I am really not in the mode this morning.

Not only am I not in the mood, I am not in the mode.

Are mood and mode two different things? You bet. They spell differently so there is a good chance they mean different things too.

Mood is defined as “a temporary state of mind or feeling”. Mode is defined as “a way or manner in which something occurs or is experienced, expressed, or done“.

Here is an example which I will use from The Social Network. Erica broke up with Mark, and boy was Mark really upset. He downed his beer, went back to his dorm, popped open another beer, and sat at his laptop. He started ranting away on his blog very angrily. He was in a bad mood.

He decided to take his frustration out beyond his blog. He thought up Facemash. He got into a mode. His friend came into the room and they talked about his idea. Mark got down to work. He was still in a bad mood, but now he is in the mode.

(Disclaimer: I personally do not recommend doing what Mark did in the movie. Anyway in real life, the story of Facemash and Mark Zuckerberg was actually pretty different from the movie.)

Throughout the movie, Mark was often in the mode of things regardless how he felt. As how they would say, he was plugged in.

 

Being plugged in is close to what being in the mode is.

Mode is logical. Mood is emotional. Mode is rational. Mood is irrational.

If we often make decisions or have our work impacted about how we are feeling, we aren’t going to go very far. If we count on mood, we tire out more quickly, get discouraged more quickly, and more likely to quit before anything worthwhile is achieved.If we often make decisions or have our work impacted from how we are feeling, we aren’t going to go very far. If we count on mood, we tire out more quickly, get discouraged more quickly, and more likely quit before anything worthwhile is achieved.

I don’t care very much these days how I am feeling, whether I am in the mood. More important to me, I always preferred to know whether I am in the mode.