How to Not Hate Mondays

September 7th, 2009

Businessman at the BeachLike most people, you’re probably stuck in the endless cycle of eagerly anticipating Friday, and just a few days after it passes, dreading Monday and the rest of the workweek that follows. It doesn’t have to be this way.

A full time employee dedicates nearly half of their wakeful hours to their job each week, and in many cases, it’s even more than that. With the typical retirement age being 65, most people spend more than 40 years of their lives doing this! When you spend this much time doing something, it will undoubtedly have a significant impact on your mood, energy level, quality of life, and overall sense of wellbeing. It can even influence your health, especially if there’s a lot of stress involved.

Although it’s unfortunately rare, some people do genuinely love their jobs. For these people, the workweek is just as enjoyable and rewarding, if not more so, than the weekend. Imagine how much different your life could be if this were the case for you.

What’s Your Ideal Job?

If you don’t thoroughly enjoy your job, you’re merely trading your precious time for money. Although this is sometimes a necessity, it’s clearly not the most rewarding way to live your life. The following are some tips that should help you identify the type of job that will bring you more fulfillment and perhaps even cause you to anticipate Mondays with eagerness.

Focus on Your Passions

Your passions are the activities that you anticipate with excitement. They help you to wake up each morning full of happiness and ambition, they bring enjoyment to your life, and if applied correctly, they’re a valuable source of fulfillment. As such, having a job that relates to one or more of your passions can make all the difference between enjoying your job or dreading it.

We all have different passions and it doesn’t matter how impressive or noble they are, but rather that you’re aware of them and are able to pursue them. An easy way to be sure that you know what you’re passions are is to consider what your ideal day would be like. If you had no obligations whatsoever and money were not a concern, how would you want to spend your typical day?

Once you have a clear understanding of what your passions are, the next step is to make them purposeful and identify how you can achieve fulfillment from them. In other words, you need to determine how to apply your passions in a way that makes your time seem worth while and rewarding. Most people accomplish this by using their passion as a way to help others, but this certainly isn’t the only way.

Identify Your Values

Although many of us don’t realize it, we all have a set of values that we live by on a daily basis. They directly influence our decisions, our interactions with others, and in turn, our lives. Your values help to define you as a person and represent what you stand for and what you believe in. As with passions, it doesn’t matter how impressive they are to others, but rather that you’re aware of them and are living by them.

If your job challenges your ability to live by your values, it will likely create a lot of internal conflict and make it difficult to truly dedicate yourself. For example, if you value honesty, you’ll find it difficult to work for a company that uses deceptive advertising. Likewise, if you value nature, you’ll have a hard time dedicating yourself to work that pollutes the environment.

Know Your Personality

The more aware you are of your personality and it’s finer qualities, the more able you’ll be to put yourself in favorable situations that are rewarding, enjoyable, and fulfilling. Some people are energized by being around others and thrive in situations requiring a lot of personal interaction while others would much rather work by themselves, perhaps at home, and be free to focus deeply without interruption. If you work in an environment that’s not well suited to your personality, it will likely become a persistent source of stress and frustration.

If you’d like to look deeper into your personality and gain a better understanding of it, I highly recommend reading Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence by David Keirsey to help you get started.

Earning a Living through Passion

It can take a lot of determination to accurately identify your passions and values, gain a deeper understanding of your personality, and find a fulfilling way to apply all of it. Unfortunately, it can be even more difficult to apply this knowledge in a way that will support you financially, especially if your ambitions require that you run your own business. It requires that you be creative in identifying a market for what you have to offer.

Career Renegade: How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love by Jonathan Fields is an excellent book about this exact topic. With a little creativity, just about any passion can be turned into a career, and the book provides a number of inspiring examples to prove it.

Be Happy with What You Have

Unfortunately, the profound and exciting moment of finally realizing what you really want to do with your career is often followed by the disappointment of it seeming unrealistic or too difficult to achieve. While it’s certainly in your best interest to aggressively pursue a more rewarding and enjoyable career, it’s also important to avoid unnecessary disappointment by making the best of your current job and focusing on the value it adds to your life.

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