Master the Mood Elevator

elevator

Master Your Moods

 

“The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.” –Marcus Aurelius

 

I’m sure you’ve had this day:

You wake up and you’re feeling amazing. Then you spill something on your clothes at breakfast and get stuck in a traffic jam on the way to work. You realize you will be late for your first appointment, and your frustration grows by the minute.

Fast forward hours later, and you’re feeling great again.

Up and down. Down and Up.

How do you stop the wild mood swings?

 

“Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.” –Anonymous

 

CEO Forum Magazine dubbed him the “father of organizational culture” and thousands have attended his company’s training programs. Larry Senn is chairman and founder of Senn Delaney, a firm dedicated to helping organizations shape their culture. I recently spoke to him about his new book, The Mood Elevator: Take Charge of Your Feelings, Become a Better You.

He helps you understand your moods and gain control, limiting the time in the basement and helping you stay in the upper floors.

 

Develop a Healthy Response

The Mood Elevator. Unfortunately, all of us are experienced with the dramatic ride. What are some of the triggers that cause a sudden shift in floors?

Yes, to be human means we all ride the Mood Elevator. Since our thoughts create our moods, dramatic drops in mood come from big shifts in our thinking. We start our day in a great place and high mood after a morning run and a good breakfast. Then we open an email, and a colleague says he heard we may not be closing the deal we were counting on. Our mind starts to spin as we run through all the possible negative consequences of that happening. That creates feelings down the Mood Elevator like insecurity, worry, self-judgement and mild depression.

Things like that happen in major and minor ways as life comes at us. What’s interesting is how we each deal with circumstances can be very different. Another person might get the same email and go to curiosity, a much healthier level, first. “I wonder what that might be about or if it is even true – I’ll check it out.” They might also go to creative and resourceful and start to think about all the ways they can best secure the deal.

As Shakespeare said, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

 

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” -Shakespeare

 

Would you comment on any career limitations and/or leadership problems you’ve seen due to leaders not having conscious control of their floor?

I have observed CEOs self-destruct as well as very smart and capable leaders ruin their careers and their marriages because they lacked emotional control and led from the lower floors of the Mood Elevator. I’ve also seen leaders become world class CEOs by learning how to better ride the Mood Elevator.

The reason is simple − our thinking is reliable and wise when in the higher mood states, while it is very unreliable in the lower floors. Anyone who has ever said something to a loved one they wished they could take back has experienced the phenomenon. We have very low emotional intelligence (EQ) when down the elevator. That means leaders can’t build great teams, create great cultures, be as creative or make good decisions from the lower floors of the elevator.

 

“We become what we think about all day long.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Use Your Feelings as a Guide

You talk about the power to brake. What are a few ways we can slow, stop or resist our emotional impulses?

It all starts with learning to use your feelings as your guide. When we are self-aware, we can tell when we are worrying, angry, judgmental, self-righteous or depressed. We will all experience those feelings at times. Think about it like having to drive on an icy road at night. You may have to do it, but you proceed with caution. Delay big decisions, pause before putting your foot in your mouth, and tell yourself your thinking is likely to be flawed.

 

the mood elevator Copyright Larry Senn; Used by Permission

 

When unwanted things happen or people do things that don’t make sense to me, I have feelings of intensity. That’s my clue. What I find most helpful is to first pause, take a deep breath and center myself. Then I try to use what I call in the book the “brake” on the Mood Elevator. That break is shifting my thinking from judgement to curiosity. What am I missing here? Why might that have made sense to them in their thinking? What lesson can I learn from that? As I tell leaders in our off-sites, if they just lived more of their life in curiosity instead of judgment they would have a different experience of life and different results.

 

“Happiness is not the absence of problems-it’s the ability to deal with them” –Steve Maraboli

 

Would you talk about “living in mild preference?”

Get The Best from Yourself And Others

Success Starts With Your Thoughts

My friend Lee Colan is the author of 13 books and the co-founder of The L Group. Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with him about leadership and attitude and consistent execution (or what Lee calls adherence).

Lee reminds us that so much of our success starts with our thoughts. Thoughts influence our beliefs, which influence our words. Our words reflect our commitments, which influence our choice of actions. Ultimately, our actions influence the results we achieve.

getting-the-best-from-yourself-and-others

But it all starts with the thoughts in our head.

As Lee says it, “Your thoughts today lead to your results tomorrow.”

In this brief interview, Lee shares more about this model and why consistent execution is so important.

Below are a few stand-out quotes from Lee:

 

“Your thoughts today lead to your results tomorrow.” –Lee Colan

 

“Winning depends less on a brilliant plan than on consistent actions.” –Lee Colan

 

“Those who underestimate the intelligence of others tend to overestimate their own.” –Lee Colan

 

“You don’t have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great.” –Lee Colan

 

“The most important conversation you will ever have is the one with yourself.” –Lee Colan

How to Orchestrate Your Attitude

This is a guest post by Lee Colan and Julie Davis-Colan of The L Group, Inc., a consulting firm that has served leaders at every level since 1999. They are the authors of Getting the Best from Yourself and Others.

Your Attitude Determines Your Success

How do you measure success? Is it by financial security, career growth, community involvement, quality of relationships, spiritual centeredness or the legacy you leave? Whichever measure you choose, your attitude is the single most important factor in achieving success.

 

“Your attitude is the single most important factor in achieving success.”

 

The topic of attitude can be conceptual and confusing. In fact, as we go through life we often hear phrases like, “Keep your chin up,” “Look on the bright side,” or “You need a winning attitude.” Unfortunately, we seldom know how to convert these soft sayings into hard results.

