Take a look at the picture above. These runners are about to begin their race. What do you think is going through their minds? Excitement? A good deal of nerves I am imagining. Perhaps even a little bit of fear mixed in. They have trained months, years, maybe even their whole lives for this moment. If they win, all of that will be worth it. If they lose? It may crush some, and others may strengthen their resolve to push harder, to practice longer. What is fueling their excitement is possibilities.
This type of emotion holds true for the start of a race, competitions of any sort, vacations, adventures and many other things. For the beginning of the work week, however, we fill ourselves with emotions such as dread, boredom, gloom and many other unpleasantries. Why do we view the workweek in such a manner? There are, of course, many things that we don’t enjoy and many challenges. Same can be said for vacation. Raise your hand if you like going through airport security. I am guessing there are few, if any, of you with your hand raised right now. Who likes going through customs in a foreign country or looking for your transportation at the airport? Again, probably not many of you. How come those do not cause dread?
The answer is in what we choose to focus on. As we take our shoes off and wait to pass through the metal detector, our thoughts remain focused on tropical shores and Pina coladas. The challenges we face are just obstacles to overcome so that we can enjoy the destination. At the starting line of a race we do not focus on how hard the hills will be, how our breathing will be labored or a host of other things we must go through. No, our thoughts are focused on the feeling we will have crossing the finish line. Can we be faster than we were last race? Did we train the right way? Did we hydrate enough? There are a million steps we have taken to give us the best chance to succeed and now they will pay off.
Imagine if we applied this same thinking to the workweek? Keep our thoughts on the fun plans we had that weekend. Focus on the feeling of punching out that Friday. This may very well keep us from punching out anything, or anyone else. The boss yelling at you with bad breath? That is just like airport security. Your coworker filling your ears with useless gossip? Like going through customs. These are just things we have to make it through to get to the weekend. Weekend to far away for you? focus on the feeling of leaving work for the day. That feeling of freedom as you turn off your computer, close your locker or the door of your workplace shuts behind you. When you experience these things, celebrate! You have earned it!
Let us change our perception of Monday. It is not the end of our weekend freedoms. It is the beginning of a race to overcome challenges to make to the next weekend. Can we do it while finding more joy than last weekend? Can we be happier than we were the week before? Can we make it through all the challenges? Keep our focus on the goal and I know we can!