Moodscope's blog



Taking Control. Sunday May 26, 2013

Here's a thoughtful post from Lexi, another Moodscope user. I hope you enjoy it. Best wishes. Caroline.

It's tempting, when things go wrong, to point the finger. It means that the event is the fault of whomever or whatever the finger-of-blame is pointing at. The benefit of this is that we get a sense of temporary relief when we have convinced ourselves that it is someone or something else's fault. If we ruled the Universe, things would be different, wouldn't they?

Well there is hidden power beneath the finger-of-blame.

When you take a good long look at the finger-of-blame, you'll notice three fingers below pointing back at you from your own hand. These are not fingers-of-blame, but rather they represent a reminder that three opportunities are at hand.

These opportunities are a reminder that at least 3 times as many aspects of our lives are under our own control. Yes, things do happen to us that are outside our control - but no more than 25% of the time - considerably less in fact.

At least 75% of what happens in my life is directly under the influence of my own decisions, my own actions, and my own beliefs.

This means that even on the most annoying, irritating day, where I would give 'Hostile' a '3' on the cards, I can still look at my own hand and realise I've got the odds 3:1 in my favour. Then I decide on 3 actions I will take to improve my day, and I feel the power of control through taking action.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:

Permalink  |  Blog Home


Elizabeth Sun, May 26th 2013 @ 8:23am

Great reading! Not sure about the ratio, but I must laugh about the three hidden fingers :)

Anonymous Sun, May 26th 2013 @ 8:53am

Brilliant! Great visual aid to remind us we are in control of our own lives most of the time if we give ourselves a moment before we react automatically to our mood.'

Anonymous Sun, May 26th 2013 @ 12:56pm

Great post. I love the visual reminders that help me make conscious decisions versus reacting! Practicing daily what I have learned does make me stronger. I am even choosing my words more decisively! This was a great post and one I will remember! Thank you.

Jenny Sun, May 26th 2013 @ 1:27pm

Great post, thank you Lexie. Valuable reminder !

Anonymous Sun, May 26th 2013 @ 2:25pm

Really good advice, a reminder we have more control than we realise when something unexpected happens.

Anonymous Sun, May 26th 2013 @ 4:52pm

Just superb! Novel way of looking at the pic!

Anonymous Sun, May 26th 2013 @ 6:20pm

Great metaphor. However, there are those who blame themselves excessively and fail to see how others, not to mention luck, are part of the equation. See Judity Viorst's book, Necessary Losses, for a good theory of how people come to blame themselves excessively. Nothing like parents to get us in the habit though genes (not in her book much) probably play a role, too. Fri, Jun 7th 2013 @ 8:10am

99.7% of my statistics are made up on the spot, Elizabeth...ish Fri, Jun 7th 2013 @ 8:15am

I'm a great fan of the visual aid of the "Mind the Gap" symbols on London's Underground Stations... sometimes, all it takes is a 4 second gap (counting on those fingers!) for me to take a breath and get another perspective before reacting to the presenting mood. I saw the new "Star Trek" movie the other night, and Kirk says something like, "I don't know the right thing to do, but I know what I can do!" The three fingers of control remind me of that!!! Fri, Jun 7th 2013 @ 8:20am

Thanks for the ongoing encouragement - I, like most of us, need a bit of encouragement each day. I had a friend who had a company that was called "Response" - built on the very point you're making, the difference between an unthinking 'reaction' and a conscious 'response'. It's great that blog comments like yours, and the Moodscope cards remind us of this distinction on a daily basis. Fri, Jun 7th 2013 @ 8:23am

Thank you! And I'm finding it a valuable reminder myself today... Wouldn't it be great if I could consistently practice what I know is good for me? That's one reason why this dialogue is so helpful. Have a great day! Fri, Jun 7th 2013 @ 8:27am

I like the concept of thinking of three things I could do, even if everything else seems out of my control. Otherwise, I can be overly reflective. Actions, I'm told, speak louder than words, and sometimes I just need to act - even doing a bit of cleaning around the house seems to help! Fri, Jun 7th 2013 @ 8:33am

Thank you! I've often heard people talk about three fingers of 'blame' pointing back at yourself, but that's daft, just adding negativity onto negativity. Instead, I love the opportunity that action offers us. So far, even on my darkest days, I can still create three actions I can take... and they don't even have to be relevant to the issue. Action changes my focus, attention, and awareness. Fri, Jun 7th 2013 @ 8:38am

Thanks for the link to Judity Viorst's book. I think the vast majority of us who are using Moodscope do so because we think, think, and then think some more - often in an unhelpful way. Great literature can inspire a more useful frame of mind. Your comment reminded me of a poem that is far too rude to share here, but anyone who wants to can look it up: Philip Larkin - This Be The Verse
It addresses the 'parents' issue!!!

You must login to leave a comment.

What is Moodscope?

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. If you’d like to receive these daily posts by email, just sign up to Moodscope now, completely free of charge.

Moodscope is an innovative way for people to treat their own low mood problems using an engaging online tool. Anyone in the world can accurately assess and track daily mood scores over a period of time. We have proved that the very act of measuring, tracking and sharing mood can actually lift it. Join now.

Blog Archive


Posts and comments on the Moodscope blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Moodscope makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog or found by following any of the links.

Moodscope will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

We exist to help people to positively manage their moods. You can contribute by taking the test, sharing your experience on the blog or contributing funds so we can keep it free for all who need it.

Moodscope® is © Moodscope Ltd 2018. Developed from scales which are © 1988 American Psychological Association. Cannot be reproduced without express written permission of APA.