Monday Motivation: Weekly Cycles


Every week has its Monday.


I know that sounds pretty obvious and maybe even a little stupid, but it’s important to remember. Our lives run in cycles, and one of the cycles our lives run through is the weekly cycle.


You start out on Monday, and the thing about Monday is that everybody hates Mondays. Honestly, if we talked a little less about how much we hate Mondays we’d probably hate Mondays a little less.


But after Monday comes Tuesday. Tuesday’s kind of weird, because it’s still early in the week but it’s not Monday. Tuesday has a bit of an in-between feeling, where you don’t quite know how to feel about it. (To my knowledge, nobody has strong feelings about Tuesdays.)


Then there’s Wednesday. It’s hump day! Wednesday is the turning point. It’s as if all week up to this point you’ve been climbing a mountain, but from now on you’re going to be headed downhill. There’s a real sense of relief when Wednesday ends.


(In fact, the only downside to Wednesday is that some people get a little too enthusiastic about the whole “Hump Day” thing, and it gets to be kind of grating.)


Next comes Thursday. Thursday is a little like Tuesday, in that it’s not particularly distinguished in any way. To use a mathematical analogy, Thursday is what you get if you take the average of Tuesday and Friday. There’s the meandering quality of Tuesday, combined with a vague annoyance at the fact that it’s still not Friday.


But sure as ever there comes the big day: Friday! There’s nothing like the feeling of a Friday evening, just sitting back and anticipating a nice, relaxing weekend. I’d go so far as to say that the Friday evening anticipation is the best part of the week.


Because Saturday comes along, and it’s great. You go camping, or hiking, or in the winter you look out the window and wish global warming would hurry up. But here’s the thing about Saturday: it’s never quite as good as you imagined it being when you were looking forward to it on Friday. The sun’s a little too bright, or there’s rain, or you can’t meet up with your old friend on account of a death in the family.


Whatever it is, something happens so it’s not perfect.


And last of all comes Sunday. For some of us that means a day of church activities, and for some of us that means a second attempt at a perfect Saturday. No matter what, though, Sunday ends pretty much the same way: Sunday evening. When Sunday evening comes around, you feel down. The weekend’s dried up, and there’s Monday, dead ahead.


So Monday comes back, with all the responsibilities and all the worries that were put on hold for the last two days. The next round of the cycle begins, and the wheel keeps on spinning.


Well, what about it? What’s the big deal about all this “weekly cycle” stuff?


The point is that if you’re anything like me, there’s part of you that fights against this cycle even though it’s inevitable. It’s that part that wants to get everything that’s good in the process without having to accept anything that’s bad. We want our whole week to be Friday evening. We hardly realize that the whole joy of a Friday evening comes from the sudden release of pressure after a week of hard work.


So we fight the inevitable, or at least we resist it in our minds. But as we all know, time is going to pass. There are going to be unpleasant times and pleasant times, moments of dread and moments of breathless anticipation.


You know that already, though. I’m not saying anything here that hasn’t been said a million times before. So what am I trying to tell you? What point am I driving at that isn’t so obvious?


Just this: you’re going to feel this resistance on Mondays. It’s part of the way the week works. There’s nothing wrong with you for partially fighting against it, and there’s nothing wrong with the week for being the way it is.


I think there’s a part of us that wants to take Monday as a personal insult, as if it came around to ruin our day and ruin our fun. But the fact is, life doesn’t work that way. It’s just the nature of things. You don’t get the good without the bad.


You have to pay for Friday evening with Monday morning, in other words. As long as you’re resisting Monday morning, there’s a part of you that’s not accepting reality.


Now don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying you have to accept reality. I’m not trying to preach. If you want to accept reality, you can accept it. If you want to fight it, you can fight it. All I’m saying is that you should be conscious of what you’re doing.


Because there’s a way in which you can say that really getting annoyed on a Monday morning makes the weekend that much sweeter when it comes. Emotional states are conditioned by their opposites, so if you’re going to experience the highest joys you’re going to have to accept the lowest misery. In that way it can be quite healthy and good to let yourself get a little down in the dumps on Monday. Just know what you’re doing, and you’ll be fine.


The fact is, motivation is a funny idea. You can motivate somebody in one of two ways: either you tell them a lie they want to believe but can’t keep up for very long, or you tell them the truth in such a way that they see their place in reality and accept it.


You’re a human being. That means you’re a limited being. But you’re a limited being with a specific role to play in the life of the human race. No matter how much you’d like to fight against that role, and no matter how much it feels like an imposition on your personal freedom, it’s a real, meaningful role.


It’s a meaningful role, and it’s a role that only you can choose to play to the best of your ability. Even on Monday.


