6 Basic Moods of Life

Organisational Change and Development (Systems & Culture)

Six Basic Moods of Life


What we assess as unchangeable.


What we assess as changeable.




Resentment develops from not accepting the fact of life - energy goes into opposing what is already so even though we have evidence that we can't change it.
Resentment is a form of 'already listening' we are already angry, we just need an event to trigger off an interpretation/story.
It is a position of 'being the victim'.
The predisposition in the mood of resentment is revenge and punishment - wanting to 'get them back'.
Anger is usually a 'public' conversation while resentment is usually a 'private' conversation.



Resignation develops from opposing possibilities — in the mood of resignation we assess that our actions in the future will make no difference so we don't engage in action that might produce change.
Resignation stifles the 'expansive' tendency within humans.
In this mood we deny the capacity to 'design the future'.
The mood stultifies conversations for possibilities/speculation.


Peace /Acceptance

The mood where we accept fact - we realise what we cannot change and rest in that — we accept limitations.
It is not complacency.
Acceptance allows us to 'put the past to rest' and move on.
Acceptance and the resultant peace is the basis of the practice of the 'legitimate other' — the mood of acceptance is about accepting differences and the mood of peace is about resting in what people are.
Acceptance positions one as a learner.


The mood where we acce
pt possibility.

The opposite to resignation — in ambition we identify and create spaces for ourselves and others — it is about designing the future.
Ambition is associated with optimism — a 'can do' attitude.
Ambition is not to be confused with 'Blind optimism' — ambition encompasses the notion of prudence — having sound judgment.

  • Six Basic Moods of Life
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What we cannot confidently predict will occur.


  • When fear does not subside it can become the mood of anxiety
  • Two interrelated assessments that are part of the mood of anxiety:-
  • The world, or part of it, is assessed as unsafe; and the world will not take care of me.
  • A self-assessment of not being able to deal with what occurs.
  • Anxiety occurs from not accepting the uncertainties of life.
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  • The mood where we accept uncertainty.
  • Wonder is a way in which we look at the world — a continual
  • fascination with things, events and circumstances that we may not have experienced before — rather than escaping the new or unfamiliar it is about a willingness to 'live in the question'.
  • The mood is closely associated with the emotion of curiosity.
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