The 3 keys to waking up and feeling joy on a Monday morning. How to start your week right.
Last week on the vlog I spoke about finding JOY on a Monday morning, waking up and looking forward to the week ahead. What difference would it make to your life and the lives of those around you, if you woke up and thought to yourself “Thank God It’s Monday”?
So, how do you get to get to experience this kind of joy in your working life? I believe there are 3 important elements that you need:
Let’s start firstly with PASSION. In order to experience joy, you need to be passionate about what you do and why you do it. Now, when I think about passion, I envisage two lovers locked in an embrace, unable to tear themselves away from each other…. butterflies, excitement, anticipation, seduction. Have I gone too far? I don’t think so!
Are you having a passionate love affair with your work?
Do you experience these same feelings of desire and excitement?
I believe that passion comes from doing work that connects with your mission; your legacy; what you want to be known for. It also comes from creating a strong alignment between your work and your personal values; those preferences and priorities in your life which are unique to you and which give you meaning and motivation.
It’s also important that your work gives you the opportunity to use what I call, your Tinkerbell Magic. Your Tinkerbell Magic is your unique strength that comes from within; the thing that you do better than anyone else. When you use this magic, you experience deep satisfaction with your work and a great sense of purpose and contribution. You know with certainty that you’re working to your full potential and adding value to your organisation, team and clients. You know that you’re doing the work that you’re absolutely meant to be doing.
Passion must be ignited from within. It can take time and patience to explore what it is that will start the flame. Then you need to create the opportunity and display the courage to pursue it.
Passion is about being all in – no holding back, no playing it safe, no hesitation. It’s a strong emotion of desire. A passionate person was described in the 2004 movie National Treasure as “someone who is one step short of crazy.” I love this. When you’re passionate about something there is an element of obsession about it; kind of devotion that is hard to describe. It’s the ballet dancer who endues bleeding feet, it’s the writer who doesn’t give up despite her manuscript being rejected over and over again, it’s the lawyer who works through the night for a week for an upcoming trial.
“It is obvious that we can no more explain a passion to a person who has never experienced it than we can explain light to the blind.” (T.S Elliot)
Sometimes others may not ‘get it’ but guess what? If it’s your passion, you don’t care. You can’t swtich it off. It’s just like the love affair I spoke about earlier, it’s hard to let go of. Your passion is always in your heart and in your mind. It drives your motivation, enthusiasm and ambition.
Let’s move onto the second element, PRESENCE. Presence is about being able to be in the moment. To give yourself over 100%. Life is busy and it can be difficult to concentrate on just one thing. There are so many balls you have to keep up in the air at work and then add to this the busyness of your home life – housework, errands, children, partner, pets – and it’s no wonder that it can be difficult to be fully present.
You can be so busy “doing” that you stop “being”. Presence will give you the ability to truly focus on what you want to achieve at work. It will bring determination and drive.
It’s about having the systems and processes in place in your life so that you can turn up on Monday morning being fully present, not stressed, not worried, not trying to micromanage everything but being in the moment and being able to truly focus. You need to stop the multitasking and adding to the never-ending to-do list and focus on what is truly important right now.
There are times when you can get so caught up in the past or future, that you neglect what is going on right in front of you. There is nothing you can do about the past, it has already happened. Similiarly, worrying excessively about the future, simply takes away today’s peace.
“I have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.” (Mark Twain)
It’s important if you want to be there for others and influence them, that you’re fully present and lead in the moment. Your people and your clients need and deserve your full attention. When I ask joyful people what they love about their work, nearly every one of them mentions the people they work with. Being present, allows you to build strong meaningful relationships with those around you. It allows you to be there for others and to truly listen and understand them.
If you’re distracted, you’ll miss the opportunity to connect with your people and your work. You’ll make mistakes, things will take longer to complete. You won’t gain the trust and commitment from your people that you need to succeed.
It’s all about slowing down, foucssing and saviouring the moment. Embracing the present with gratefulness.
Then, the final element PLAY. It’s so important that you put some play and humour back into your busy days in the office. Life’s way too short not to have fun. You probably spend the majority of your time at work each week, why not have a great time while you’re there?
“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing” (Dale Carnegie)
Play is so good for you for many reasons. It stimulates your mind and your imagination, increasing creativity. You can be inventive with your solutions. It promotes problem-solving and the ability to adapt to situations. You can try new things and experiment which is critical in this time of disruption and change. If you can’t adapt, you won’t succeed.
Play is also a great stress reliever and boosts your happiness. You’re more engaged and more motivated which in turn increases your productivity. It boosts comradery and builds corporate empathy. It makes you approachable and engaging as a leader and co-worker.
When you can be playful with your work, it allows you to keep things light. Sometimes, work can seem so heavy and you can start to feel overwhelmed. Lightness comes from putting everything into perspective and getting real about what can you achieve and what you can influence. You can accept what you can and can’t control.
Playfulness gives you permission to breath, to relax and to be yourself. You can let people and opportunities come into and out of your life without holding onto them with white knuckles. Things change; tide comes in and tide goes out. Change is the one certainty in life. If you can keep things light and playful, you will build resilence and a reputation for being able to thrive in times of change.
What happens when you don’t have all 3 elements – Passion, Presence and Play?
There can be times when you have great passion for your work and you know that this is the work you’re meant to do but you’re missing presence and play. This may be because you don’t have the processes and systems in place to be able to fully turn up on Monday morning and to give yourself over to your passion. You may be preoccupied with worries and fears; the past or the future. You may lack the daily and weekly habits to allow you to be 100% present at work. You want to ‘show up’ fully but there is something getting in the way.
On the flip side, I’ve known many people that have a strong sense of presence with drive, focus and determination but they lack real passion for what they do. They are sometimes ruled by the expectations of others. They pursue their goals and climb the ladder of success, only to discover that the ladder is up against the wrong wall. (Dr Stephen Covey). They suddenly realise that the work they’re doing is not aligned with their purpose, values and legacy.
Then there are the players. Now, for those of you who know me well, you know that I love to play but play without passion and presence at work is ineffective and unproductive. You might be having a great time but are you making any meaningful contribution? Do you have a sense of achievement at the end of the day? Play needs the other two elements to bring it into balance.
So, I’d love you to ask yourself, on a scale from 1-10:
• What’s your level of passion at work?
• How present are you when you show up every day?
• Do you get to play?
I’m on a mission to bring JOY to Monday mornings. What steps could you take right now to make you wake up and say ‘Thank God It’s Monday’?