Mastering Monday’s

What? Are you kidding me? How can it be Monday already? IMG_0080

Not sure about you but I have asked the questions and at times often. Depending on where we might be in our life Monday’s can be a day we are excited to come or a day we wish we could skip. The truth is, Monday’s have a dramatic impact on us in many ways.

For most people it is the first day of the work week or school week. It is a day that people are trying to get caught up on emails and projects. It is often the day that a project is due in school for kids. It is a day that there is probably some type of team meeting at work to check on previous weeks accomplishments and set the goals for the coming week. Monday’s carry quite a bit of weight when it comes to impacting our overall week.

Although I have not completely mastered Monday’s, I have observed and/or experienced somethings that can help make Monday’s better.

  1. A good Monday starts with a complete Friday. I have found that if I make sure that prior to leaving work on Friday I have reviewed my key tasks to ensure I have a solid starting point on Monday, I feel more relaxed during the weekend and more organized to start my Monday’s.
  2. Find inspiration. Starting your Monday morning off with something inspirational is a great way to get the brain and emotions in us aligned. We will feel good and have the desire to make it a great day. That inspiration may come from reading a quote, article, scripture, chapter in a book, watching an inspiration video on YouTube, listening to a great podcast, it can come in many forms.
  3. Be proactive. Since you and I are not alone when it comes to struggling on Mondays at times, be the person who influences others in a positive way. Be the one who says hi to co-workers with a smile first. When others complain, you find a way to compliment to create positive energy. I have found that I feel so much better when I am being proactive in helping others get their Monday’s started off on the right foot.
  4. Breath and focus. Sounds easy but can be extremely difficult, especially on Monday’s. However, the ability to really focus on Monday’s is critical. This is why point 1 is so important. The more you organized, the better you can focus. Taking time to just breath, nice deep breaths does amazing things to align your body and brain.

I wish I could say this is the perfect formula and that it works for everyone but its not. These are just somethings I have found to help me and others Master Monday’s. I came across this quote by David Dweck and really feel it defines the importance of making the most of every Monday: “Mondays are the start of the work week which offer new beginnings 52 times a year!”

Now, go be hero on Monday’s. You deserve it.

Finding Strength In Times of Adversity

This may be a pretty big assumption but I will make it anyway, we will have times where we will face major adversity in our lives. This adversity will come as a result of losing ones job, death of a family member, financial shortfalls, marriage problems and thousands of others ways. We have also probably all heard that we need to be strong during those times. Well guess what? It’s true.

To make a quick analogy I will put it this way because I am one who actually makes this statement quite often, “if it’s good for you it probably doesn’t test good.” Now, I know this is not 100% true but stay with me on this. Let’s say it does not taste good but it does make you healthier, it does give you energy to exercise, it does provide the right nutrients to help your muscles recover and so on. So what is actually happening is while I am “forcing” myself to eat this healthy food (adversity), I am actually providing much needed strength to my body.

So it finding strength in times of adversity is so critical, how does one go about doing it? Here are some quick ways that have helped me:

  1. Take a step back and see the bigger picture. Too many times when a challenge or trial enters our life we react in ways that can often make things worse. It is crucial to be able to try and see the challenge within a larger picture. This will help provide perspective and can even help you to see that maybe things are not as bad as they have initially appeared.
  2. Be positive. There is a difference between being positive and happy. Being positive means you are focused on seeing the good in things and pushing forward. Being positive means you refuse to sit and talk about all the bad things that led to this specific trial or adversity. Being positive means you put into action a plan to make things better.
  3. Find a go to partner. You will need to talk with someone. This person maybe different based on the type of challenge but be sure you have a trusted person you can speak with. It maybe your wife, a close friend, a past boss, a sibling or your church leaders. The key is, you need to find someone so you do not feel so alone.
  4. Note the lessons learned. Be sure and grab a pen and paper and write down your feelings. Within those writings, be sure and note what you have learned about the adversity you are facing. This can be so helpful as there will be times in the future where you will face a similar challenge or someone you know will. These writings can be key in helping you or them through the situation.

I will be the first to admit that finding strength during times of adversity is actually a lot easier to say than do. However, I have found that there is so much peace, comfort and joy that comes as I apply the four points above. There is nothing wrong when we are faced with adversity, in fact it is a sign we are normal.

As crazy as this may sound, I am thankful for those times in my life when I struggle as it brings me to my knees and reminds me that I am human. It reminds me to swallow my pride and look to others for support. I will always be thankful for those who have been there for me and hope I am someone that others can lean in their times of need. Leaders find way to turn times of challenge into learning and teaching opportunities. Most likely because this is an area where more people can relate unfortunately.

One last thought, as you learn to find strength in times of adversity, you will feel more empowered  When you feel empowered, there are no limits to what you can achieve so do all you can to find that strength so you can feel empowered.

Now, it is time to pump some adversity.

Seth