Category Archives: Morale

Try a new purpose on for size

You may recall that last week I introduced the idea of a “S.P.I.R.I.T.” acronym as a framework for a system that measures and lifts psychological well-being.

I was emboldened by the many enthusiastic reactions to that post, so this week we’ll explore the acronym’s second letter.

It means it’s time for a “P,” as it were.

The P in S.P.I.R.I.T. stands for Purpose, and incorporating a greater sense of this into your life can be transformative.

It really means you have goals, and a general feeling that your life has meaning.

It entails holding beliefs that give you purpose, and having aims and objectives for living.

Now, if these lofty definitions leave you needing a drink, I have good news.

For we do indeed start today’s conversation standing at the bar in one of the student cafés on the Stanford campus here in California.

Last weekend I took Glenn and Maria, friends from London, for a bite to eat after we’d chatted on the University radio station for a couple of hours.

Wanting a beer (perhaps unsurprisingly after that, needing one) there were three different varieties on tap, but none were familiar to us.

So we asked for samples, tasted all three, as you do, and easily decided who’d have what.

Sampling food or drink seems to me a bit like trying on clothes before you buy them: it’s amazing how quickly you just “know” if something suits you, the minute you see it in the mirror, or taste it.

It’s occurred to me that it might be handy to take this same “try before you buy” approach to many of life’s aspects, actually, including a sense of purpose.

Of course there are those in life whose path is deeply-defined and ever-evident, and more power to their purposeful elbows, I say.

For the rest of us, though, it’s not uncommon to go through times when we have less-clear goals, and a reduced sense of mission.

If this is happening to you right now, fear not.

I have a suggestion, associated with trying things on for size – which will also be fun.

I’ve drawn up a list of 10 mini-missions, each of which has at least the potential to feel meaningful.

Some may not be new to you. They could already be a regular part of your life, in which case I’d suggest skipping them.

But if they’re unfamiliar, or are simply not part of your regular current routine, please try not to scoff, but agree instead to experiment with a maximum of two in the next day.

When you do this, try to ask yourself three simple questions:

1. How did it make me feel to do this?
2. How meaningful did it feel?
3. How much would I like to do this again?

My goal certainly isn’t to equip you with a sudden sense of purpose on a par with someone who decides to up sticks to Tibet to become a Buddhist monk.

It’s more about a gentle method of experimenting with new ways to add just a little more purpose to everyday life.

Do feel free to create your own missions, but here’s a list of 10 to get you started (remember, pick a maximum of just two today):

a. Learn/remind yourself how to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation

b. Walk in nature, perhaps barefoot

c. Donate one good item you own to a local charity

d. Talk to/help someone in need

e. Pick up three pieces of litter

f. Call in to a neighbour’s to say hello, just for 10 minutes

g. Speak to a random stranger

h. Ask someone with a dog if they’ll let you pet it

i. Say a prayer

j. Spend five minutes alone in total silence

Try to suppress possible biases, using a genuine sense of openness and curiosity to select an item or two. Remember, this is just an experiment.

But do, please, share your insights – both positive and negative.

Having a greater sense of purpose is good for your spirit.

And for your S.P.I.R.I.T.

The strength of weakness.

We’re frequently encouraged to recognise and celebrate our strengths. But might there also be merit in taking the same approach to our weaknesses?

You know, I think there could be. I’ll explain more in a moment.

First, though, a swift update on my current progress building a tool to help lift and maintain morale.

You might remember that in March, when I asked for your help with an alternative to the word “morale” itself, the most popular suggestion was “spirit.”

It’s a terrific synonym, and I’m so grateful for your collective wisdom.

Seeking a proven structure on which to build my morale-building material, I’ve been greatly inspired by the work of Carol Ryff, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

In 1989 Professor Ryff proposed a model for psychological well-being consisting of six dimensions: Self-Acceptance; Positive Relations With Others; Autonomy; Environmental Mastery; Purpose In Life; and Personal Growth.

It should be said, by the way, that psychological well-being is quite distinct from happiness. In broad terms, someone with a high level of psychological well-being is an individual who “flourishes,” making the most of their life.

Anyway, although there’s been some recent discussion about the degree to which Professor Ryff’s dimensions are independent of one another, it seems to me (and thousands of researchers and scientists who have built on her work in the past 30 years) that they make good sense.

