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Home / Articles / Columnists / Life 101 /  Thank God, It’s Monday
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Wednesday, March 3,2021

Thank God, It’s Monday

By Cary Bayer  
In 1965, an entrepreneur named Alan Stillman founded a restaurant on the east side of Manhattan called TGI Friday’s, or more specifically, Thank God It’s Friday, for the simple reason that he realized most working people could not wait until the weekend so they didn’t have to toil at a job they really didn’t like. In the half-century since its inception, the chain has grown to more than 900 units in some 60 countries. Apparently, most people throughout the civilized world don’t like the jobs they do during the week, and can’t wait until the weekend to start enjoying their lives. Now privately held, the restaurant rings up an estimated annual revenue of $1,500,000,000. (That’s one and a half billion dollars per year.) That’s an awful lot of people who don’t like the work that they do.

When I teach my workshop, “Spirit and Money: Prospering by Doing what you Love,” as I have for the past 25 years, I offer these facts to the students, and then ask them what kind of reaction Wall Street investment bankers would have if they went into their offices to propose funding for a restaurant chain called Thank God It’s Monday. It never fails to get a big laugh.

I then ask them if they know when the highest concentration of people have heart attacks and strokes in our country. Somebody always knows the sad fact: that it’s Monday morning, as people are preparing to go to work or are already on their way on their twice-daily commutes.

And this pair of facts doubly underscores Stillman’s original insight: people don’t like what they do for a living and can’t wait until the weekend to have some fun. The obvious logical conclusion, of course, is that Monday is the worst day of their week. For every person disconnected from his dharma, this is likely to continue to be the case for some time to come. But for those who have taken the time to discover what makes them tick, what passions they have for turning their gifts and talents into products and/or services, weekends are great, but so too is the work week.

For the longest time I took off only one day a week. I enjoyed my work a great deal, and didn’t feel that I needed “time off” from those pleasurable activities of coaching people into breakthroughs, teaching them meditation to contact their transcendental Source, leading transformational workshops, and writing books like the one in which this essay first appeared. In time, in response to my wife’s desire to share more time together, I began to take off a second day each week. If I’m not teaching a workshop on the weekend, I’ll usually take off Saturdays and Sundays, since those are the days when the most leisure events are held. While I enjoy our time together, having fun with each other and with friends and family, by Sunday night I’m eager to get back to what others call work and I experience as play. It’s not because there’s something special about me, it’s because when you love what you do for a living – your lovelihood – it feels just like a kind of play, even though the rest of the world calls it work. As Stephen Leacock said about the inventing genius who brought the world the electric light bulb, the movie camera and sound recording, “What we call creative work ought not to be called work at all, because it isn’t. I imagine that Thomas Edison never did a day’s work in his last 50 years.”

So this weekend, when you are taking time off from that thing you do during the week so that you can leisurely enjoy the weekend, do the written process that I presented in chapter three of my book “How to Create a Lovelihood: Prospering by Living on Purpose,”

This process will help you locate ten of your favorite pleasures, and see how you can turn those pleasures into products and/or services that you can bring into the world. When you do that, the world responds by giving you money. You can augment the income from your job with this newly discovered pleasure-based business. In time, if you give it enough time and energy, you can turn it into enough of a success so that you can quit your work and devote yourself to your pleasure. That’s when you’ll discover that you, too, won’t be able to wait until Monday to get back to your work/play.


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