Ana Cottle

Through four years of high school, every Monday morning, I’d hear the first verse of the Mamas & the Papas' classic song over the intercom during second period:

    “Monday, Monday, so good to me

    Monday mornin´, it was all I hoped it would be

    Oh Monday mornin´, Monday mornin´ couldn´t guarantee

    That Monday evenin´ you would still be here with me”

Even today, when I wake up on Monday morning, I hear the refrain from "Monday, Monday."  

If you work a Monday through Friday work week, it can be difficult to get and stay motivated on Monday. As my dad now likes to joke on Sundays, “What do you call someone who likes Monday? Retired!”  But for those of us still at it, here’s what some better minds than mine have to say for encouragement:

1. “The sun himself is weak when he first rises, and gathers strength and courage as the day gets on.”—Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop

2. "Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same."—Carlos Castaneda

3. “If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”—Vincent Van Gogh

4. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”—Eleanor Roosevelt

5. “If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”—Booker T. Washington

6. “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”—Leonardo da Vinci

7. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”—Steve Jobs

8. “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”—Jimmy Dean

9. “Either you run the day or the day runs you.”—Jim Rohn

10. “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”—Aristotle Onassis

11. "Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly."—Proverb

12. “If I had nine hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first six sharpening my axe.”—Abraham Lincoln

13. “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”—Amelia Earhart

14. “The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.”—Denis Watiley

15. “When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.”—Helen Keller

16. “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”—Robert Louis Stevenson

17. "Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games."—Babe Ruth

18. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”—Alice Walker

20. “People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed. Similarly, when someone is failing, the tendency is to get on a downward spiral that can even become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”—Tony Robbins

21. “Hope is not naive, and hope is not an opiate. Hope may be the single greatest act of defiance against a politics of pessimism and against a culture of despair.”—Sharon Brous

22. “Do or do not. There is no try.”—Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

23. "People inspire you or they drain you - pick them wisely."—Hans F. Hansen

24. “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”—Steve Martin

25. “The best way out is always through.”—Robert Frost

26. “You will never plough a field if you only turn it over in your mind.”—Irish Proverb

27. "What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise."—Oscar Wilde


Ana Cottle studied Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley. She has lived and worked in Uruguay and Argentina and speaks both Spanish and Yiddish. She is passionate about issues facing women and has worked for several nonprofits along with writing for books, newspapers, and online journals. Currently, she serves as an Editor for Policy Shift. Read more from Ana at