Rainy Days, Mondays and the Magic of Perspective

rainy days get me downThe other week I was talking to a client, and I was reminded of the Carpenter’s song, Rainy Days and Mondays.  The point made in the song is that these days “always get me down”.

This was currently the case for my client. She was feeling demotivated and a little bit defeated. When it rained, or any other minor inconvenience occurred, to her it was more ‘proof’ that life is hard.

Her Monday’s were neither inspiring nor motivating, largely because her job didn’t excite her. But she didn’t hate the job either, and so she hadn’t even considered finding something new.

This is really quite a common trap of the human condition. Generally, people are more motivated by pain than by passion, because we are creatures of habit.

So to illustrate this – on the one hand I could present to you something that you are passionate about, but instead of pursuing it, you will likely feel the pull to stay where you are.  If where you are is safe, then boredom can be overlooked, and passions can be filed under ‘things I will do later’. Safe is comfortable. Ah-ha! It’s that dreaded comfort zone!

On the other hand, if where you are is painful, and I present you with a way out, you will likely take it. Pain is a huge motivator for humans. We want to get as far away from pain as we can.

So you can see the conundrum. Humans are drawn to their comfort zones. But our comfort zones quickly become boring, unfulfilling, and we can slide into negativity quite easily.

Once we have slid into negativity, we then can’t muster the motivation to climb out of our comfort zone, because we are now looking at the challenge ahead with a negative mindset.

The magic shift

So we can stay stuck, or we can choose to climb out of the hole and move on. And the game-changer is perspective.

When we are stuck in our comfort zone, down a dark hole, peering out through a lens of negativity, everything looks bleak. So what I want to suggest to you is changing your point of view.

A good way to start is to notice when you are being negative. Pay attention to what you think and say. I particularly ask my clients to notice sentences beginning with “I can’t, because…”, followed by an excuse.

Let’s take the example of looking for a new job. If Monday’s get you down, but you don’t want to look for a new job because it’s hard – then flip that lens over.

What part of the job hunting part is easy, or creative, or even exciting? Yes, sure, completing online applications is a bit of a hassle. But how about putting your attention on finding a role that inspires you, or making your LinkedIn profile stand out from the crowd?

How about the possibility of a higher income?

Think about what you could do with your new, higher pay packet. Maybe a holiday? A new wardrobe? And how about all the new friends you could meet at your new place of work?

I’m not saying the boring bits and the hard work don’t exist. I’m saying don’t make them your focus. Instead, focus on what you will enjoy, and the things you can do well. The rest of it will fall into place. And most importantly, you will get yourself mentally unstuck and climb out of that hole you’ve been in.

Life is short. It is up to you how much you enjoy each day – even the Mondays, and even if it rains.