When you see a leader bully-push past other world leaders so he’s front of line, or playing schoolboy handshake games, it’s very tempting to allow your blood to boil and let out the expletives.
When we’re getting bamboozled on every front with heart-wrenching, hope-dissolving news, concentrating on the day job can feel pointless.
But focusing on and seeing the hope is vital as change-makers. When others falter, we need to steadfastly hold onto our vision. It is crucial to be as skilled as you can at managing your mood.
Every morning when we wake, we make a choice. In every moment of every day, consciously or sub-consciously, we also make that choice.
The choice is: Are we actively shaping our experience of the day or are we allowing the day and everyone else to shape us?
Now I’m an avid reader of personal growth, leadership and success books (well, I would, being a life and career coach!). I’m fascinated, and have been profoundly influenced, by seeing the inner work people do that then allows them to scale career heights, found movements and create powerful waves of change in the world. And a common thread you see time and time again is a strong belief in the power of focusing on what you want, rather than on what you don’t want. This requires attention and discipline, but if your thoughts create everything in this world, wouldn’t you be ensuring you have the right kind of thoughts?
This means being mindful of your mood and your energy, cultivating practices that support a calm, present and open state. Given that we are all human, and days can rapidly go wrong even with the best intentions (e.g. walking truculent children to school, getting stuck in traffic jams, reading the news etc.), I’d like to offer two quick techniques that shift your mood into a place of positivity and highest intent.
1. Focus on ‘Being’
Choose one word that sums up how you’d like to ‘be’ today.
For example: calm, appreciative, grateful, curious, inspired. Then simply focus on being that for the whole day. Allow the ‘doing’ to just happen – put your energy and attention on ‘being’ that word. Notice what happens.
2. A to Z of Stuff That Makes You Happy
Before you rush headlong from that fight with the children/ partner or IT crisis, run through an ‘A to Z’ of things that make you happy. Bet your mood would have shifted even before you get to ‘G’.
Here’s one of my lists to give you some ideas.
A – Awesome conversation
B – Blue skies
C – Clean sheets
D – Doggy walks
E – Eggs on toast
F – Fires outdoors
G – Gratitude
H – Heart to Hearts
I – Ices on a hot day
J – Jumping in puddles
K – Kindness given
L – Laughter
M – Movie nights
N – Nautical charts
O – Om-ing in yoga
P – Paddling
Q – Quiet reflection
R – Racing my bike
S – Smiley eyes
T – Touch
U – Under an umbrella on a rainy day
V – Visioning
W – Walking together
X – Xmas morning
Y – Yodelling in tunnels
Z – Zen garden
Let me know what works for you in managing your state and keeping yourself positive and focused.
After all, we’ve got a lot at stake here, so let’s help each other be the change we want to see around us.