How are you feeling?

“How are you doing?” “How are you feeling?”  “How’s it going?”

Though these questions are part of our common greetings to each other, they are also an unusually important questions to consider more deeply. That’s because how you feel, how you’re doing, how it’s going–in short, your mood–dramatically affects your success.

Your mood is the sum of your dominant-at-the-moment thoughts and feelings. When you are feeling good, you can give most of your attention, time, and effort to whatever is important to your success. Your mental focus is high and you become very productive. Also, your ability to influence people and situations increases.

When you are feeling less than good, you siphon time and energy from what you really want to be, do, or have. Like a computer that is running unwanted programs, a negative mood sloooooowwwws you down. In a negative mood, you focus your “internal CPU cycles”–usually out of habit, not intention–on things like fear, uncertainty, doubt, worry, anger, etc. The time and energy spent on these distractions aren’t available to spend on what you really want. Your negative mood lowers your ability to influence. And it has a way of spurring more negativity and negative results.

We have an odd resistance to focusing on our mood. It’s fairly easy to notice a negative mood and shift it toward the positive. For some reason, though, we are more comfortable with our habitual though not-so-productive thoughts and feelings.

Of course, you can shift your mood, often quickly. As with any habit, it’s best not to attack, stop, or change a mood; you would subtly strengthen it. Instead, replace it: acknowledge the negative mood then take steps to choose a positive one.

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