When you awaken to prepare for another workday – especially a Monday – what is your typical attitude? Are you filled with enthusiasm and anticipation, looking forward to opportunities and challenges the day will present? Or do you experience feelings of frustration or even dread, wishing you could get back into bed, pull up the covers, and forget about going to work?
If you fall on the negative side of this equation, there could be many reasons: Deadlines you face might seem overwhelming; you could be facing serious conflict with superiors or coworkers; you may not be a good match for the work you are asked to perform; or the job you have held for a long time could have grown tedious and routine, causing you to feel bored and uninspired rather than eager and energized.
Other reasons for disliking work might come to mind, but your mind itself could be a primary factor: the attitude you allow yourself to have toward your work and your workplace. Even though we cannot always change our circumstances, we can choose our attitudes toward our circumstances.
I am not a “power of positive thinking” person – but I am a person who ascribes to positive believing. This is why I like to start each day – sometimes before I get out of bed – by silently repeating a favorite verse from the Bible: “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). If I truly believe that, that God has seen fit to give me a new day, filled with opportunity, new experiences and unexpected encounters, I can approach it with optimism and expectation.
Most days never turn out exactly as I have anticipated. A friend I did not expect to hear from gives me a call or sends an email, leading to meaningful interaction. Out of the blue someone contacts me and asks if I would be interested in a new writing or editing project; something totally off my planning grid. I start working on one task but must shift my focus onto something else, and then I realize the original task was not as urgent as I had thought, so I could postpone it for another day.
Nearly six years ago, after successfully coming through open-heart surgery, I determined to regard each new day as a “gift.” Not one of us has tomorrow guaranteed, but surviving a major event like that has a way of impressing that reality on you. So while I recognize not every day will be enjoyable or easy, if God has given it to me, there must be a good reason – and I can look forward to whatever the day presents.
Here are principles from the Scriptures to consider when embarking on a new day:
Regard each day as an opportunity, not an imposition. As the saying goes, “our days are numbered.” So we should appreciate what we have and make good, wise use of the time give to us. “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
Redeem the day before it is lost. The one commodity we all have in common is time. And we cannot save it for use on another day. Once an hour has passed, it is gone forever, so we should consider how to use it for greatest advantage. “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise, making the best use of the time, for the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16).
Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran journalist, he has written Tufting Legacies (iUniverse); Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace (River City Press); and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.comand www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.
1. When you awoke this morning, what was your attitude toward the day ahead?
2. What are reasons you could have for feeling dread instead than enthusiasm about an approaching workday?
3. Do you agree that although you might not be able to change the circumstances of your work, or even the people you work with, you can choose to adjust your attitude toward them? Why or why not?
4. The verse is cited that states, “This is the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Do you believe this? And if you do, what difference should it make in how you approach each new day? Explain your answer.
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses:
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 3:9-13; Matthew 6:34; Philippians 4:8; Colossians 3:17,23