Is your inner child preventing you from working a 4-Day Work Week?
And if so, what are you going to do about it?
I promise I’m not trying to be funny here. I have a Master's degree in mental health counseling and psychology. I've been a coach for 20 years. I've done a lot of work on the beliefs we have and the things that can slow us down and keep us from reaching our goals, our potential and our dreams.
To put it simply, sometimes we seem to prefer the drama. I don't know why – maybe that's just how we're wired. My dad likes to tell the story about how when I was a kid and I was playing baseball, if there was a fly ball coming that I had to catch, instead of just standing there and catching the ball like normal, I would do this whole thing where I had to psyche myself up and then make a huge show of catching the ball.
If you watch soccer (or football if you’re outside the US), there are some players that just have to fall down and be dramatic. If you watch international soccer, you have to love the theatrics – you wouldn't watch it otherwise.
So we love drama, but what's the payoff? Or as Debbie Ford, a mentor of mine, used to say, "Where's the cookie?” What are you getting out of all this drama?
The honest answer is that the drama pleases the inner child. I’ve got a degree in psychology. I have a wonderful wife, two children, and I have a dog, but I don't necessarily know how to significantly influence any of them on a regular, consistent enough basis to say I've figured it out.
I'm working to forget the inner child, and forget the unnecessary drama. If I want to work a 4-Day Work Week, and take Friday, Saturday, Sunday off or whatever it might be, I’m going to do it without all the drama, without all the psychology and all the what-ifs. Those things don’t really matter.
Deciding to work less really can be very simple. Think about it: at some point, you decided you were not going to work 7 days a week. You decided you weren’t going to work on weekends. They might seem like givens now, but you made that choice at some point.
At some point you probably decided that you weren't going to work on Christmas Day or Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur or Thanksgiving. Whatever it is, you made a decision.
Whatever days you do or don’t want to work, what decision are you going to make to take you in that direction? If you're currently working 6 days a week, maybe it's to work 5 and a half days – it doesn’t have to be a 4-Day Work Week. Whatever it is, it begins with just making a step in the right direction.
It doesn’t have to be dramatic, and it doesn’t have to be done in a way that pleases your inner child. You don’t have to shout about it; just begin to work towards your goal.
Anything you've ever done in your life that is consistent and ongoing and maintained isn't that dramatic. Brushing your teeth for example, is hardly dramatic, but it happens every day. It's effective. You brush your teeth, you put down the toothbrush, you go about your day. You don’t get an award for it, and you don’t even get praised for it, but it’s important and it helps you.
Working a 4-Day Work Week is just the same. It doesn't have to be dramatic – it can just be a steady process that you work at every day until it becomes the norm.
If you think about it, most people in the world, at least statistically speaking, have some form of employment. But at some point most of us have probably felt like getting a job was this huge obstacle – doing applications, going to interviews and all of that. Your inner child was making it into this dramatic issue. But then you get a job, and suddenly you realized it was doable, and it wasn’t a big deal anymore.
Working a 4-Day Work Week is just the same – it seems difficult and unachievable, and it makes your inner child worried and excited – until you do manage it, and then it becomes the norm.
So I invite you to take all the drama out of it. Take the inner child and the psychoanalysis out of it. Take all of that out and just decide that you're going to work 4 days or 5 days or 4 and a half days. Maybe you’re going to ease into it by taking 1 Friday off a month. Whatever it is, just make that decision and commit to it.
If you need permission, then here's permission: I said you could do it. There you go. If you need guidance or a little help, some people pray; I pray. I believe there's a God, and that I can ask God for guidance whenever I need it. Maybe you do, maybe you don't. Maybe you’ll choose to meditate on it, ask other people for advice, or read books. Do whatever works for you.
If you’re looking for a little extra help getting started I've got a tool that might help. Go to 4daygameplan.com and you’ll find a tool that will help you create your game plan to start working a 4-Day Work Week, whether you're an employee or an entrepreneur. It's still just a journey you start at some point.
I hope this serves you, and I hope you're not making this more complicated than it needs to be. I also genuinely hope you enjoy the fruits of being able to do this.
As a last point, I know that some people believe there’s value in working a certain amount, or that they shouldn't be lazy. No problem! Figure out how to work your current job in 4 days and then take 1 day a week to go volunteer for the community. Go make the world a better place. Take that challenge.
But in your job, whether you're the business owner or an employee, you can probably get more results in less time. If you need the extra money, then maybe you will decide that you're going to work that 5th day or 6th day, but it's very possible that you might not need to.
I invite you to start taking steps in the direction of a 4-Day Work Week. If you need any help, let me know. If you've made your decision that you're going to do that, please put something in the comment section below to let me know what your decision is. Have you decided to abandon your inner child or take your inner child with you on a 3 weekend? That could be cool too.
I hope this helps. As always, I look forward to helping you make more money in less time, doing what you do best. Let me know whatever I can do to help you.
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