Live by desire, not mood

I read a wonderful post today by Jennifer Louden called, “Mood vs. Desire.”

She eloquently makes a case that we must “Learn the difference between mood and desire” if we want to feel more alive and fulfilled.

She states:

“You are always in a mood…. if you are in a light hearted mood, life seems easier. Tired or feeling put upon, you see your choices in a whole different light…. Desire, on the other hand, is life force running underneath everything. The Divine at play. A reflection of your deepest values. Desire is the most current flavor of your calling.

“We get mood and desire confused…. Mood is influenced by what you ate for breakfast, how your morning meeting went, if your partner and you are getting along, how you slept. We say ‘I’m not in the mood’ thinking that means we have no desire. No.  Mood covers desire. Desire runs under mood, sometimes deep under, but it is always there.”

This is a lesson that many creatives and sensitives (and Enneagram Fours in particular) are confronted with regularly.

So many of us want to wait to be in the right mood to create, write, work, or even to complete household chores.

In the case of writing, what we’re finding in my Writer’s Circle is that when we write on a daily basis, whether we’re “in the mood” or not, we’re much happier on the other side of it than when we don’t.

It’s all too easy to think that we’re too tired, too stressed, or too unhappy to reach for what we deeply want, but when we do it anyway, we answer our soul’s calling and say “Yes” to life.

Ignoring that deeper calling and acting only on mood is one of the biggest mistakes we can make, yet so easy to fall into. It requires will, discipline, and strength to make the hard choices, do the work, and prioritize our deepest desires. But it’s so worth it.

Your turn

Tell me what you think in the comments. You know I love to hear from you.




Coming Attractions

~> September 27th. Register by September 27th for the next 4-week session of my “Just Do The Writing” Accountability Circle (starts October 1st). For serious writers and for writers who want to get serious about their writing.

~> October 4th. My next Life Purpose Breakthrough Group. SOLD OUT.


What I'm Up To

~> Ongoing. Working on my script, Progeny, with screenwriter Chris Soth after finishing the ProSeries.* There’s always more.

~> Sacred writing time. My schedule is in flux right now but I’m writing regularly nonetheless.

~> Reading: Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows with my son. We’re also watching Merlin, which he loves.


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  1. What a great distinction, Jenna! And such an important one. It caused me to think about how to tell the difference between my moods and desire — for sensitive people, this can sometimes be tricky because our moods can feel so powerful! Thanks for this. :)

    • Yes, as sensitives our moods can become so dominant in our awareness that we can forgot what it is we want/desire. Glad it resonated for you, Jill!

  2. Hi Jenna,

    I’ve noticed in recent years a trend from the parents of potential new music students, that they want their child to have fun in their music lessons. Yes that’s good however it seems they are setting themselves and their child up for never completing things or for never gaining any real skill at anything. Fact is… Fun and passion are fickle. We inevitably run into phases of tedium or we have a feeling/mood about something to do with it. We want to stop because it gets hard. We are being challenged to grow. So, I am all for mood v desire.

    This is in the front of my mind because I had a student give up because “she has lost the passion for it”. Oh my. It is code for, the child isn’t willing to do the boring bits, or has no gravitas. Seems the parent doesn’t either.

    I don’t expect people or parents to chain their child to the practise room. Absolutely not. Don’t want purgatory of the practise room. There does, however, need to be the awareness that they will reach points where perseverance will be required of them. It’s how we develop our character and become good at something.

    Another one is, parents who tell their child they are brilliant and fabulous and the child then expects to win competitions even though they haven’t done the work. Building their identity on fairy floss. There’s a better way to go about it, but, don’t get me started on that one …..

    • Yes, Pamela you are correct in THEORY. Are you a parent? In my experience, children are not developmentally ready for this level of follow through. Trying to make them be, is like pushing a boulder up and mountain.
      Their joy does get damaged and I dont think that is ever good. They can push past this when they are older and truly ready for the rigor. Until then, I want my children and students to be just that, children.

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