Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Monday, August 6, 2012

Why I Love Mondays

Welcome to class boys and girls.


If you're expecting a humorous story about the adventures and embarrassment of yours truly, well, its not going to happen today.  I'm stepping up on my soap-box to deliver a little lecture...
My office for today

I'm going to start today's class with a little math exercise.  It's a word problem so pay careful attention.

If the average person hates Mondays, and the average person works, say 50 years of their life, how many Mondays does that average person hate?

Answer?  2600 Mondays.

Yes, that's right.  The average person will spend slightly over SEVEN YEARS of their life being upset that it's Monday.  And that doesn't even count the Sunday night, pre-Monday grumpiness that sinks in for some people, or the absolute fury that results when you wake up thinking it's Friday but it's only like Tuesday.

Believe me, I know what it's like.

I worked as an Engineer at a whatever company for almost four years, and while didn't really "hate" Mondays, I really really disliked Mondays because it meant waking up earlier than I want, sitting in an office for 9 hours where the most exciting part of the day is discovering donuts in the break room, and missing out on the best part of the day.  

It meant dealing with rush hour traffic twice, running errands after work or on the weekends with every other Tom, Dick, and Harry, and finally settling in for the night knowing that I have to do this four more times before weekend freedom.

So how in the name of Moses is it that I LIKE Mondays?

Well, it's actually pretty simple.  I LIKE work.  In fact on the weekend, I frequently find myself looking FORWARD to Monday.

I know what you're thinking.  "Arun, you've finally gone off the deep end.  Despite your incredibly witty writing, and charming exterior, you've finally cracked.  But it's good to see that they are allowing you to blog from the loony-bin."

I appreciate your concern for my mental health, but I assure you, I'm not entirely crazy. 

Don't get me wrong, I love weekends.  All my friends are more available to hang out, everyone's in a great mood, and there's just more happening in general.  But, because of all this, I get very little work done between Friday afternoon and Sunday night.

There's something about knowing everyone is out and about having fun that makes it impossible to work on the weekend.  When I worked as an Engineer, I remember all of my friends having Martin Luther King Day off, and me having to work.  Just knowing that they were out and about while I was stuck at work made that day absolutely miserable.

Conversely, when I took like a Wednesday afternoon off to go to the dentist or something, it was an amazing feeling to be out and about doing things knowing that everyone else was stuck in the office.  Mooohahaha!

So these days come Monday, I'm excited to wake up and start working.  I have so many projects going on right now that there is never a shortage of things to for me to work on (one reason I post so infrequently here).  I'm so excited about all of these things that time flies and before I know it, its the weekend again (I'm sick, I know).

I know what you're thinking.  "Well gee Arun, that's real peachy that your Monday's are so great!  In fact, my Monday is already turning around knowing that you're so happy!  Hooray!"

Ok, I sense the sarcasm.  

But here's the deal.  I can't reveal some kind of secret that you don't know about that is causing you to not like Mondays.  It's all pretty obvious stuff.  I think most people would agree that their are two or three main things that need to happen to make everyone enjoy Monday's.  Sorry to disappoint.

What I can do is hopefully motivate you to do the right things to feel the joy of an upcoming Monday.  Maybe, if you're someone who hates Monday's, this will give you a kick in the ass to start making a change.  So here's the not-to-magic formula:

  1. Love what you do.  (Thank you captain obvious!!) - but seriously, most people do not love what they do, but settle for the job they are in without taking an active role in pursuing alternatives. If you are serious about loving Monday's then you need to spend time EVERYDAY doing something to make that happen.  Whether it's searching for a new job, making a little progress (however small) on your business idea, or taking college classes, you need to do something everyday, even if its something as small as applying to ONE job, or reading ONE chapter of a study guide, or sending ONE email to a potential business partner.  Keeping the momentum going will keep you moving towards loving what you do.  DON'T SETTLE FOR SIMPLE BEING 'OK' WITH WHAT YOU DO!

    Although I love Mondays, I also want more.  For example, I want to make a lot more money.  So I work EVERYDAY at becoming a better affiliate marketer.  I work EVERYDAY at the business idea I've been developing.  I also want to do a PhD so I've been working EVERYDAY to become a better PhD candidate

    When I realized I didn't want to be an engineer anymore, I worked everyday after work on my ebook, The Social Charmer.
  2. Find job independence.  Entrepreneurs work their asses off, frequently putting in tons of hours everyday - but it's all on their own terms.  You can work for your dream company doing exactly what you love, but still be miserable if you have someone breathing down your throat all the time or frequently cracking the whip.  BUT, when you have a high degree of control over your job and can avoid micromanagement, you become so much happier.

