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TGIM: give a damn about your 9–5

Thank god it’s Monday.

We’ve heard it before: we spend a third of our life working, so why spend it doing something you don’t care about? Why not do more of what you love? Why spend your time doing something you don’t truly care about?

I get it. We all get it. Not everybody gets to live their dream or have a job that makes them jump for joy in the morning. But that doesn’t mean you should start each week waiting for it to end.

It’s easy to accept a job you don’t love and to tell yourself that ‘work is work’, but being unhappy at work impacts your mental health, your sex drive, and even your happiness when you aren’t working.

Here’s the thing: having a shit attitude at work isn’t going to make things better. Doing the bare minimum won’t boost your sense of accomplishment. If you work your ass off, even if you don’t absolutely love what you’re doing, one of two things will happen: 1; you’ll be proud of your work ethic each day, or 2; your efforts will get noticed and your situation will improve.

So how can we make that change? Perspective.

Understanding the value that work adds to our lives, providing a sense of purpose and pride, an opportunity to socialize, and of course, money to live and pursue our hobbies or interests. Like it or not, working is good for you.

By changing our perspective to see the value in our jobs, we’ll also feel more gratitude for the small things at work, which in turn makes us more patient, boosts mental and physical health, and improves our sleep.

Of course, maybe I should consider myself lucky for waking up stoked every day. I’ve been called blindly optimistic before, but like everybody, I have those off days. I’ve had jobs I hated. I hated working opening shifts at a coffee shop, scrubbing pots and pans, and writing ads for companies I didn’t believe in. But spending 40 hours a week doing something that made my blood boil forced me to figure out how to never feel that way again.

That made me think about what I’d rather be doing, and motivated me to keep learning to get there. There have been days, weeks, even months where I was unhappy with work. During those times, here’s my go-to: I try something new.

When I was serving donuts and double-doubles at 6am, stressing about making rent, I started learning about personal finance. Eventually, that lead to me working at an investment company, and now I pay my bills by teaching others about managing money. I never would have pictured myself doing this, but here we are.

During other periods when work was less-than-stimulating, I’ve learned French, taken up photography, studied design, and tried my hand at drumming (sorry, neighbours.)

Things don’t have to be that drastic — or loud — though. If you try 100 new things, you’re bound to fall in love with something along the way. Paint your home, take up sewing, or try shaving with a straight razor instead of an electric. Those could lead you to becoming a contractor, tailor, or barber. And worst case, you’ll stimulate creativity and boost confidence by learning new skills, while eliminating potential career paths.

Rather than drag your heels to work, find the opportunity that a new day provides. Fuck your case of the Mondays and your TGIF. Go do something new. Go find out what you’re made of. Go do something great.

Thank god it’s Monday.

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