Monday sets the tone for the rest of the week. A good Monday gets your week off to a great start, and a lousy Monday can set you up for a week-long game of catch-up. So the problem is: how to make sure you have a great Monday?
The answer is so simple you’ll probably want to slap me: the way to make sure you have a great Monday is to want to have a great Monday.
“Well, obviously,” you say. “What, do you think I want to have a lousy Monday?”
No, I don’t think you want to have a lousy Monday. But the really important thing is that you need to allow yourself to have a great Monday. And that’s where the whole thing gets hard.
Because you’ve already decided that what you’ve got to get done this Monday is not what you’d like to get done this Monday. You’d like to spend this Monday morning lying on a beach, sipping your favorite cocktail, and listening to the rolling surf. But instead you’ve got sales to make, accounts to file, meetings to attend, and decisions to make.
No wonder there’s a part of you that resists it.
So when I say that you need to choose to have a great Monday, it takes some doing. It means you’ve got to say to yourself, “No, I don’t want to be out enjoying myself. I want to be here, now, working on the things that will make a better future.”
It’s hard to do that. It’s hard to do that because there’s a part of your mind that hates anything to do with long-term planning or discipline. It’s that part of you that craves instant gratification and wants to see the world burn. It’s the part of you that wants to sleep, eat, mate, and cause chaos.
You know how it is, when you wake up on Monday morning and your first thought is something like, “Gee, I wonder if civilization has finally crumbled so now I can do all the things I wanted to do but couldn’t do because they were illegal.”
Then you turn on the TV and there’s the weatherman going on about a warm front and the morning commute, and you think, “Not today, then. I must be civilized today.”
So no wonder it’s a little tough to motivate yourself on a Monday morning. But you figure it out by the time you start sipping that first cup of coffee. You remember, “Oh right… the whole point of this career is so I can turn my antisocial urges into planning and productivity. And the whole point of planning and productivity is so I can do better than everybody else around me. Sure, it might be illegal to destroy my enemies and drink their blood out of their skulls, but the free market economy allows me to outcompete them and thus symbolically kill them in an entirely legal way.”
Because that’s the real wonder of civilization. It manages to turn the drive to chaos and destruction into a force for creation and order. The fact that you want nothing more than to take most of the people you meet and squish them into jelly is turned (by the logic of the market) into a beneficial force for the community.
So if you’re feeling unmotivated on a Monday morning, you just need to hone your killing instinct. I want you to think of everybody you’ve known who ever made you feel small, or weak, or helpless. I want you to feel as angry as possible at that person. I want you to imagine taking a club and using it to beat their face in while they scream and they scream, “Oh, for the love of God, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean it, I swear I didn’t mean—”
But you’re not listening because the blood lust has taken hold by now, and anyways you really disliked them to begin with.
Imagine all the people who have ever hurt you. Everyone who ever insulted you. Everyone who ever made you feel insignificant. You want motivation? Just imagine how tiny and insignificant they’ll feel after they see how massively successful you’ve become.
Granted, if you’re one of those people who generally likes the human race and doesn’t have any problem with other people, this isn’t going to be the best method for you. You can go imagine gumdrops and teddy bears and making the world a better place, if that’s what floats your boat.
Otherwise, you just need to cultivate as much negative emotion as possible. People always talk bad about negative emotion, but here’s the thing: you don’t accomplish great things because you have great intentions. You accomplish great things because you have cruel, subterranean, and generally antisocial intentions.
You just need to think of all the people you’re going to beat and how devastated they’re going to feel when they lose. If you motivate yourself with the need to beat others, you may never be happy, but you’ll have a ton of energy and you’ll be able to keep going till you die of your heart attack at fifty.
So maybe you can’t go to the beach today. But you can get a heck of a lot of stuff done, and that will set you up for a great day tomorrow. And if you can have a great day tomorrow, you’re on track to have an amazingly productive week. Have enough amazingly productive weeks, and eventually you’ll be able to conquer the known universe and have all the human worms in the universe bow down before your awesome power.
Because that’s what life is all about, right? It’s all about making sure everybody knows that if they step as much as a single toe out of line you’ve got the legal and moral right to have them vaporized. Everything else is a bunch of sentimental hogwash that has nothing to do with how you can keep yourself motivated on a Monday morning.