happy Mondays is to decide to have a clearly articulated vision for your life and career. One of the easiest ways of doing this according to Stephen Covey (with some additions from me) is to imagine yourself dead and lying in your coffin (morbid but very powerful!!) Now imagine all the people you trust, respect and value (at work, include people you report to and those that report to you) file past you speaking from their hearts. What would you like them to say? How would you like to be perceived? Remembered? Who would you like to attend this important occasion? What would sadden you to realise you didn’t do/ achieve/ become? What would make you happy if you achieved? If you are religious, how would you like God to receive you? What would you like to hear him say to you and of you?
Next, you must ask yourself and answer sincerely: if I continue in my current vein, will I get the responses I desire? If your answer is a resounding No! In every area of your life, Mondays are likely to be extremely frustrating for you. If however, some areas please you and some don’t- perhaps you are satisfied with your family life but dissatisfied with work, then you would need to re-examine the area of your dissatisfaction starting with your most significant ones. It would be helpful to deconstruct your dissatisfaction and satisfaction- for example, you may hate the commute to work but love your actual job, or you may hate the job but love the pay and opportunities it brings. In the final analysis to thrive at any job, the core aspects of the job must draw on your personal strengths at least 70% of the time. Does your job do this?
Now you know why you are so miserable at work! But wasn’t this supposed to make you happy? Why do you feel so…well, not happy? Without a feeling of some degree of control over one’s life happiness is untenable. No, you’ll never have 100% control-people will die without your permission, opportunities that gleamed bright would dim or even worse turn bad but as long as your vision of a desirable future is clear and you are taking daily concrete steps towards them, you’ll be happy and you’ll see more significant changes than the average Joe who is just skipping through his Monday!
This week’s task:
· Clearly articulate your career and life vision. Revise daily, weekly & Monthly
Keep your vision visible-your car, house and electronic devises are great opportunities to do this!
Identify at least 3 but no more than 5 SMART results that would give you great satisfaction and confirm to you that you are on track this year (ensure these are holistic results, not just monetary or altruistic ones).
Daily ask yourself these questions: Is this bringing me closer to or farther from my vision? Can I increase my capacity? What do I love/hate about my job?
If the hate factor is greater than the love factor, slowly begin to consider and work towards increasing the love factor. E.g. you could consider supporting some department you love, introducing some personal interest of yours, etc. If all else fails, commence a planned exit!
Seek out people in your area of expertise, get to know what the common problems as well as global trends
Make a conscious decision and effort to ONLY think and talk about the good, I know it’s fun to bitch about the boss but you can’t bitch and be happy, you MUST choose! (This is HARD I know! There were days I just wanted to complain about my ‘evil ‘ boss with my husband but this decision kept me happy!
Remember, no one is rewarded for taking from the world, but the world rewards well those who give to it, what are you giving your world?