    Maybe you had a long week and want to take a half day Friday?  Maybe you stayed up too late on Sunday and want to sleep in on Monday before working.  You should have control over that.  Some people simply work better at night.

    I for example never set my alarm to wake up.  I happen to be a morning person so I wake up right around 7:30am everyday anyways, but its such a good feeling to not have an alarm blaring in your ear every morning, but rather comfortably waking up nice and rested and ready to be productive.  Similarly, I don't watch the clock when I go to lunch.  I go, I eat, and when I'm sufficiently satisfied, I get back to work.  I also sometimes will work at 8 or 9 at night if I feel like I have a lot of things to get done.  The bottom line is, because it's all on my terms, it doesn't really feel like work.

    Luckily, a lot of progressive companies like the Googles and Qualcomms of the world have adopted this structure of employee autonomy which actually makes it easier for more people to love Mondays.
  3. Accomplishment needs reward.  People need to feel a sense of reward, either intrinsic or extrinsic, in order to feel satisfied with work. In my case, the rewards are monetary rewards (basically how I survive), progress towards creating something big (like a new company in my case), and improvement at things I'm working on (online affiliate marketing and studying for PhD entrance exam).

    You could be at your dream company but if they never give you a raise or recognize your achievements, you'll quickly fall out of love with your work.  Alternatively, you could be building a company, but if in a year you've made no tangible progress, you're motivation for work will die.  Reward is necessary.
That's it!  I work everyday towards gaining more of these things. I'm fortunate to have accomplished SOME of these things which is why I love Mondays, but the pursuit of MORE is equally exciting.  A lot of people have grandiose visions of starting a company, changing careers, or finding a job, but never actually start actively pursuing those dreams.  They put them off until a year, two, or five have passed and they're in the same place.

I don't want to be that person which is why I try do make progress every single day.  

That concludes today's lecture.  I think you know what your homework is.  Class dismissed.  Feel free to bring me an apple to next class. 

10 comments:

elly suriana said...

i love to read your text,do you have any poem? i like to discuss everything....

Johndca Marible said...

Great post! I love your writing!

Carmen said...

I really liked this Post!!

Tarun Chaudhary said...

hello arun, i m working nowadays as a software engineer, but i hate working on schedules as i like my own terms job,. also i have planned to do mba but is that right decision according to u? i want to earn more money but also more time off... is it possible for a mba... please reply soon.or i should go for freelancing in software and forget about mba , please suggest me best alternative??simply because i want to live happily with my family...

Kala said...

Truly inspirational. Well said prof!

Himani Mohan said...

Himani : Truly believe in what you have suggested here about loving what you do.

Varun Harirajan said...

Eye opening blog especially with the math to start off with!

Many of us know a lot of the things up here but just dont have the guts to take the big step. Fear is our biggest problem.

Baby steps as you mentioned everyday to independence from corporate slavery is what we all Monday haters need to do.


Keep writing Arun!

Friantis said...

Hi Arun,I had experienced the side effects of liking your work too much.We should realize as humans, we are destined to love family,friends,food and sleep,rest all are variables ,if you tell me that you really love your job, i wouldnt agree..what you like is picturing yourself successfull and socially admired for what you are,but the daily job isnt a dream ,it is a 9 hour grilling.
We should try to finish as much work possible in the given time of the day and leave on time on most of the days if not everyday. I suggest we should all have true friends,ones i got in engineering college,talk to them frequently ,little jokes and stories is a real stress buster. Keep in touch with parents(no one is more experienced and helpful than them). Avoid unhealthy lifestyle.

Friantis said...

Hi arun, i have some general suggestions for happy life for all unhappy grads:
1.Be realistic -You cant build Rome in a year(even if you employ entire Italy for your project) and keep getting paid and be happy based on your false promises.
2.Make effort to keep relations with those that really matter.
3.Avoid Those who don't match your wavelength .
4.Make money,Save money and realize that what will really last is your money in the bank.
5.Don't get married (Just Joking ;)).
6.Stay focussed-No matter what comes on the way .
7.Read ,Read a lot.
8.Aim for the stars with your feet on the ground.
9.Go for a walk.
10.Love every employee irrespective of his qualifications.

Ankur Gupta said...

You are really a very positive person Arun, and after reading your blog it's clear that the best way to get rid of work is enjoying your work and be happy with current situations. At this time I have just completed my graduation and I would like to start my job life with this golden suggestion of you.