Is Mood a Gift or a Skill?
Inspired by Seth Godin's blog.
I think we can all agree that we'd like to feel more optimistic more of the time.
But is being optimistic an inherent character trait or is it a choice? And, if it's a choice can it be learned?
We generally adopt a posture of optimism or pessimism as a result of external events. Some days, we wake up with optimism and possibility… we’re able to find more energy, connect better, and do better work.
That might be because the outside world has handed us good news and opportunities, or it might be that we typically approach life embracing change and opportunity.
Or, the situation might be the opposite. It might be that our mood is impacted heavily by outside events and the resulting pessimism closes us off to connection, making deeper connection and possibility harder to come by.
Essentially, different people, similarly informed, might adopt an optimistic mood or a pessimistic one. But that doesn’t actually explain why.
In fact, mood is a choice. And it’s one that determines how we’ll behave and it’s also clearly true that we can do things to improve our mood.
As an example; Not watching the news, meditation, reciting affirmations, exercise, curating your social media feeds, switching off from distractions, goal setting, and praising others are just a few practices that will have an immediate impact on your feeling of positivity and optimism..
Optimism and, by extension, mood is a choice. And if it’s a choice, that means it’s a skill, because we can get better at it.