Peace, Love & Prosperity

May 25, 2006

Are You in the Mood for Success?

Mood pervades the context in which you do business, coloring the way you work and also the way your clients or customers experience your offers.

Mood is the measure of what is possible. In fact, the English word "mood" stems from the Indo-European root "med," meaning "measure", and is closely allied with the root "me (IV)","the setting of time." Mood, then, is a inseparable from the context or setting in which we live and work.

Context mastery requires mastering mood, and mastering mood involves awareness, choice, and authenticity.

Awareness. We speak as if moods are something we have-but more often it is the moods that have us. (This is true of all aspects of context, for while we generate context by our choices, our context affects our interpretations, which in turn influence our choices.)

When a mood has us, we are unaware of and thus unable to shift it. For example, if you market your work in a mood of resignation ("I'm no good at this. This never works for me."), you will not be surprised when marketing fails to attract new clients (and I will not be surprised to hear that marketing never works for you).

If you are unaware of the mood in which you do business, you're unlikely to be very effective at shifting it. Instead, your failed efforts will cause your mood to deteriorate even further until you become discouraged and stop marketing altogether.

It doesn't have to be this way. You'll be astonished at how developing awareness of your moods invites the possibility of more generative way to conduct business. Here's a deceptively simple practice to get set you on the path to mastery.

Set a timer to chime four times during your workday. When it rings, take a moment to check in. Note your posture, your facial expression, your breath. Jot this down along with a word or two that captures your mood. As with last week's practice, do not try to change your body or your mood-simply record what you notice.

(If your situation will not accommodate a timer, you can log your mood at the start of the day, just before any breaks or meals, and just before going home.)

Keep this log for a month. At the end of the first week, review your log, noticing the patterns that emerge. Are there certain moods that seem to recur at the same time each day, or with certain activities? As you continue to log your moods, bring an interested curiosity to the practice, wondering how these moods arise and how they are setting the stage for your business. Again, do not try to change anything, simply wonder and observe.

Week by week through this simple practice you will become more aware of the moods that pervade your work life. You will notice moods (and the body states that go with them) that make life easier and those that make everything seem like an effort. And that brings us to the other aspects of mood mastery: choice and authenticity.

I've heard people object that learning to choose their moods compromises their authenticity. Yet, authenticity has to do with being true to oneself, not with surrendering to moods that have more to do with habit or history than they do with an authentic self.

You're responsible for the mood in which you do business, and you're responsible for learning to generate the moods that will support success. What will success look like for you? What mood will set the stage for that result?

Note: The etymological information in this article is from Joseph T. Shipley's "The Origin of English Words." This is my favorite source for researching Indo-European roots for, though it is not exhaustive, it is highly readable, very entertaining, and erudite.

About the author:
Molly Gordon, MCC, is a leading figure in business and personal growth coaching, writer and frequent presenter at live and virtual events worldwide. Visit her website at and/or her blog at to join 12,000 readers of her Authentic Promotion® ezine and receive a free 31-page guide,
"Principles of Authentic Promotion."

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