NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

November 21, 2013

Mood matters: Free talk helps you choose yours

After making history in September as the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida, Diana Nyad said in a press conference that it was a lesson to herself to “be fully engaged.”

“Be so awake and alert and alive every minute of every waking day,” she said.

The look on Nyad’s face when she completed her swim and that speech are the first things that come to Newburyport resident Don Arnoudse’s mind when he is asked to define the word “exuberance.”

Arnoudse, a leadership coach and author of the upcoming book “Exuberance,” will give a free talk tonight at Newburyport City Hall titled “Choose Your Mood, Change Your Life.”

Through his more than 30 years of work as a management consultant and executive coach, Arnoudse said he has discovered just how important mood is, not only in the workplace but in all aspects of daily life. And as founder of The Exuberance Project, which this talk will help launch, he is hoping to change what he considers the primary mood of our times: fear.

“It’s fear, frustration, anger. Man, there’s a lot of that around,” he said. “I’m on a personal mission to shift fear to exuberance.”

It’s a shift that Arnoudse made in his own life after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer shortly after moving to Newburyport more than four years ago.

“That just stopped me in my tracks,” he said.

He made a promise to himself to change his life, becoming conscious of things that were on “autopilot,” like diet and exercise. He leaned on friends and family, including wife Colleen and his two grown children, Josh and Sara. And he tuned into his own mood.

“I’m great now, I’ve come through it,” said Arnoudse, now cancer-free. “I was already happy, but this has really focused me. What I’ve learned about mood is it really makes a difference, it matters.”

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