I know a person who, after four years of lament and loathing, is relieved to have a new president.
I know another who is crestfallen and filled with anxiety over what the next four years will bring.
Those two sentences? I could have easily written them this morning as I could have four years ago. To be honest, I have felt both emotions at different times in the last twenty years. But alas, talking politics is tricky business these days, with emotional landmines at every turn. So let’s focus on something else.
I’ve written before about how Monday gets a bad rap. When we see Friday, we thank God, but everybody scrunches up their nose and turns the other way when they see Monday walking down the hall.
I would like to propose a simple but effective way to ensure that your next Monday is awesome. (Interestingly, it’ll work just as well to ensure your next four years are awesome too, regardless of your taste in politicians.)
I hesitate to share it because you’ll probably brand me a fool, an incurable simpleton, a naive rube. (Don’t worry, I’ve been called worse.) You may roll your eyes or cast it off as wishful thinking. All I can say is that it works astoundingly well.
So what’s the secret? How do you make sure next Monday (and the one after that) is awesome?
Don’t roll the dice and hope.
Don’t wait for permission; you don’t need it from anyone.
Don’t wait for proof to roll in; once you decide you’ll naturally look for reasons to prove yourself right.
(If you’ve really decided.)
Okay, cue the eye rolls. That’s too simple and naive, right? I don’t know, is it?
Is it any more naive than giving the power to affect four years of my life to someone I don’t know, will probably never meet, and has a very marginal impact on my day-to-day life? Not to mention the fact that you probably already do it, especially if you’re one of the people who scrunch up your nose at Monday while it’s still walking down the hall.
Or if you’re one of the millions of people who have already decided the next four years are going to be awesome. (Or terrible.)
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”–Leonardo DaVinci
Now, a little disclaimer. As you may have already guessed, this isn’t entirely foolproof. There will be days when your pet goldfish dies or a tree falls on your new car. Sometimes Mondays just suck. (Along with Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays…) The point is that you’ll enjoy a lot more good ones if you start expecting them. And maybe that practice of doing so will help you better see those silver linings on the darker days.
You can’t control what happens to you, but you can decide what to do about it.
Abraham Lincoln was on point when he suggested, “Folks are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
I’ve seen people endure some extreme hardships and still maintain a cheerful, optimistic attitude.
I’ve also seen people complain while on vacation in the most beautiful places in the world.
If you have an unbroken streak of bad Mondays in your rearview mirror, it might be worth looking in the bathroom mirror.
We have been gifted with an amazing freedom: the ability to choose the focal point of our mind. Let’s not be too eager to hand that power over to other people and circumstances.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve made up my mind that next Monday is going to be awesome.