What Mood?

Bill Abbate

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How do you see the world? Does it look like a friendly place that is on your side? Or do you see it as unfriendly, working against you? Then again, maybe you see the world in some other light.

What does the answer to such a broad, general question tell you about yourself? Read on to learn more.

How do you see the world?

Spend a few moments considering the question, "How do I see the world?" What would your usual response be?

After thinking about your answer, ask yourself, "What does my answer tell me about myself?" Give it some thought for a few moments.

If you are like most of us, answering such questions takes considerable reflection. This is normal as almost everyone has limited insight when it comes to themselves. Why is this?

Because of assumptions.

Looking Inward

The numerous assumptions we make in life create filters. Like a camera filter, these assumptions or "thought filters" affect how we see. Everyone is familiar with one of the most common thought filters, "rose-colored glasses."

When you say someone sees the world through rose-colored glasses, you mean they have an optimistic view of the world.

But some see through very dark glasses, dimly, as though the world is often against them.

We tend to see how we want or how life has conditioned us. In most cases, we have no idea how skewed our view is.

How do you know where you are on the spectrum of bright-and-cheery to doom-and-gloom? Let's take a simple test. Think about where you are at this very moment and rate it on the following positivity scale:

Very negative 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 - 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10 Very positive

On this scale, five is neutral.

At this moment, I am at a relatively neutral point of 5. Where are you?

"I travel light. I think the most important thing is to be in a good mood and enjoy life, wherever you are." Diane von Furstenberg (1946-present)

Experience It

Think about a recent emotional experience. It could be anything.

What comes to mind for me is a conversation where the person was complaining. I immediately went down to a two or so on the above scale and remained there for some time. I remember thinking about how it ruined my morning and affected my ability to do some work I had planned.

Later that day, I spoke with my wife about the weekend and moved to a very positive eight on the positivity scale. And so it goes throughout the day, up and down, back and forth. Such is the life of a typical person.

Unfortunately, our daily moves on the scale remain hidden until we pay attention and measure them.

Before I started using the positivity scale and noticing where I was, I was blind to how my moods affected me.

At this point, it's important to point out the connection between emotions, mood, attitude, and behaviors. I have a little saying that helps me understand how they relate to each other:

Emotions, usually short-lived, can set my mood, which can last for hours. My mood affects my attitude (how I am) and behaviors (what I do).

I now use the positivity scale regularly to help me stop and look inward so I can better understand my emotions, mood, and attitude. By paying attention, I expose what is happening inside me so I can make meaning of it all.

"That which is around me does not affect my mood; my mood affects that which is around me." Garth Stein (1964-present)

Moods are hidden drivers of daily life, affecting everything we do.

Try it

Do you want to get a handle on where you are in your emotions, mood, and attitude throughout the day? I challenge you to try a simple experiment. Stop once every couple of hours to jot down where you are on the positivity scale. Or try it just during the hours you are at work. This will give you a snapshot of where your mood was during that time.

Do this mood check several times a day for a week or a month. Allow enough time to get a clear picture of what is going on in your life.

An easy way to remind yourself to record the numbers is to set alarms on your phone for the times you wish to document. It takes only a second to record the results.

What it can do for you

Let's take a closer look at this self-learning can do for you.

  1. You will notice something you do not normally pay attention to (your relative disposition and optimism or pessimism at the time.)
  2. It gives you a practical approach to measuring your moods (0 to 10 scale)
  3. The changes in your disposition become far more visible (very negative to very positive).
  4. You gain valuable information about yourself and can examine a snapshot of the day, week, or month.
  5. You become more aware of the moods of other people.
"The secret of man's success resides in his insight into the moods of people, and his tact in dealing with them." J. G. Holland *(819-1881)

Will it be tedious to try this little experiment? Only if you think taking a few seconds isn't worth getting to know yourself better. Is it scientific? Maybe. Will you learn something from it? Most certainly! You will learn about an essential subject in your life – you!

Why take the effort to do this? By undertaking this experiment, you will hone your ability to see something important that you hadn't noticed before. It allows you to see an important part of life that you can use anytime and anywhere. In fact, you can make it into a very useful habit.

"Be careful of your moods and feelings, for there is an unbroken connection between your feelings and your visible world." Neville Goddard (1905-1972)

Final thoughts

This simple act of noticing what you have not paid attention to and measuring it is so powerful it can change your life. You will be able to not only adjust the filters through which you see life but to also create new filters that will benefit you and everyone you love! That sounds like a worthwhile objective, doesn't it?

Give the little experiment a try. You have nothing to lose and much to gain by learning more about yourself!

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA
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