What’s the deal with Monday Motivation? Is it a cliché, or perhaps it’s a truism? Let’s explore the topics of stigma and positive psychology.
A lot of people get fixated on the idea of Monday being the start of the week; because a lot of people do the ol’ Dolly Parton, ‘9 til 5’. Then they get focused on the notion of going ‘back to work’, and for a lot of these people they just hate going to work. So, the vicious cycle begins again. But, for starters, Monday isn’t recognised as the start of the week in all parts of culture. It isn’t even recognised as the start of the week in all professions.
I’m going to briefly touch on this next topic because I care not to delve into the intricacies of theology. I’m a Syncretist. I just want everyone to get along. I’m just doing this to prove a point. In Christianity the start of the week is largely recognised as being…you guessed it, Monday. And on the seventh day, Sunday, you rest. In Judaism on the other hand, the start of the week is Sunday. Ahem, and on the seventh day…yeah…you rest.
Adopt ‘Slim Shady voice’,
“Er, we’re gonna to have a problem here.”
Psychology within language
Here’s a cool and interesting bit. In Hebrew, a language used in Judaism, the first day of the week is known as Rishon. And Rishon literally translates to…wait for it…FIRST! And just as a reminder, that day, Rishon is…Sunday. So, ‘starting the week on a Sunday’ is actually built into the Hebrew language. Which means it’s built into the psychology.
I wonder who has a better Monday morning? A Christian or Jew?…
As for me, you can leave me out of this, like I said I’m a Syncretist. All my Mondays suck and rock equally.
Different profession. Different perception.
Let’s briefly look now then at a couple of professions. Take a football player(a soccer player). Most games, in the UK at least, take place on a Saturday. So, when does a football player’s week start? Well, arguably a Sunday, right? Because they ‘finish’ their working week on a Saturday. Everything builds up to the game on a Saturday. Then they ‘start’ everything again on the Sunday. Getting ready for the next Saturday.
But then take an American Football player. And most NFL games get played on a…SUNDAY!! Tah-dah!! In someways football and American football couldn’t be more different. Of course, all of this scheduling is done these days because of money and television rights.
The reality is, most athletes are probably going to function better with this mindset: Either you are AWAKE or you are ASLEEP. You ‘started’ when you were born, and you ‘stop’ when you are dead. There is none of this Monday to Sunday thing. There is just birth, life, existence, and death. ‘Starting your week’ the day after the most important part of your week, when it comes to performance, probably isn’t the smartest idea. It is better starting your week the day before game day. You need to be fed, watered, rested, and ready for the game. Which is why the Monday to Friday model doesn’t work well for a lot of athletes. Because they could have multiple competitions and training sessions in one week. You are either dead or alive.
What’s the point?
So, maybe we can have different starts and ends to the week depending upon what aspect of our lives we are working on? Maybe not? Another topic for another time.
Anyway, the main point is that, your focus can shift drastically depending on what your ‘working week’ is and how it is structured. Your flow is going naturally to be completely different depending on what job you do. Couple that with whatever religious or belief system you have, and functioning can become quite the complex task. The demands on the body and mind can be vastly different from person to person. So, it’s no wonder people don’t always see eye to eye. With all of these differences to account for, ‘getting along with others’ and ‘working together’ is actually a lot trickier than people give it credit for.
But it’s all about perception.
So, moving onto stigma and positive psychology.
Real life Monday blues
Have you ever heard of the song by the Boomtown Rats? They have a song called “I don’t like Mondays”. The song is inspired by a real life shooting that took place where, when asked why they did what they did, the killer replied, “I don’t like Mondays.”
Now, that is pretty extreme. But it’s a real thing that actually happened. So, clearly this stuff has an impact on people.
The whole notion of Monday Motivation is basically really poetic and faddy. The phrase itself is used because of the alliteration at play. It’s punny, it’s easy to remember. Because it’s easy to remember, you can recall it easily and therefore it’s useful for motivation. But there is an element of ‘it’s something that you’d come up with for a school project’ about Monday Motivation. After a while the novelty wears off. Some of us are looking for something with a bit more substance.
The power of the phrase can become a bit stale and stagnate. Especially if your situation isn’t changing how you want it to. This is why it’s important to have an appreciation of perception. Because on the other hand of course Monday Motivation is really cool. Yeah, it’s a little bit cheesy. But, so what?! So. What. Lighten up a bit. Have some fun. It serves a purpose and it works well. It does the job it is intended to, and that is shine a light on the concept.
Words have meaning
Cliché. The word is bounced around when something is a bad thing. It’s been used too much. It’s old hat. It’s boring. We’re a bit sick and tired of it. That is the stigma attached to something if it’s cliché.
But take the word ‘truism’. And fundamentally there is a synonymous commonality shared by these two words. That ‘it’s the same old same old’. But one, at least for now, within the context of culture, has more of a negative stigma attached to it, whilst the other has more of a positive association attached to it.
Now, maybe the word truism is fairly new to you. I’ll be honest, it’s reasonably new to me. I only fully acknowledge it in the past couple of years whilst I was speaking as a guest in a creative writing session. But, now I know it I have it in my stock. I can provide balance to the concept of when things are the same. A truism might have the perception of being a necessary constant and component in progress. It’s basically the science of a situation.
The question is, when something gets stale and boring and samey, why is that?
Either way, the thing is, when you find things getting like that you need to do something to snap yourself out of the rut. And as people we will pretty much do one or two things. We will indulge in passive escapism; dreaming, tv, books, films, theatre, drugs. Or we will engage in active escapism; writing, drawing, painting, computer games, sculpting, sport, acting, singing, dancing.
The trick is to harness and synchronise the skills to allow you to pursue and achieve the things you want to. Like,
Finding new clients.
Doing that training.
Improving that relationship.
Creating and developing that new project.
Booking and attending that appointment.
Making that phone call.
How do you look at Monday?
The truth is, there is little point focusing on ‘Monday Motivation’, because subconsciously what you are doing is saying that Mondays suck. The weekend was better. I wish it was Saturday and Sunday. Mondays absolutely suck. Well, either Mondays suck or just your Mondays suck? Because some people’s Mondays are awesome. So, it kind of sounds like a you problem. Not a Monday problem.
But perhaps the biggest key thing to remember is being motivated is a skill. It requires effort. So, what are you waiting for? Get practising.
If you really want a better way to label and compartmentalise your Mondays. How about Monday Mentality?