Ugh, Monday morning blues.
After a relaxing weekend, getting motivated when Monday morning rolls around can be a challenge, even for the most dedicated among us. However, iCube (Innovative Crusaders Understanding Business and Entrepreneurship) has come up with Gibbons Motivation Monday, as a way to start the week on the right foot. It takes place every Monday from 7:30 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. in the “cube,” the second-floor iCube classroom.
“Motivation Monday not only is a form of growth every Monday morning, but it’s also a unique platform for people to learn about one another and share their gifts with the rest of the community, as well as to get excited about starting their week at Gibbons,” said business educator Brent Nolan '05 who heads iCube.
At heart, the initiative centers on inspiring talks that help brighten the spirits, dust off the weekend cobwebs, and, yes, motivate listeners. Because the talks - from educators, alumni, students, parents, or friends of the school - are short, they are easily digestible. They are also relatable because they deal with such topics as empathy, active listening, gratitude, and attention to detail. All are soft skills that every person can benefit from and use to interact effectively with others, noted business educator Brent Nolan '05 who heads iCube.
The talks are like TED Talks, but “we are NOT trying to be TED Talks,” Nolan added. “Motivation Monday not only is a form of growth every Monday morning, but it’s also a unique platform for people to learn about one another and share their gifts with the rest of the community, as well as to get excited about starting their week at Gibbons.”
The concept for Motivation Monday evolved from an earlier one, begun last year, that centered on attendees reading inspirational quotations and writing down three goals for the week, Nolan said. A great indicator of the current concept’s impact, he added, “is that people keep coming back at 7:30 a.m. on a Monday!”
Since the start of this school year, the 15-minute sessions, which Nolan describes as “quick and meaty,” have drawn standing-room-only crowds. Among the frequent attendees is Michael Austin ’22.
Asked what he likes most about the sessions, Austin said. “I really enjoy the positivity brought by the guest speakers every Monday morning. I always leave Motivation Monday feeling energized and inspired.” He added that attending the sessions also “helps him begin the week with a growth mindset and focus on accomplishing my goals.”
Speakers also said they benefit from giving the talks. Just ask college counselor Caroline Costello. She recently talked to the group about the importance of empathy and understanding the difference between empathy and sympathy.
“It was such a great experience connecting with the students on a heartfelt level,” Costello said. “I left feeling so much gratitude for Gibbons, students, and fellow educators.”
About Motivation Monday, she added, “it is a phenomenal program that covers, well, basically, life!”
For those who are not able to attend every Monday, the sessions are videoed and posted on YouTube, Nolan said. The videos, he added, are a way for parents “to take a seat in the classroom and learn about what their student is involved in and what we are doing.”