The great news is that even in the worst situations – a victim of a natural disaster, prisoner of war, target of abuse or when hit by a string of unfortunate circumstances – your attitude is something you can always control!

When we control our attitude we influence how our body responds and performs. Where our thoughts and attitudes go, our bodies follow. For example, blushing is a physical reaction to a mere thought. If we have this kind of reaction to a thought, is it such a leap of faith to believe that we can orchestrate our attitudes to affect our bodies in beneficial ways?

 

“The choice of attitude is yours. Tomorrow you will become what you choose today.”

 

A landmark study shed light on the ultimate benefit of a positive attitude. In this particular study, participants who were more positive lived an average of 10 years longer than the other participants. Considering that smoking has been shown to reduce life expectancy by 5.5 years for men and 7 years for women, your attitude might be a health risk factor worth paying real attention to.

The choice of attitude is yours. Tomorrow you will become what you choose today.

 

Study: positive participants lived 10 years longer than other participants.

 

A Script for Orchestrating Attitude

There are three aspects of the script that work in concert: thoughts, words and actions. By orchestrating each aspect with conscious responses, we positively influence our beliefs, commitments and results.

 

Orchestrating Attitude Script

 

The script plays out like this:

  • Thoughts, the way we choose to interpret our world, directly influence our beliefs.
  • Beliefs directly influence the words we choose to speak to others, and more importantly, to ourselves.
  • Words reflect our commitments to ourselves and others.
  • Commitments influence our choice of actions.
  • Finally, our actions directly influence the results we achieve.

This script is self-reinforcing, for better or for worse. The results we achieve reinforce our thoughts, and the same script is played out again. So, it all starts with our thoughts. Our thoughts today influence our results tomorrow.

200+ Motivational Quotes to Turbo Charge Your Thinking

The Power of Words

Words have remarkable power.  Choosing to fill your life with positive, inspirational words is like fueling the engine of your mind.  I believe that our circumstances can change based on what words we read, hear, and speak.  That’s why in every blog post I try to pull out quotes that will spur new thoughts and actions.

Share a few of your favorites or stop by anytime to add one to your social media streams.  You never know when a few words will be just the fuel someone needs.

“Success is something you attract by the person you become.” –Jim Rohn

“Tread softly; breathe peacefully; laugh hysterically.” –Nelson Mandela

“Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” -Helen Keller

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” –Dr. Seuss

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” –Jim Rohn

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” -Arthur Ashe

“Argue for your limitations and they’re yours.” -Richard Bach

“To know how to wait is the great secret of success.” –De Maistre

“It is our attitude toward life that determines life’s attitude toward us. We get back what we put out.” –Earl Nightingale.

“If you run around with 9 losers pretty soon you’ll be the 10th loser.” -Les Brown

“The more you talk about negative things in your life, the more you call them in. Speak victory not defeat.” –Joel Osteen

“Hope is the beacon which points to prosperity.” –Edward Counsel

“You can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.” -Zig Ziglar

“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” -John Wooden

“Vision without execution is just hallucination.” -Henry Ford

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” -Walt Disney

“Patience and fortitude conquer all things.” -Emerson

“Strive not to be of success, but rather to be of value. -Einstein

“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” –Jim Rohn

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” -Winston Churchill

“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” -Bruce Lee

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” -Michael Jordan

“The speed of the boss is the speed of the team.” -Lee Iacocca

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” -Henry Ford

“Teamwork makes the dream work.” -Bang Gae

“If you want to be a leader who attracts quality people, the key is to become a person of quality.” – Jim Rohn

“Never say anything about yourself you do not want to come true.” –Brian Tracy

“Don’t count the days. Make the days count.” -Muhammad Ali

“To endure is greater than to dare.” -Thackeray

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” -Helen Keller

“The strength of the team is each member. The strength of each member is the team.” -Phil Jackson

“Only you have the power to determine whether your future mimics your past.” -Skip Prichard

“Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom” –Jim Rohn

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” –Zig Ziglar

“A successful team is a group of many hands and one mind.” -Bill Bethel

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” –Nelson Mandela

“Good teams incorporate teamwork into their culture creating the building blocks for success.” -Ted Sundquist

“Circumstances will never determine your amount of happiness. Circumstances only highlight who you already are.” –Dan Miller

“None of us is as smart as all of us.” -Ken Blanchard

“No individual can win a game by himself.” -Pele

“You are not a true success unless you are helping others be successful.” –Jon Gordon

“The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one’s destiny to do, and then do it.” -Henry Ford

“Negative thoughts are the nails that build a prison of failure.” –Jon Gordon

“Simplicity, of all things, is the hardest to be copied.” -Steele

“Confidence is a habit that can be developed by acting as if you already had the confidence you desire to have.” -Brian Tracy

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” -David Brinkley

“Humility is the light of understanding.” -Bunyan

“Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears.”– Laird Hamilton

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” -Zig Ziglar

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

“We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.” –Jim Rohn

“If you’re going through hell keep going.” -Winston Churchill

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” -Epicurus

“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” -Oscar Wilde

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” -John D. Rockefeller

“Peace rules the day where reason rules the mind.” –Wilkie Collins

“If I fail, it will be for lack of ability, and not of purpose.” -Lincoln

“Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution.” -Brian Tracy

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” -Albert Einstein

“If you go out and make some things happen, you will fill the world with hope.” –Barack Obama

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” Sir Edmund Hillary

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” -Zig Ziglar

“Anyone who attempts to build great things will face challenges.” –Jon Gordon

“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” -Thomas Jefferson

“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” -Napoleon Hill

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” –Tony Robbins

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” – Picasso

“Passion is more developed than discovered.” –Dan Miller

“Whatever you believe with feeling becomes your reality.” –Brian Tracy