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Leadership Thought #417 – Monday Mornings Shouldn’t Bum You Out

I know quite a few people who actually start feeling depressed on Sunday night because work is the next day. Sadly, for many of them, this has been a feeling that has existed for years.  I honestly cannot comprehend this state of mind at this point in my life.  Sure when I was fresh out of college and new to my professional work life I didn’t always get thrilled about Monday mornings, but as I have progressed in my career and thinking, that is a long distant memory.  If what you are doing makes you that unhappy either change how you think about it or choose to do something else.  Life is too short for habitual Sunday night misery.

There are very few real victims in life.  Outside of violent crime, your victimhood is usually a personal choice.  Plenty of people have accomplished great things in their life and come from humble or disadvantaged beginnings.   You are the architect of your own life: good, bad or otherwise.  A large percentage of your time as an adult will be spent in some level of employment.  Simply putting in your time and waiting for retirement is a “soul-sucking” way to live.  There are no real guarantees for your future so make the most of now.

Here are a few points to possibly help you rethink your attitude towards your job if you regularly deal with the Sunday night blues:

  • Take your career seriously – create a plan for advancement;
  • Show up with a positive attitude and treat your colleagues courteously and most will respond in kind – even the most cynical will eventually come around to the positive vibe you are creating if you stick to it;
  • All work is done in service to someone, try to think about who your are helping and the difference you are making in their life;
  • Consider where you feel especially competent and take pride in striving for personal excellence in these areas;
  • If you are feeling incompetent or overwhelmed in certain areas, be honest and ask for help – most people will step up and help/teach when asked;
  • Try to partner with other people at work who complement your strengths and weakness;
  • Treat problems as opportunities to demonstrate your skills and abilities rather than petty annoyances or burdens;
  • Try to get to know your boss better and fully understand what makes him/her tick – be a positive resource for them rather than someone who regularly snipes behind their back;
  • If you are the boss, take pride in the growth and development of your direct reports – make it your mission to convince people (in a constructive way) that they are capable of much more than they imagine is possible;
  • Don’t be a clock watcher, instead create a daily “to do list” and have a plan of accomplishment for each day;
  • Allow enough time for commuting difficulties and budget some thinking/getting settled time for the start of each day;
  • Count your many blessing at the end of every day to reinforce what is good in your life.

3 Responses

  1. Great post. How do you get a positive attitude? It’s just not as simple for some folks to switch this on like a light switch. Can this be trained? If so, how?

    • I believe your attitude comes down to three main things: 1) what information you choose to expose yourself to every day; 2) the people you surround yourself with; and 3) how you think about yourself especially in the areas where you believe you need to improve. I encourage people who are having great difficulty with their attitude to pay attention to what they are watching on TV, listening to on the radio and reading in newspapers/magazines. There is considerable negative spin out there that doesn’t make you feel good about the world or yourself. I advise my clients minimize exposure to this type of content and look for more positive material (for an extended amount of time until they feel more positive and can filter it properly). Secondly, you should ask yourself who you are hanging around with. Misery does love company and it is always good to audit whether the people who are a constant in your life make you feel better or worse about things. I do my best to minimize the negative influences and search out people who make me feel more positive about life and role model healthy behavior. Lastly, all of us have a few nagging things about ourselves we don’t like, e.g., weight, health, how we handle money, etc. Take concrete small positive steps each and every day to do better in one area and stick to it even if you stumble at times. As you make progress, you will feel better about yourself.

      • Thanks! If I hear you correctly you are addressing external influences first and then this sort of spills over to a better attitude. Interesting!
        My thoughts were along the lines of intrinsic motivation and positive attitude that resides in some of us regardless how much we are subjected to external negativity. Tougher to come up with a recipe to learn that.
        I’ll go with increasing positive influences as a first measure to a better attitude. Thanks and have a great day. Ralf

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