Vail Daily column: Commit to the Monday Morning Mission
Ryan Summerlin July 22, 2014
The quest for purpose and meaning has been humankind’s journey for as long as we have been sentient beings. A search that resonates inside each of us, it has taken on a more public consciousness in the valley as of late.
Cabal Yarne wrote an energetic column in last week’s Vail Daily challenging readers to identify their passion. I was fortunate enough to attend the Vail Leadership Institute’s Annual Forum at which world-renowned author and lecturer Richard Leider urged attendees to reimagine their lives lived according to their true purpose. Happy with a busy six-month old law firm and a bustling family and community life, I was not exactly in the market for a new path. However, the recent discourse has clarified and invigorated my long-range objectives. That was the easy part.
Translating the inspiration into action has proven more difficult, particularly in the face of so many everyday commitments. Making time for my wildest dreams required a new strategy, one that I have dubbed the Monday Morning Mission.
I have two dreams, one that is fairly common and which should be doable in the short term and another that is a lifelong, potentially impossible goal. The first is to finish the irreverent, highbrow spy novel that I have been writing off and on for years. The second is to completely subvert the legal profession and replace it with a more sensible means of conflict resolution. Although, I would love to devote all of my time to these twin passions, the realities of life require me to focus on my clients, on my family, on my fitness. Although important to me in theory, writing and reform have been secondary considerations in practice. I knew that needed to change.
The Monday Morning Mission is not one of instant gratification, but a humble beginning to a long process. It can be applied to dreams of all stripes that can easily be accomplished in an hour carved out of a Monday morning.
In the past, Sunday evening was a time to think briefly about the deadlines and meetings in the week ahead. With a loose conception of what I wanted to accomplish outside of those requirements, I often found that Friday afternoon would come and I would not write a page or make any headway toward a dispute-free utopia. My pursuits needed grounding so that they would not be washed away by the tide of the week.
Monday Morning Mission
Hence the Monday Morning Mission. On Monday morning, I roll out of bed no later than 8 a.m. and immediately walk over to my desk and start writing. Rather than allowing the impending week to smack me in the face, I tackle it head-on. I give myself an hour before I let the rest of my responsibilities creep in. Beginning the week in such a productive and empowering manner creates a sort of perpetual momentum that makes it easier to sneak in an hour of writing here or some postulating there.
The Monday Morning Mission has had a profound impact on my life. Whereas before I would torment myself for not making time to write, that mental energy is now put to positive use in my writing. The self-doubt that previously plagued my writing process is replaced by pride and optimism. It is not always easy; some days flow better than others, but making this subtle shift in scheduling has had outsized results. Rather than distracting from my work, the Monday Morning Mission has a ripple effect that carries over to the other facets of my life.
Dedication And Hard Work
We all have dreams, but the few that realize them do so as a result of dedication and hard work. The Monday Morning Mission is not one of instant gratification, but a humble beginning to a long process. It can be applied to dreams of all stripes: completing a marathon starts with a short training run that can easily be accomplished in an hour carved out of a Monday morning. Whether you want to learn a new language, teach yourself to telemark ski, or revisit the fledgling art career that you abandoned to go corporate, the Monday Morning Mission is for you. It doesn’t even have to happen on a Monday. For those of you whose Monday is a Thursday, the same simple principle applies: work on your dream for an hour at the outset of your week.
Share your Goals
The Monday Morning Mission begins as an individual pursuit, but it takes a community to reach its full potential. Sharing your mission with others provides accountability that is instrumental to maintaining momentum. I am also curious to hear about your missions and keen to offer encouragement. Share your Monday Morning Mission on our firm’s Facebook or Google Plus pages (RKV Law) or tweet @rkvlawyers with #MondayMorningMission.
T.J. Voboril is a partner at Reynolds, Kalamaya & Voboril LLC, a local law firm, and the owner/mediator at Voice Of Reason Dispute Resolution. For more information, contact Voboril at 970-306-6456, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.rkvlaw.com.