My one hesitation was a sense that some of the labels could seem a little scientific and complicated to a mere mortal like me.

In my own work, therefore, I’m suggesting alternatives.

Professor Ryff’s term “environmental mastery,” for example, describes the ability of someone to manage and make the most of their everyday life.

Here’s where the academic world and our amazing Moodnudges readers come together, though.

As I said, there are six dimensions in Professor Ryff’s psychological well-being model, and it just so happens that there are also six letters in the word you selected as a morale replacement: spirit.

And, what do you know, it really didn’t take much persuasion to formulate labels for the dimensions that form the acronym S.P.I.R.I.T.Self-Acceptance; Purpose; Independence; Resourcefulness; Interconnection; and Transformation.

Resourcefulness, by the way, and for example, is my new label for Environmental Mastery.

Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?

In the coming weeks, I’ll walk us through these six facets of psychological well-being, starting today with the “S” of S.P.I.R.I.T. – Self-Acceptance. Which is where that celebration of weakness comes in.

Self-acceptance is all about adopting a positive attitude to yourself, warts and all.

It’s acknowledging that, just like everyone, you have both strengths and weaknesses.

It’s about viewing your past life in a grateful way.

And it’s about being happy with the person you’ve become.

How can you embrace weakness in a way that feels positive, though?

I believe it’s all down to the way you choose to view it.

Let me give you an example from my own life (which comes from that environmental mastery/resourcefulness category, actually).

A particular weakness of mine is being less than good about keeping up with personal admin.

Although I’m probably not alone, I’m terrible at staying on top of responsibilities like paying bills, managing my bank account, and filing paperwork.

I won’t make excuses today, just simply recognise that it’s a weakness of mine.

But how can I possibly celebrate this?

Well, in a few ways, I think.

First, it gives me an opportunity to consider asking for help. Asking for help is nearly always a healthy tactic.

What’s more, there are certainly those in life who love this kind of work, and some make money from doing so, of course.

So maybe I can find someone to support me in this area? It could help both of us.

I’ll look into it.

Second, I currently spend the time I perhaps should be devoting to my admin to creating things – like writing today’s Moodnudge, for example, which will occupy my Wednesday morning, as it usually does.

So not doing my admin allows me more time to create.

Third, simply sharing my weakness with you feels like a positive step.

Revealing my guilty secret could strengthen the connection between you and me, bringing us closer together.

I describe these steps in detail because I hope they’ll suggest a process you can try yourself.

What’s one of your weaknesses?

And how could this be turned into a cause for celebration, albeit gentle celebration?

Next week, we’ll move on to the “P” of S.P.I.R.I.T. – Purpose.

Between now and then, however, I really do encourage you to work on your sense of self-acceptance, in particular identifying the positive aspects of a weakness you may have.

Right, I’m off to ignore that pile of bank statements again.

Emotions: can they be contagious?

I wonder if you managed to avoid catching a cold (or colds) this winter?

With the chilly times behind many of us in the northern hemisphere, I count myself among the fortunate few who made it through winter without getting a dose of the sniffles.

(I do realise, of course, that saying this is seriously tempting fate. I’ll probably be cold-ridden by this time next week.)

Be that as it may, we readily accept that physical illnesses can be contagious.

Sickness is often transmitted from one person to another.

But what about our emotions and moods? Can we affect others through the way we think, behave and feel?

And are we in turn affected by the thoughts, behaviour, and feelings of others?

The answer, of course, is yes.

In fact, psychologists refer to this process as “emotional contagion,” and over the years a number of fascinating studies have focused on it.

Looking back at my own advertising career, it was certainly the case that one of my goals was to change the way people felt about my client’s products or services – just as a sales representative does, too.

If you’ve ever been moved by a film, TV show, or piece of music, you’ve experienced emotional contagion yourself.

As you have when you feel a strong response to either good or sad news related to you by a friend.

There’s nothing odd or (mostly) manipulative about this. These types of reactions are a big part of what makes us human, after all.

A number of more structured experiments have built on these mainly anecdotal experiences to demonstrate the phenomenon of emotional contagion.

In a 1985 study, college students were randomly assigned roommates who were either depressed or non-depressed.

Over a three-month period, students who shared a room with someone who was depressed became increasingly depressed themselves.

Of course, it’s highly unlikely that an experiment like this would ever get the green light these days but its results were certainly eye-opening.