Monday Motivation: Do You Want it Enough?


It’s Monday. What’s that mean?


It means a new week’s starting, and it’s time for you to get up and conquer the world. This is your week. This is your time to hit it out of the park.


It’s Monday morning. That means you need to be thinking about everything you’re going to get done this week. If you don’t already have a list of weekly goals, you’d better get one. You’ll need it.


Don’t think about what you did over the weekend. Don’t think about what you’ve got planned for this coming weekend. Don’t listen to anybody complaining about Mondays.


Sure, we all feel it. Nobody loves Mondays. But it’s your job to get yourself over that hump. You need to clean out all that reluctance. It’s infectious.


I’m serious: negativity is infectious. You’ve got to protect yourself from it.


There’s a saying that racecar drivers have: look at the road, not at the wall. It means you should focus on where you want to be and what you want to do. Because guess what? If you look at the wall too long, you hit the wall.


So you’d better focus on the road.


That’s why I’m not going to talk anymore about negativity. Avoiding negativity is a great thing to do—but when you talk about avoiding negativity, it sounds awfully negative.


Because the words we use make a big difference. Most of the challenges we face in life take place in our own heads.


Sure, we all face challenges in our everyday lives. But the real challenge is to keep our minds ready to go. It’s bringing ourselves up to our peak mental state.


Now, I know that sounds like a lot of weird woo-woo talk, but these things are real.


Seriously. Think about it: where do you run into your biggest problems? Is it in getting things to work, or is it in keeping yourself working productively?


Motivation is a real problem. I’d go as far as to say that motivation is the problem.


Because if you don’t have motivation, you’ll give up eventually. Will power can only take you so far. I don’t care what your goal is or what you’re going after: without proper motivation, you’re going to hit a wall.


And when you hit that wall you might not even realize it. You could give up without quite realizing it. What’s that look like?


It looks like giving yourself a ton of busy work so you never get around to the major tasks that would help you reach your goal. It looks like wasting time on social media instead of making progress. It looks like focusing on made-up problems instead of clearly identifying the ones that block your progress.


So one of the major tasks you’ve got to set yourself is to make sure you’ve got the motivation to keep you going. That means keeping that desire alive.


Put it this way: do you think anybody in this world ever achieved anything great without really wanting it? Do you think Thomas Edison tried a thousand different lightbulb designs before he got one to work because he thought, “Meh. Maybe I’ll get one to work eventually.”


There’s no way he thought that. Sure, he might have felt discouraged from time to time. I mean, who wouldn’t?


But he kept on going. He kept trying, he kept refining his approach, and he kept testing to find out what worked.


Why did he do that? Because he was motivated. Because he knew he would find the way to get it done.


Thomas Edison was a man on a mission, and he wasn’t about to fail. Every failure in his path was just another step to his ultimate success. He knew he was going to make it, and he knew he wanted it enough to see it through.


That’s how you keep motivated: you have to build up a sense of inner certainty that you want to reach your goal and you can reach your goal. Because if you decide you’ll either reach your goal or die trying, you’ll make it.


You’ve got to care enough to see it through. That means you can’t wait around in the back of your mind, waffling over whether or not it will work. You have to do it, test it, and be ready to try the whole thing again tomorrow.


Because here’s the thing: when you’re old and wrinkled, it won’t matter if you failed a thousand times along the way. The only thing you’ll remember is the moment you finally built the lightbulb that worked.


Motivation isn’t a matter of crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. It’s a matter of wanting to reach your goal so badly you’ll be willing to take risks and try things you’d never have tried if you were going to play it safe.


Answer me this: do you want to live an extraordinary life?


Now answer me again—do you want to live an extraordinary life?


Say it to yourself. Feel the words in your mouth.


Go ahead and say “I want to live an extraordinary life.” Say it out loud. I dare you to say it loud enough that the people near you start giving you funny looks!


People think of motivation as something behind them, like it’s a motor driving them forward.


That’s not the best way to think of it. The best way to think about it is that motivation is like a magnet that pulls you forward. But if you’re going to make that work, you’ve got to desire to reach your goal enough to feel it pulling you forward.


That takes action. Desire is a product of action.


What do I mean by that? Simple. Which tastes better: the glass of water you pull out of the fridge, or the bottle of water you open after you’ve hiked ten miles?


We value what we’ve worked to achieve. And what I’m saying is that you can train yourself to want things enough to work for them. How?


I’ll tell you tomorrow.


As always, thanks for reading and best of luck to you and your endeavors. Feel free to get in touch if you’ve got any questions. You can reach me in my comment section, or if you like you can email me at