April 20, 2023

Whether to seize the day, or merely attempt to survive it


Have you ever seen one of those worst day of the week studies?

These happiness surveys are typically conducted by psychology researchers, healthcare companies and productivity apps. The data reveals notable patterns in the way people feel about different days of the week.

As if to justify people’s mood and output on certain ones, and why they shouldn’t feel alone in their cyclical struggles.

Now you can you decide whether or not you should seize the day, or merely attempt to survive it.

And certainly, these studies do make for fun water cooler discussion. But here’s the underlying trouble with this growing body of research.

It’s training people to allow external labels to impact their ability to do what needs to be done. When in reality, the traditional seven day week is an entirely human construct.

Babylonian scholars invented the names for the days of the week two thousand years ago. Each day was named after a particular god in mythology.

Tuesday, as an example, was named after the god of war. No wonder it’s the most popular day of the week for sending emails.

Friday, on the other hand, was named after the goddess of love, beauty and fertility. Guess that explains date night.

But this history proves that the day of the week and its associated level of suffering or joy, is completely driven by cultural norms, rather than by physical or biological factors. We made the whole thing up.

Which means each of us can actually raise our ability to thrive on any day of the week. We can choose to make meaning despite things like mood or time. It’s all relative.

Monday doesn’t have to be the foggy day that flies by because we’re still recovering from the giddy delirium of the weekend.

Tuesday doesn’t have to be the no man’s land day where we work through lunch due to the realization we still have a busy week ahead.

Wednesday doesn’t have to be the most popular day of the week because it has its own talking animal mascot.

Thursday doesn’t have to be the red headed step child of days that has no redeeming qualities and drags on before the weekend is here.

Friday doesn’t have to be the casual, low productivity day where we knock off an hour after lunch and start counting the minutes until our life turns into a country song.

Saturday doesn’t have to be the only day of the week where we’re in a good mood and actually go to the gym.

Sunday doesn’t have to be the day that starts out relaxing until that doubt creeps up on you and you realize that happiness can’t last forever.

It’s all relative. Einstein proved it with his theory. He found that time dilatates based on what we’re doing and our intention while doing it. Time expands and contracts based on our subjective interpretation of it.

Which means we can choose to create meaning despite things like mood or time constraints.

Think about it this way.

If you didn’t know what day of the week it was, what would your mood be? I

f you didn’t have a calendar telling you how productive you were supposed to be, what might you accomplish?

It’s time we took control of our daily lives, rather than allow our level of productivity, relaxation and fulfillment be controlled by an arbitrary label derived from an imaginary deity somebody believe in two thousand years ago.

Let me share a case study with you.

My first job out of college was working at furniture store. Weekends were the busy shopping days, so most employees had days off during the middle of the week. Tuesday night was the party night. Wednesday afternoon was for recreation. Thursday started out great, until late afternoon when I started stressing about the workweek ahead.

Sunday, on the other hand, sucked. All my friends with traditional schedules were off work, sleeping late, watching football and going hiking. While I was dragging three hundred pound sofa sleepers into the freight elevator.

That’s relativity.

If you didn’t know what day of the week it was, how would you feel?

Forget about all those surveys telling you how you ought to feel, what you ought to be getting done. If you want to raise your ability to thrive on any day of the week, decide that the external constructs like clock and calendar aren’t going to control you.

Focus on making your meaning, rather than monitoring your mood. Internalize your locus of control, and every day will productive, relaxing, joyful.

You can seize them all, rather than merely attempting to survive.

Are you letting external labels impact your ability to do what needs to be done?