Further work was carried out on college roommates (they get all the luck) in 2003 by researchers at Northwestern University and UC Berkeley, showing that those sharing rooms over time became more emotionally similar. This research study also revealed that the same was true of young couples who were dating. The more time they spent together, the more they, too, became emotionally similar.

In 2009, Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler published their important book “Connected: The Surprising Power Of Our Social Networks And How They Shape Our Lives,” part of which examined the records of thousands of people in Framingham, Massachusetts, whose physical and mental health had been extensively tracked over a period of 20 years.

These records also contained information about how those in the study were connected to others in the same research project.

Christakis and Fowler were able to produce maps of these connections, also showing each individual’s state of happiness.

The maps clearly demonstrated that unhappy people clustered with other unhappy people in the network, while happy people clustered with other happy people.

So, given the knowledge that we can be susceptible to the moods and emotions of those around us, what can you and I do to avoid “catching” unwanted feelings?

One helpful action is to remind yourself that someone else’s mood is not your mood.

By all means listen properly if others unload themselves on you, but try hard to observe this, rather than getting drowned in someone else’s gloom.

Another handy tactic is to remember that by lifting the spirits of others, you automatically create a happier space for yourself.

Simple steps like these can help keep you inoculated against others’ low spirits.

An emotional shot in the arm, so to speak.

Was that really me?

I was startled when I caught sight of myself in a shop window reflection last weekend. More of that in a moment.

But first, after a rainy few weeks, California has suddenly gone all Spring-like.

For now, at least, the sun’s shining, the blossom’s blooming, and the sky is a happy shade of blue.

Sorry if the weather’s not doing exactly the same where you are, but I’ll try and attach some sunshine to today’s post.

There’s a fair bit to share with you, including the outcome of some morale-building self-experimentation I’ve been doing, as well as feedback from last week’s survey in which we looked for alternatives to the word “morale.”

First, that survey form.

You’ll probably recall that I was keen to explore which of a list of 18 possible replacements for “morale” would come through strongest in a vote.

My thinking was that morale might be a term that people connect to teams (and perhaps the military) more than they do to individuals.

Actually, morale itself did pretty well in the vote, coming in at No. 2, so perhaps it’s not as community-focused as I’d worried.

Top of the list, however, was “spirit,” which 40% of our 153 voters included in their top three.

The five leading choices, with their percentages, were:

1. Spirit (40.1%)
2. Morale (28.6%)
3. Resilience (24.5%)
4. Well-being (21.8%)
5. Outlook (19.7%)

A big thank you to everyone who voted. It therefore seems we can safely use either the word “spirit” or morale itself to describe this slightly elusive quality we’re hoping to measure and ideally boost.

So, back to that experimental work I’ve been doing, and an explanation of why my reflection took me aback.

Those who’ve known me for a while will be aware that I’ve had a long fascination for designing tools of various kinds based on playing cards.

Moodscope, of course, still uses the cards we originally devised ten years ago that enable people to give themselves a score for their overall mood.

Then, a few years back, I experimented with packs of hexagonal playing cards, that I called WellBee, designed to self-rate overall well-being.

But rather than enabling the calculations of scores, this latest work explores the use of a playing-card-like mechanism to provide actual advice and actionable prompts.

I’ve created a prototype deck of 60 cards which I’m using to experiment on myself.

On each card is printed a simple action: something I can easily do that day to help keep myself on track.

And since the cards are wallet-sized, I can choose one at random, then carry it with me as a reminder.

The cards’ actions are based on twelve dimensions I’ve extracted from past studies into demoralisation that have been carried out by psychiatrists and psychologists.

For example, since someone who’s demoralised is likely to feel isolated, one of my dimensions is “connectedness” – the actions suggesting easy ways to reach out to other people. Other dimensions are “resilience” (which of course appeared in our voting results), and “self-respect.”

Back to that shop window, though.

Last Sunday, my random card came from the “self-confidence” dimension, and it suggested: “At every opportunity today, remind myself to walk taller and straighter.”

This old but effective trick can have a great impact on self-confidence.

I’d been for a coffee and was walking back to the car when, as I said, I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in the window of the dry-cleaners.

Or, rather, I happened to catch a glimpse of someone who looked a bit like me, except he was a hunchback.

Really?

This was me?

This is how I walk when nobody’s looking?

Wow.

