Matt Emerzian offers one good reason not to dread Mondays: “It represents a day for all of us to do better, to be better,” he says.
He didn’t always feel so benevolent toward the most maligned day of the week.
Years ago, as an MBA grad from UCLA, Emerzian worked in the rarefied atmosphere of the music-entertainment business. Then he suffered a panic attack, and a therapist let him in on the secret that would change his life: “It’s not about you.”
She prescribed volunteerism. So every Saturday, Emerzian picked up litter or fed the homeless. One day it clicked, and he realized how simply turning his focus outward made him feel more valuable than he ever had in his life.
It led him to write a book, called Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make a Difference, and to launch a business that would challenge everyone to remake Mondays and—more important—turn their focus outward.
How might you challenge those you lead to embrace Emerzian’s philosophy? Two suggestions:
1. Turn Mondays into an opportunity to make a choice, to be more awesome. Ask others, “What can you do today that will make you a better citizen than you were last week?” That’s a powerful concept.
2. Point your arrows outward. In Emerzian’s old life, all the arrows pointed inward, toward him. He wasn’t focused on making the world a better place, but on bringing good things into his life. Saturday-morning volunteering changed the direction of the arrows.
“I realized that I am at my best when I am not making life about me, and when my life started to change, it started to make sense,” he says. “I realized that I had significance and purpose in those moments. I realized that I could impact the world in a positive way, and in turn, I would feel more complete as a person.”
— Adapted from “Why Every Monday Matters,” Shawn Parr, Fast Company.