A Case of the Monday’s: Dutiful Living and The Violence it Breeds
“When you do something out of duty, is there any love in it? In duty there is no love. The structure of duty in which the human being is caught is destroying him. So long as you are compelled to do something because it is your duty you don’t love what you are doing. When there is love there is no duty and no responsibility.” — J. Krishnamurti
Why do we act with such duty on Mondays, and why do we have such constructs around days of the week?
How often have you felt a manic Monday, simply because you believe that’s how it’s supposed to feel?
We live fragmented lives and we compartmentalize.
We have our work life, our home life, work-life balance our political lives our families our friends our selves, etc.
There’s “hump day” and “manic Monday” and probably a bunch of others I don’t know about.
We’ve been so programmed for duty with a weekly nine-to-five routine that we’ve actually burned this into our psyches and into who we are. And many of us tend to let our inner storytelling run wild on Mondays, which often leads to negative self-talk and depressing thoughts.
It’s easy to have a manic Monday.
With reports of it having the highest occurrences of depression and hopelessness of any day of the week, I think it’s important to highlight why we perhaps think gloomier about Monday.
Time and space are exactly the same outside of the fact we’re either going to a place of work where we have a responsibility to be or are simply conditioned to believe Mondays are less fun, so they become just that.
I’d like to highlight how important it is for people to understand that “Monday” is a program — based on belief, perception and attitude, and that we have the power to change our outlook and approach toward our Mondays and embracing the physiological and emotional challenges that also make the transition from Sunday to Monday more difficult.
Programmed For Monday Because You Believe It
Most of us truly identify and believe we’re actually a different person on Monday morning. We’re “at work” and “working” — whether we love our jobs or not. Ultimately, to be productive, we need to move the needle forward on Mondays because that’s how we cooperate to get things done.
“Our thoughts are mainly controlled by our subconscious, which is largely formed before the age of 6, and you cannot change the subconscious mind by just thinking about it. That’s why the power of positive thinking will not work for most people. The subconscious mind is like a tape player. Until you change the tape, it will not change.” Dr. Bruce Lipton
So if you’ve been participating in Mondays your whole life, it’s a hard mental program to ‘deprogram.’
There’s the Monday morning meeting, the start of the week, supporting the team, putting out Monday fires etc., etc.
Instead of paying close attention, presently — which would eliminate any resistance and fear that causes most of the stress from going to work on Mondays. The space and time on Monday are the same as any space and time whether it’s Sunday or Christmas Day or any other day.
So to eliminate the “Monday blues” or that dutiful mentality that sucks joy and vitality out of us simply because it’s a perceived day and time we should create a deeper awareness of where we are, what we’re doing and why we’re doing it when it’s Monday at 9am.
You made breakfast and drank coffee in the same way you did Sunday. You probably weren’t as rushed and weren’t in “work mode”, even though at the time you made coffee and breakfast, you weren’t working on either day.
And beyond Monday being a work day, where, yes — you are actually going to work, there is still a sense of duty in everything else we do on a Monday beyond what you actually do at work.
Whether you’re walking to work on Monday or going on a leisurely stroll, it feels different because of the world around you and that is a powerful suggestion that further programs you to believe Monday really is a day to be dutiful since everyone else is doing it.
“Is it possible to break through this heavy conditioning [the structure of society] of centuries immediately and not enter into another conditioning — to be free, so that the mind can be altogether new, sensitive, alive, aware, intense, capable? That is our problem. [Other than that] there is no other problem because when the mind is made new it can tackle any problem. That is the only question we have to ask ourselves.” — J. Krishnamurti
A deeply present moment solves all. The trick is mastery of how you take action, no matter what that action is. If you’re waking up and approaching each moment with no outlook for the week, no forward projection and simply focused on each moment, you can cut through the Monday fat (all mental fat for that matter) that results in stress and excessive thought.
What is Dutiful Action?
Dutiful action is the will to do things out of duty, or, because you feel like you have to. We’ve been programmed to “work” on Mondays. When you do something out of duty, it’s violent.
For Context: What is Violence In This Case?
Defining “violence” not in the way most of us associate with it as physical harm — rather, anything that has a ruthless aim, ownership, possession. Those things are all violent.