As I said, it was a shock, and I can tell you, it suddenly made me stand up a whole lot straighter for the rest of the day.

Every time I opened my wallet, there was that reminder again.

What’s more, simply standing straighter really did make me feel better.

This action is one of sixty, so there’s a lot more for me to work through.

Where does the experiment go next?

Well, I’m not entirely sure, but I will of course keep you in touch with what happens. I’m definitely doing this with the firm intention of creating something we can all use in due course.

Perhaps it will help us all if we stand up, or sit up, a little straighter.

How to get a DIY morale-boost

If you’d like to boost your own morale, one indispensable tip is to think about a relatively small past action someone took that made you feel disproportionately good. Then apply it to yourself.

Parents can be a great source for these kinds of memories.

For example, I distinctly recall my own mum boosting my spirits when I was about six years old, and feeling poorly for one reason or another.

Although I didn’t have much of an appetite, she was keen to encourage me to eat, and I must have told her I might be able to manage to eat a few chips (French fries in the part of the world where I now live).

A short time later she appeared from the kitchen with a rectangular plate, bearing half a dozen perfectly-cut, perfectly-fried home-made chips, laid neatly side-by-side.

So vivid is this memory, that I can still see the blue plate with its white spots.

And those chips! They were the home-made type, chunky and golden brown.

They didn’t last long, but many years later, I know I can give myself a lift by fixing something tasty to eat, and serving it up in a visually appealing way.

Perhaps you have your own memories of a time when someone raised your spirits by doing something you specially appreciated?

Next time you need it, therefore, why not dust off this procedure and apply it to yourself?

Finally, a big thank you to the scores of readers who answered my call last week for possible alternatives to the word “morale.”

As promised, I’ve compiled all those mentioned by more than one person, and would love to know which of them you think work best, overall.

The voting form is here, and has been set up so you’ll be able to see the current results after you vote:

https://goo.gl/forms/QeAZhuVVa0WkOsHx2

Please let me know what you think.

Attila the Hun and a wet kipper: good for morale

Who’d have imagined that writing a blog post about the origins of the world “morale” could end up becoming in itself a morale-boosting exercise?

Hopefully you caught last week’s post. Besides being fun to research and write, it inspired a number of thoughtful reflections from readers, as a result of which I’m pleased to report that I felt quite uplifted. Thank you.

But I think this little demonstration aptly shows that having our morale boosted isn’t always exactly the same as being made happy.

Sure, I was indeed both uplifted and made happier, but although morale and happiness seem to overlap to some extent, morale somehow seems a far richer descriptor.

Continuing the research I started last week, therefore, I figured it might be rewarding to explore what others in psychology have done in terms of measuring morale.

It wasn’t easy. If you search for “morale test” in Google, for example, most of the top results are about war games, generally played by spotty teenagers on tabletop battlefields with miniature figures. Apparently part of the process of playing a war game involves taking account of your army’s morale.

Believe it or not, I was both a wargamer and a spotty teenager for a few brief months.

Adolescence didn’t last long in my day, and hobbies, too, were often short-lived.

But war game morale wasn’t exactly what I was looking for.

Nor was I really interested in employee morale, which popped up a lot in Google, although I can understand why employers would be keen to survey and boost this. Good morale in a company probably leads to higher productivity and better employee retention, among many other desirable outcomes.

However, it wasn’t until I recalled that psychologists have often historically chosen to view the world through morose-tinted glasses, that I discovered (much) more work on measuring demoralisation than in exploring whatever its opposite is.

Actually, before we head down this demoralisation corridor – and don’t worry, I’ll do my best not to let this bring us down – it’s worth pointing out that Dutch researchers from Radboud University came up with what they called a “remoralisation scale” in 2010.

Remoralisation?

It’s a neat play on words of course, I suppose meaning the opposite of demoralisation.

The Dutch researchers, though, really planned their test to be used by people in self-rating the effectiveness of their psychotherapy, which I guess means they wished it to show how “un-demoralised” someone had become.

Sadly, for me at least, the word remoralisation falls foul of the “morale/moral” trap we mentioned last week, so I find it hard not to incorrectly think of remoralisation as somehow meaning the process of restoring a sense of right and wrong to someone who has gone off the moral rails.

It brings to mind Monty Python’s unforgettable Remoralisation Sketch, when Attila the Hun, played by Terry Jones, is strapped to a chair as John Cleese slaps him round the face with a wet kipper, yelling “Who’s been a naughty, naughty boy, then?”

