There’s this thing called the Sunday Night Blues, which is loosely defined as “a bad mood caused by Monday’s imminence”. The weekend magic is over, and a new workweek is only a few hours’ sleep away. Back to reality. Back to the grind. Case of the Mondays. Clichés abound.
It’s a total drag, but lately my Sunday Night Blues has been replaced with a profound sense of inner peace. A feeling of contentment, and maybe even excitement. This hasn’t exactly been a conscious decision, so I took the long way home to try and figure out what causes my Sunday night mood to vary so drastically.
On this particular Sunday, the answer was confidence.
A lack of confidence often causes Imperfect peace. When we don’t feel confident about something, we fear it. Public speaking. Math tests. Competition. When we do feel confident, much of that fear subsides.
Confidence begets inner peace.
It seems to me that there are three areas in which we must feel confident if we are to avoid the Sunday Night Blues:
- Confidence about the past, which means not having regrets or second-guessing the decisions that have led to this moment.
- Confidence about the future, which is tricky because the future is largely unknown. Even if we have plans for the future, life can alter them without warning, and that could result in tremendous disappointment. The confidence here comes less from correctly predicting the future and more from being in a state of mind capable of handing whatever the future holds.
- Confidence about yourself, here in the present moment. To me, self-confidence refers to a complete love of who you are. Not just a celebration of your strengths, but also an acknowledgement of your flaws and an optimism about their improvement. Pride for the current version of yourself, but also excitement for the iterations of tomorrow and beyond.
The crux of all this, of course, is that the only difference between having or avoiding the Sunday Night Blues is our perspective. The past, future, and present are the same either way. They cannot be altered. What can be altered is the mind: how you think of and perceive your past, future, and present self.
Invariably, this peace is fleeting. I often go to bed feeling content only to wake up miserable at the sound of my alarm clock. But the pursuit of inner peace is a constant, never ending process. The slightest interruption threatens to take it away from us, and so we must work to maintain it.
Tomorrow, I’m going to talk about what inner peace is, why it’s so hard to attain, and how we can experience it more often.