Violence is subtle and certain forms have become culturally accepted today.
Dutiful action is therefore violent because it’s action taken and driven by profit and ownership (work or employment), most often legal contracts where sued and being sued is possible.
In a nutshell, violence is anything that has possession, attachment, risk, reward, profit and expansion as it’s purpose. So yes, when you work for someone, it’s violent.
A corporation is violent because it’s run on numbers, not humanity. Disagree? Try telling your fellow man who’s also your manager at work when you miss your numbers that you have a mortgage and children. How do you expect him to respond? Of course, you’re fired.
And yes, that’s “normal” today. Violence has now become normal because it’s the game we’re all playing.
Therefore, doing something “because you have to” is violent. And yes, I take violent action all the time but being aware of it allows me to approach
Why Does Monday Feel the Way it Does? The Biology of Our Beliefs
“If we could get your subconscious mind to agree with your conscious mind about being happy, that’s when your positive thoughts work”. Dr. Bruce Lipton, Author of best-selling book, The Biology of Belief .
Our subconscious beliefs shape the way we see the world.
95% of our action is subconscious.
So if we’re programmed to believe Monday will be mundane, it will be.
However if we’ve conditioned ourselves to love Mondays for whatever reason, we can end up loving them.
These are the great
The point is that it’s a skill.
We’ve been conditioned and programmed by (only) the last one hundred fifty or so years to think Monday was the “start to the week” — and 4,000 years for the invention of a seven day week by the Babylonians.
On one hand, most of us were born having the five day work week accepted and burned into us as “normal”. However we should recognize that it’s a relatively new phenomenon.
Besides, it wasn’t so long ago that the people didn’t distinguish between a “work” week and a weekend. Wasn’t it the Dowager Countess of Grantham from Downton Abbey who infamously asked in the show:
It was my favorite line in the series.
According to an article in the Atlantic, the first use of the term “week-end” came in a British Magazine in about 1879.
Why Monday Physically Feels The Way It Does
According to many research articles, Monday feels worse for several practical reasons as well.
- Transitioning sleep patterns from the weekend.
- Transitioning of emotional patterns from the weekend. Happy Sunday to working Monday.
- More likely to have feelings of guilt from a fun filled weekend of drinking/over indulgence
- Obviously, if you don’t like your job or boss, you’re more likely to be unhappy at the beginning of the work week
I believe however, with a little mental work, one can overcome the emotional
Ie. with a little sense of wonder, even with a boring job, Monday can be made fun.
We have the choice to try and control our attitudes, points of view, what we see and how we see the world.
Dutiful Action vs. Liberated Action
Liberated action is loving action which comes from action that is not dutiful. Learn to be a loving person before taking liberated action. That means possession, attachment and ego are exchanged for nurturing.
Like you nurture your child or a plant. How could you be depressed at your desk each Monday if your action was based on nurturing your colleagues and desk like you would a plant.
You feel depressed when you sit down at your desk because of how you act not what or why. Look at it with fresh eyes, close attention and vitality instead of memory. Look at it like a dog would look at it.
No you aren’t a dog but a dog has more joy than you do because it’s incapable of not being present. That’s why dogs are so great to have around, they’re a reminder of what perpetual joy and flow are. They add ten years to our lives!
Being Programmed and “De-Coding” Yourself
“Programming” ourselves is when something is engrained in our subconscious. As in, it’s not just knowledge we’ve picked up from an article or book, though it’s burned into us and our nervous systems and a part of who we are. It’s tacit knowledge, not semantic — based on experience and not information from a source.
This is the difference between habits and actions. Habits happen automatically without thinking whereas actions or non actions require conscious effort, are not a part of who we are and thus harder to repeat.
There are other physical variables and beyond that at make Monday’s feel the way they do. With a little bit of mental work, we can program ourselves to approach Monday’s with a better outlook that makes them more exciting and less mundane. Hope it helps and happy Monday.
I’m co-founder at Traena.io, a venture backed learning and development start up based in San Francisco. If you’d like to see another piece like this every Tuesday, follow me on Medium @Aram Rasa Taghavi