Pause for a moment to summon that image to your mind, then tell me it didn’t bring a slight smile to your face.

Jokes aside, however, the thinking behind the remoralisation scale seems to me somewhat along the right lines, but it produced an instrument that’s not perhaps as sensitive as I’d like it to be for our purposes.

One of its twelve items, for example, asks how much you agree with the statement “Right now, I see myself as being pretty successful,” which feels a bit awkward and uncomfortable somehow.

OK for Simon Cowell, perhaps, but not necessarily for the likes of the average psychotherapy client.

The response scale seems also rather coarse-grained to my eye. For each statement you only get four possible answers: Totally disagree, Disagree a lot, Agree a lot, or Totally agree.

From the work that readers have helped me with in the past, we know many are disinclined to choose extreme answers, in general favouring more shades of grey between a scale’s black and white ends.

Moving on, though, where do we go when we venture into that aforementioned Demoralisation Corridor?

In 2004, Professor David Kissane and colleagues in Melbourne, Australia, conducted important research with cancer patients, with a view to enabling them to rate their degree of demoralisation.

This entirely worthy work resulted in a Demoralisation Scale which, not surprisingly, focuses on a spectrum spanning disheartenment, despondency, and profound despair.

Indeed, many of its questions revolve around the end of life.

I know, I know. I said I’d do my best not to bring us down, so perhaps we should agree to move thoughtfully on, while gratefully acknowledging the value that this kind of work has brought to the world of palliative care.

Frankly, though, if our end game is to find a way to rate and track our own morale, we might need to start afresh, rather than trying to adapt a measure designed for use by patients with terminal cancer.

Last week I mentioned Professor Jerome Frank, an eminent psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins Medical School, who in 1974 wrote that the main aim for all types of psychotherapy should be to restore a patient’s morale.

He helpfully went on to itemise a dozen markers of demoralisation, such as impotence, isolation, disconnection, and despair.

Taking Frank’s negatives one-by-one, I trawled the antonym sections of a range, selection, and assortment of thesauri to identify 12 characteristics of higher morale on which we therefore might focus:

  • Self-confidence
  • Connectedness
  • Hopefulness/optimism
  • Self-respect
  • Acceptance by others
  • Purpose and meaning
  • Resilience
  • Sense of achievement
  • Deservingness
  • Self forgiveness
  • Self-reliance
  • Freedom from anxiety

I may have overlooked others, but the list above seems a reasonable place for us to begin.

Next week, I plan to walk us through these items in slightly greater detail, and also to ask for your assistance in completing a very early prototype of a “morale measurer” based on them.

In the meantime, though, I leave you once again with that image of Attila the Hun, John Cleese and the wet kipper.

You know, they don’t write them like that anymore.

In fact, sadly, they never did.

More reading:

Development of the Remoralization Scale – An Extension of Contemporary Psychotherapy Outcome Measurement

The Demoralization Scale – a Report of Its Development and Preliminary Validation

The Mutiny on the Bounty, and the origins of the word “morale.”

Things came to an unpleasant end on the HMS Bounty on April 28th, 1789.

Increasingly infuriated by their leader, Captain Bligh’s, harsh treatment of them, the ship’s crew mutinied, casting off the captain in a small rowing boat.

An example of Captain Bligh’s robust man-management style is his reputed warning:

“The floggings will continue until morale improves.”

Eek.

While that exact quotation is probably apocryphal, Bligh’s severe style certainly isn’t in question.

I’ve started with this story today to get us thinking about the term “morale,” which I’ve been looking into over the past couple of weeks.

As part of my long-term interest in the potential of self-tracking systems to enable us to better understand and manage our emotional health, it occurred to me that morale might be a helpful quality to explore.

What if we found a way to determine our level of morale at any given time, then tracked it day-to-day, combining this with practical actions (the kinds of “nudges” we’re familiar with) designed to raise morale?

In my ten years of fascination with mental health, I haven’t really heard much talk about morale.

Intuitively, though, it feels as if it’s a state of mind that would be closely connected to emotional health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

In fact, a little digging in the Stanford archives brought to light a fantastic 1974 paper written by Jerome (Jerry) Frank, who was then Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore, Maryland.

