Sometimes it feels like if you don’t get control of Monday, you lose the run of the week. So, that means there’s no time like the present to make sure you’re its master. Bestselling author Robert Greene just released a new book called The Laws of Human Nature which uses ancient wisdom and philosophy to distill ways in which we can take greater control of our lives.
To show how you might apply these precepts to your life, the author invites you to fight one law each day this week and see how much control you can claim. Let’s get started. 1. Monday: Fight The Law of Irrationality Start the week right, grab a pen and paper and write down your thoughts about the week ahead. Are you excited for the week and impending commitments or are you anxious about social and professional responsibilities? Prepare yourself to master these emotions by accepting how they will influence your actions throughout the week ahead. If you repeat this process every day, you can look back at the end of the week and reflect on what emotions you were able to control, and what emotions inevitably took control of you. Stay connected to your emotions and practice rationality.
ACTION POINT: Detail your thoughts
- Tuesday: Fight The Law of Role-Playing We are all actors in our daily lives, playing a role within the group. However, some people can play the game better than others and in turn, achieve more success. Take this day to focus on the actions and reactions of the people around you: your colleagues, friends, and family. Analyze their behavior and consider the motivations behind their public facade. Perhaps your colleague’s heavy silence is an indication that they’re swamped with work? Or perhaps they are focused on impressing your boss, by giving an impression of a superior work ethic? Try mirroring your colleagues silent dedication and monitor your boss’s reaction. Maybe you should appear more ‘knuckled-down’, or maybe, you discover that your boss responds better to a conversational work environment.
ACTION POINT: Observe your colleagues’ behavior
- Wednesday: Fight The Law of Envy Did you get paid today? Can you finally splurge on that coveted new product? Before you approve all those expensive card transactions, take a step back and think about what emotions are driving your purchases. Are you spending just to keep up with the latest trends? We are naturally compelled to compare ourselves with each other and to compete for status through social displays of material wealth. Distance yourself from the fragile ego and envy of others by finding rewards in the achievement of personal goals rather than securing trending products or spending to impress.
ACTION POINT: Don’t spend to impress others
- Thursday: Fight The Law of Aimlessness It’s the day after hump day and motivation may be slacking and that weekly to-do list sitting largely incomplete. The law of aimlessness is clear – at times we are naturally fated to feel directionless. It’s important to prioritize your wider sense of purpose rather than overthinking the detail of the tasks in-between. Visualize the completion of smaller tasks as though each one is a step on the ladder of success. Delegate tasks where you can and focus on the bigger picture, whether that success is securing your dream job, or finishing the week creatively inspired. Create sticky tabs on your desktop, or write these goals on post-it notes to give visual context to your smaller decisions and gain confidence in your aims.
ACTION POINT: Focus on the end goal
- Friday: Fight The Law of Self-Sabotage Complete your week as a student of human nature by taking time to meditate on your accomplishments. Abandon any negative thoughts about your interactions with others and perceived failures and prepare yourself for a weekend that embraces the positivity of the week prior and the week ahead. Treat yourself by downloading a meditation app or taking time out to visit the gym or trek outdoors. We have the power to change our circumstances by changing our attitude.
ACTION POINT: Embrace positive thoughts