Lately I've found myself really discouraged by all the negativity that exists in the world. Obviously there's the big news headlines like last week's incident on the tube in London or hate crimes like the recent events in Charlottesville. But even the simplistic banter that occurs with the people all around us day in and day out is pretty disheartening. I can think of countless examples of snide remarks I've recently heard about the "annoying girl on Instagram" or even the wasted energy spent hating on celebrities. What's productive about any of it? When did cynicism become so acceptable? Not even that-- it almost feels like some sick new form of millennial humor. It's really been bumming me out.
I could go into a lot more detail as to why I think we should eliminate things like cynicism and hatred, but pretty soon I start to sound like a cynical hater myself just talking about it (which kinda defeats the point, right?)
So after several failed attempts to do something positive about it all, I decided to shift my perspective + instead, simply focus on optimism. Sure, it may sound corny. But while attempting to completely squash negativity with some happy thoughts may sound a bit audacious, I do think we’re capable of doing a lot more good than we give ourselves credit for. So let's just start with a small, yet chronic case of negativity: Monday.
Just about every person I know dreads the hangover effect this dismal day has after a glorious weekend of freedom (Sunday Scaries, anyone?) And I get it-- Mondays mean starting over at a daunting beginning and staring at all that’s ahead of us (you may remember this blog I wrote about Monday a few years ago). But as sweet as a perpetual weekend may sound, isn’t it a terribly sad thought to let one-seventh of your life always be dreadful? What if it didn’t have to be?
As I've said recently, I started Blonde Atlas with the intention of inspiring you to live your best life. And while travel will always be a key player in that, I also believe there's a lot more all of us can be doing to make life more amazing-- even if it's as simple as re-framing Monday.
I've decided to start Monday Mavericks: a weekly newsletter with the simple purpose of empowering an army of optimists. Because I believe the world needs more of that right now.
Let me start by caveating that I hate emails and am the first to unsubscribe when there are too many or if even one feels sales-y. I pinky promise not to spam you or sell your info to some guy in Zanzibar. Instead, it's my hope to give you something that's quick + digestible enough to read in the elevator or with your morning coffee, but powerful enough to make you excited about the week ahead. You can expect things like:
Poppin' playlists with music that’s guaranteed to put you in a good mood.
iPhone wallpaper with encouraging words.
Quotes that make you feel warm + fuzzy and remind you the world doesn't suck.
Lot's more... I don't live inside a box.
My simple hope of Monday Mavericks is to equip you with encouragement to bring a little more positivity + optimism into your week so you can live a better life. Because when you’re a better version of yourself, it’s contagious to the people around you.
Still not drinking the Kool-Aid? Consider the following to be a free sample of what's to come. Let's start with some jams, shall we?
These are my go-to tunes when I need a pick-me-up or help feeling like I can conquer the world (go ahead and hit play now- it'll make the rest of this sound more inspirational, thus making my job easier). Some songs are chalk full of juicy, encouraging lyrics. Some just have an epic beat and make you feel like the protagonist in an inspirational film. Some have both, and if you're not careful, you'll find yourself getting all teary-eyed because life is so damn beautiful (skip to 1:58 of "Surprise Yourself", imagine walking through Paris all by yourself and try telling me you don't feel a little emotional).
Each week I'll add more songs to the same playlist (think of it like a fine wine that'll get better with age). If you think you have exquisite taste in music, feel free to send me recos: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to some feel-good music, I also plan to share lots of encouraging words. This phone wallpaper (which I'll update each week) features one of my favorite sayings: "Life is tough, my darling, but so are you."
If your life isn't tough in some form or fashion right now, you're doing something wrong. Let me gently remind you: it's good to be in positions that are uncomfortable, difficult or tough. Sure, they're not always fun at first. But those are the places where you learn and grow and become far more interesting of a human being. If you strive for live a life that's always easy it's bound to be terribly boring and overrated.
So whether today presents you with small challenges like coffee spilled on your shirt or something much more difficult- don't curse it. Let this simple little phrase remind you that your life should be tough in order to become more beautiful, but you're tough too. Hang in there.
SAVE THIS IMAGE TO YOUR PHONE FOR THIS WEEK'S WALLPAPER
CHALLENGE FOR THE WEEK:
I want to wrap up each Monday with a simple challenge you can apply to your week ahead. Before you freak out or get into your commitment issues, you can relax. I'm not going to ask you to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro or write a novel. We're talking baby steps here.
So for today, this beautiful, gift-of-a-fresh-start that's called Monday, what's one thing you can do to trade complaining for something lovely? How can you make it filled with more of what you love? Maybe it's something simple to boost your mood like taking a relaxing bubble bath, or letting yourself buy a stupidly-expensive latte from the boujee coffee shop on the way to work. Maybe you hand the barista a $10 tip for no reason other than being generous and making her day. Get crazy. Color outside the lines. Just do something that makes today special so that Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday have big shoes to fill. And then, share your positivity of choice in the comments below. Let's make this movement contagious.
I realize none of the above is necessarily revolutionary, but that's not the point. My hope of all this is to facilitate more goodness around a day that's known for snowballing various forms of negativity. Have ideas about the type of content you want to see in the newsletters moving forward? Please shoot me an email or tell me in the comments below! It takes an army to encourage each other, and I want this to be something you look forward to receiving every week.
So finally, we've reached the part where I ask you to join me. To sign up to receive Monday Maverick newsletters each week, complete the form below:
Let's make optimism and encouragement more popular than cynicism. Let’s be mavericks. Let’s have another cup of coffee and let’s make Monday awesome.