In his paper, Psychotherapy: The Restoration of Morale, Professor Frank recommended that the main aim for all types of psychotherapy should be to restore a patient’s morale.

In his view, “no good evidence exists that one therapy produces better results than another,” but he said that any successful course of psychotherapy should effectively address an individual’s sense of demoralisation.

Frank’s paper goes on to list feelings of impotence, isolation, despair, and damaged self-esteem as being among those that contribute to someone becoming demoralised.

Just about all the experts I’ve spoken to agree that the biggest predictor of a successful psychotherapeutic outcome is not the actual methodology used (CBT or psychoanalysis, for two poles-apart examples) but the connection that gets forged between the therapist and client/patient.

When these two people “click,” the outcome is likely to be a whole lot better than if they don’t. Frank suggested that four key attributes for an effective therapist are warmth, empathy, genuineness, and enthusiasm.

A more recent paper, published in 2015, reported a remarkable study of older adults, all at least 85 years of age, in Sweden and Finland.

People who felt optimistic about life and who had something to look forward to, lived five years longer on average than their more pessimistic counterparts.

The researchers surveyed 646 people, using a 17-item questionnaire, once in 2000-2002, then again in 2005-2007.

At the five-year follow-up, 56% of those in the high morale group were still alive, compared to 32% in the low morale group, even after controlling for age, gender, and various health conditions.

Apparently, keeping a positive outlook in later life will help you stay alive longer.

The study’s lead author, John Niklasson, consulting geriatrician at Umeå University in Sweden, wrote that when making his medical rounds one day he’d met an older woman who told him, “I don’t have any reason to live.”

Dr Niklasson explained that she hadn’t said this in any dramatic or suicidal way, but just as a cold “fact.”

Later the same morning, he spoke to another woman of similar age and equivalent disease level, who said to him “I don’t have time to stay in the hospital. I have to go home today. I have so much to do.”

So, morale seems a vital quality for us to have and to maintain. But where did the word originate?

Where would I be without that annual library card? I turned once again to the trusty Stanford University archives.

It felt to me as though it’s a term that may have originated in the military – Captain Bligh was reputed to have used it, after all – and it turns out I was correct.

Morale, with an “e,” originally came from the word moral, which is of course used to mean the distinction between right and wrong, or good and evil.

We have the Roman orator Cicero to thank for “moral.”

Around 63 BC (or BCE, to be more modern) he coined the word “moralis” from the Greek term “ethikos.”

How the heck do you get from ethikos to moralis?

Although this sounds like a question you’d ask a travel agent, who’d maybe answer by flipping through the pages of a Greek ferry timetable, we simply have to accept that Cicero did indeed get from one word to the other.

It wasn’t until the middle of the 18th century that the French word moral (pronounced morale, with the accent on the second syllable, printed in italics to represent its non-English origin, and also with an added “e”) began to be used to mean the capacity of people to maintain belief in an institution or goal – or in oneself, or others.

Explanations of how the word moral acquired its “e” and a different meaning, are fuzzy.

However, the most plausible I’ve found suggests that armies maintained confidence in their actions by telling themselves that they were fighting for a moral cause.

So your morale was high when you believed you were on the side of the good and the right.

I like this idea.

It seems to hold water, in the same way that Captain Bligh’s rowing boat did. Fortunately for him.

Successive early editions of the Oxford English Dictionary reported that use of the word “morale” was rare before 1914, and when it was used, it was almost always in a military context.

However, as the 20th century progressed, it became a much more widely adopted term, perhaps as a result of two world wars. It led to people thinking about both military and civilian morale.

Earlier we saw how Jerome Frank weighed the consequences of demoralisation in his 1974 paper.

Actually, demoralisation, too, began life in the military, where it was adopted to describe its use as a weapon in psychological warfare.

By undermining your enemy’s confidence, you’d weaken them, making them easier to beat.

In the same way, of course, demoralisation can compromise us, meaning that maintaining good morale is pretty crucial.

As you might conclude from this longer than usual nudge, I’m taken by the idea of morale, particularly if there’s a way for us to measure it and then, perhaps, boost it.

I’m also wondering if the methodology we’ve developed for Signpost might be applied to managing morale, instead of mood.

You know what?

I think we may just be on to something here, but I’d love to hear your thoughts.

More reading:

High morale linked to longer survival among elderly

High morale is associated with increased survival in the very old

Psychotherapy: The Restoration of Morale