Has there ever been a more slandered, maligned, or loathed day than Monday? Nearly everybody universally hates this day of the week.
“The weekend is here, but Monday will come soon enough,” people say with a hint of dread.
It’s as though Monday were the Grim Reaper, here to rob all of the fun and enjoyment out of life.
With all of this Monday hate floating around, I just wanted to say: TGIM! Thank God it’s Monday!
I have been a secret fan of Mondays for a long time. I love them! Monday is among the very best days of the week (Friday and Saturday being my other two most preferred days).
Why all this love for Mondays? Is it because I am naively positive and optimistic person? Probably.
However, I believe your attitude about Mondays is one of the biggest things holding you back in your career. How you start your week matters. The attitudes you bring to your Monday bleed into Tuesday and then into every day of the week, until you shout “TGIF!” while standing atop a bar doing tequila shots to drown out your misery. This truly is no way to live your life. If you spend five days of the week in misery, only to have two good days on the weekend, you’re spending the vast majority of your life poorly.
I know many people who get physically sick on Sunday night, as they dread the workweek to come. What an insane way to live. If you hate your job that much, you should find a new one. Or, even easier, you should learn to love the job you’re with (“If you can’t be with the job you love, honey, love the job you’re with”). There’s always good and bad things with every job and company. So, focus on the hundreds of good things about your job (they are there—trust me) rather than the dozens of bad things. You get to choose your focus by choosing what you’re grateful for.
The Case for Monday: Why Mondays are Awesome
Monday is a new beginning. Monday is a new chance to start fresh, armed with plenty of ideas from your luxurious two-day weekend (a historical novelty in its own right). Monday has a way of helping you and others to forget about last week’s stresses and disappointments. Did you botch that presentation last week? Accidentally blow off a conference call? Get chewed out for a mistake you made? Well, I have good news, today is Monday. And all of that was last week. So, get over it—everyone else has.
Monday means you have a job! The fact that you have a job at all is reason enough to make you love Monday. What the Great Recession taught us is the importance of staying productively employed. We all know friends, family, and colleagues who were out of work then. Many of us know friends, family, and colleagues who are chronically out of work now. While your job may not be your “dream job,” that’s only because your whiney little butt stopped appreciating how amazing it is to have a job at all! Your unemployed friends would trade places with you in an instant. And, if you wouldn’t be willing to trade places with them, you should start appreciating what you’ve got.
You don’t just have any job—you have a job that pays tons of money!
“But wait,” your complainypants self says, “I don’t make a ton of money.”
Actually, you literally make a ton ($2,000) of money. In fact, you make many tons of money.
Beyond linguistics, you do make an enormous amount of money. And I can prove it. The calculator below shows you just how much money you make relative to the rest of the world. For the vast majority of Americans, even working a minimum wage job puts you among the highest income earners in the world. And thus, your “average” salary of, say, $40,000 a year puts you in with the absolutely stupidestly highest paid people alive today! Woot!
Mondays are a chance to make a difference. Think about how many world-changing ideas and innovations came about because people showed up to work on a Monday. By showing up to work on Monday, you are part of this huge historical tradition of employment and labor and work that stretches back thousands of years. The world has made unbelievable advancements, particularly in the last 100 years, because countless other people showed up to work on a Monday. This week, you could have an idea that saves your company thousands of dollars. Or you could solve a customer’s dire problem. Or you could make a colleague feel valued. Anything is possible—because it’s Monday.
Mondays remind you that the work you do is vital and important. You serve as a small piece in a huge economy, as we each work to serve one another in meaningful ways.
“You don’t understand,” you protest. “I have the most boring job in the world.”
I do understand, actually. But I also know that your job is absolutely essential. Because if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t exist. There are big corporate accountants all over the world looking for ways to maximize efficiency. If your job wasn’t absolutely vital, it would have likely been eliminated a long time ago. And why exactly do you get paid the huge pile of money you do? Because your job is important.
Your company is also likely very important and serving others in meaningful ways. I work for a company that manufactures and sells gaskets and seals. Super boring, right? Wrong. Gaskets and seals require complex engineering and technical expertise. Seals literally make the world go round. Every day, I get to wake up and figure out better ways to serve people inside and outside of my company. And we’re one of thousands of other companies out there just like that—serving an essential role in the macro economy.
The Problem with Hating Mondays
By hating Mondays, you are fundamentally saying one of the two following statements: that you hate your job or that you hate working. Either one is a huge problem for your career. If you hate your job, you will likely not put the effort into it that will ultimately make it rewarding. If you hate your job, you will not demonstrate the level of commitment and faithfulness to your job that truly makes you successful. If you hate your job, you will be unhappy in the thing you spend more hours per week doing than anything else, resulting in an unhappy and unfulfilled life.
Fundamentally, work is connected to service. If you hate working, then you hate serving other people. If you hate serving other people, then your values are the real problem—not your job or your Monday. If you hate working, then you have trace elements of laziness.
“But wait,” you say. “It’s not that—it’s my boss that’s the problem.”
Is your boss unfair, unkind, mean, angry, demanding, micro-managing, or any other undesirable attribute? Okay, sure. That very may make your day unpleasant—but only if you let it. You see, you get to choose what you respond to and how it impacts you. You have the power to be treated unfairly and to respond with stoic kindness and tranquility. The only person who can upset you is you, as you choose what and how you respond to the external world with. Your boss really isn’t a problem. You are.
For every time you say TGIF, you should also say TGIM. Because both are important. Work and rest are part of the natural cycles of life. You need both. If you were always in TGIM mode, you would burn out. You need rest. You need Friday. But if you only celebrate getting away from work and don’t celebrate going back to work, you’re going to miss out on the gift that is your career. And then, you’ll miss out on the many opportunities you have to make a meaningful difference in your life and those around you.
TGIM. Go make a difference.