Writing a new article first thing on a Monday morning sounded like a good idea when it first popped into my head. #MondayMotivation is always a trending hashtag, after all. Who isn’t looking for a little extra push to get them on their way at the first of the week?
Where I hit a snag is in the fact that my brain is not fully operational on only one cup of coffee. I need more, a second cup at the very least. Coffee is to brain activity what an alternator is to a car: it replenishes the battery so that the battery doesn’t run out of juice. Trying to start the brain with only a single cup of coffee is like trying to start a car with a dead alternator.
I’m also realizing that as I’m typing this the voice in my head is speaking with a bit of a Scottish brogue. Why, I don’t know. There’s no obvious Scottish heritage in my diverse genealogical background. I have a feeling it may come from reading something or the other this morning that had to do with Scotland, but at the moment I can’t even recall what that might have been.
There is too much to read on Mondays, all that catching up from the weekend.
How ever is one supposed to find any #MondayMotivation in the midst of this mess?
Searching For Monday Motivation
There’s nothing to motivate one to do laundry like taking a selfie and discovering that the shirt you chose to wear this morning is already covered in cat hair and beard dandruff. The day hasn’t even started and I’m already a walking mess. Laundry has to happen and somehow everything has to be places where the kittens can’t get to it. I’m not wholly convinced there is any place in this house that cannot be visited by one cat or the other. They’re cunning little creatures.
Cats are like politicians in that they both seem like a good idea and one might argue that we need them both, but neither can ever be trusted. They look out for themselves first and foremost.
Kitten claws can also be very motivational, especially when they’re making their way up your back. I’m not sure what kind of super-energy pill Solaris devoured this morning, but he’s been all over the place and seems to delight in scaling my full height while I’m walking across the floor. He’ll then perch himself on my shoulder until I get somewhere else he wants to explore. He’s very much into testing his capabilities this morning.
Perhaps we should all be a bit more like Solaris, unafraid to claw our way to the top, exploring new possibilities. That would make a decent Monday Motivation, wouldn’t it?
Never Mind The Politics
Politics features prominently in my social media news feeds. I’m not sure whether it’s that way with anyone else or not but the whole mess seems unavoidable if one chooses to be online for more than 14.5 seconds. One thing the US president has done has been to make sure we’re always talking about him. I’m not convinced he even cares what we’re saying as long as we’re saying something.
Narcicissm is not a good Monday Motivation, in my opinion. Individuals shouldn’t need to be top of mind on a mass basis. Brands strive for that top of mind placement, like Coca-Cola, One doesn’t even need to hear the name, just see a red soda can, or that familiar bottle shape, and like one of Pavlov’s dogs, we begin to salivate and feel thirsty. That’s good branding and explains why the soft drink giant is at the top of the branding game.
People, however, don’t need that level of mass appeal, not even presidents. Being president isn’t a rating game and I’m sometimes bothered by the frequency of polls claiming to show the president’s popularity, as though it were the Nielsen overnight ratings. Presidents and all government employees are sworn to uphold the Constitution and protect the country from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Politicians and civil servants are supposed to put the betterment of the country ahead of any personal interests. That we no longer see any sense of that requirement, in reality, is disturbing.
Monday Motivation Needs More Dogs
I would include a picture of one of my dogs here but they’re both currently hiding in a back room, sound asleep. They were both really anxious to get out the door this morning to pee, though, and perhaps that should be a parallel for any discussion of Monday Motivation: attack the week with the same motivation we have when rushing to the bathroom first thing in the morning.
There is a story, most likely apocryphal, that legendary news anchor Edward R. Murrow was able to put a sense of urgency in his voice during morning newscasts by forcing himself to wait until after that newscast before going to the restroom. I can see where that might possibly be effective, but Murrow was known for heavy drinking and chain smoking. Neither of those habits inclines one to avoid going to the restroom for any length of time.
Dogs are motivated by their needs in the moment. If they need to pee, they demand to be let outside. If they perceive something as a threat, they bark. Endlessly. At all hours of the night. If they want affection, they find your lap even if you’re standing at the moment. Dogs don’t look outside themselves for motivation and perhaps we shouldn’t, either.
Monday Motivation, or motivation for any day, comes from within ourselves, what we need, what we desire, the things we want to do that make our lives better, or the lives of those we care about. Being motivated by someone or something else is rather shallow and, quite honestly, a bit of a risk. If we are motivated by the actions or words of someone else, how do we know that their motivation in those actions or words was honorable?
Things are too easily taken out of context. The Internet proves such a point every day. Someone posts a meme that claims to be quoting someone else and the first thing one has to do is run to Google and make sure that quote is genuine. Too frequently, we’re fed lies in the form of motivation. No one needs to be motivated by lies.
Monday Motivation does not come from this article, nor anywhere else on the Internet. Monday Motivation comes from within yourself.
The challenge is not to be motivated, but to be motivating.
Right after another cup of coffee.