The Good Mood Habit
Hello. How are you today? I ask because I believe that how you are feeling dictates so much of—strike that—dictates everything that is going on around you. Absolutely everything. I just came off of an amazing trip to the beach. It was my daughter’s first time seeing the ocean, and she is addicted to water, so it was pretty spectacular to watch her interact with the beautiful waves and the beach and the animals and the people. Now, my daughter is just about to turn three years old, and she is strong-willed and independent—always has been—so needless to say she had a fair number of tantrums during our stay there, a lot of which occurred because she was so tired from playing and swimming all day. But these tantrums happened, in public. They were complete and total meltdowns in front of many perfect strangers who were looking forward to relaxing during their vacation stay. There is nothing more frustrating and embarrassing than dragging your screaming child out of foot traffic because she has thrown herself on the ground and refuses to move. She has a habit of turning her body into complete dead weight so you have to pick her up like a sandbag to get her out of harm’s way.
During this trip, my daughter fed the seagulls—yes, we were those people, at least for the first day. Then she got mad at most of them and chased them the rest of our time there. She lost the ice cream off her cone three times in one evening. Three times. And every time after we had walked a considerable distance from the ice cream shop.
This stubborn child, who as soon as she could stand refused to let me carry her anymore and pulls Houdini-like moves to get out of any stroller, demanded that I carry her everywhere. My back is killing me.
She refused to get dressed in the morning so that we could go outside and enjoy the day. She fought me about sunscreen. She screamed when she didn’t get every snack in the beach bag. Then she cried and screamed when it was time to get out of the water. She even head-butted me once.
I won’t even go into the plane ride.
If you are a parent, then you know all-too-well of what I speak. Here’s the thing, though. I could easily focus on all of the negativity surrounding the trip. I could focus on her poor behavior, on my sore back or on the fact that I didn’t really get any downtime and I’m now exhausted and already back to work. I could remember our trip that way—but I refuse to.
Let me tell you about the good parts.
She was the only baby on the beach who ran full speed into the ocean. She was exhilarated by it. She talked to the water. She made friends with one particular seagull she named Luke. She made friends with other babies. She buried her feet in the sand and giggled. She picked out a special bracelet with her name on it to remember her trip. She ran and ran and ran on open beach in the sun for days and miles. And, on one of those trips back to the hotel, while I was carrying her, she fell asleep in my arms. We saw dolphins and sting rays and pelicans, and on our last morning there, there was a huge rainbow over the ocean.
You have the ability to control your attitude. You have the ability to choose how you feel. You have the ability to drive and sustain your mood. And because of this ability, I was able to witness and enjoy the joy in my daughter’s heart while on that airplane and on that beach—and that is what I will remember. That is what I choose to focus on and that is what I choose to remember.
There was once a time in my life when I really didn’t believe I could control my mood. I was in a bad mood. Everyone around me pretty much was in a bad mood. I just grew up thinking that some people were happy and others weren’t—that’s just how the world worked. I wasn’t one of the lucky ones.
Wow—how much time I wasted being in a bad mood. And it’s wasted time not just in the sense of feeling bad and missing out on some the happier moments of life in general. I also wasted time on what I could have accomplished.
If your attitude dictates everything going on around you, then it dictates your results—your results in life, in love, in your career, with your family, with your hobbies and with your goals. I could have been so much further by now if I could have just shifted my mood, even a little bit.
But, I’m here now. And now that I see how important attitude is, I have spent a fair amount of time trying to help others shift their moods, their attitudes and their mindsets. I don’t ever want to watch others squander their beautiful time on bad moods.
Your mood is the state of mind from which everything around you is created. So, don’t ever leave your future results up to a cycle of negative thinking. Change your attitude and you change your results. Change your habits and you change your world.
And, yes, finding the negative in situations is a habit. Focusing on the bad is a habit. Fixating on lack or fear or worry or doubt is a habit. But, just like any other habit, you can change these. You can choose to be in a good mood. For answers on how to do that, just ask me.
This article was written by Dannie De Novo for danniedenovo.com