“Wearing the Horcrux”

Have you ever been in a crazy foul mood, for no apparent reason?

If so, you’ll really get this post. I stumbled onto a great (and fun) new way to think about bad moods and, most important, break out of them, that I think is going to be really helpful going forward.



  • A fascinating story of dealing with a terrible mood.
  • A helpful new way to think about situations like this.
  • The critical first step in self-regulation.
  • Practical tips for breaking a bad mood.
  • Watch/listen to get the full message.


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I’m actually on a break from reading. Trying to break my addiction to it. Half way through Nemesis Games. (Pretty hard to stop in the middle like that.) Finished the Brad Thor book. Good riddance. :-)

Anyway, nothing more to report on that. But the reclaimed mental space has been pretty nice.

[ transcript ]
Hey, it’s David Levin, author of Raise Your Inner Game, co-author QBQ The Question Behind the Question, Founder of Raise Your Inner Game Academy.

Have you ever had a time when you were just in like the worst possible mood, just angry, dark, and for no apparent reason. Happened to me to the other day, and it was really strange, for one. Just came out of nowhere, it seemed. And then, later, Harry Potter sort of saved the day. Well, I guess JK Rowling.

Anyway, here’s the story. I was sitting down for dinner the other day, with the family, and the conversation was going along. Typical, aimless sort of dinner talk. And at one point, I noticed that I was mad at them and what they were saying. But they weren’t saying anything to be mad about. I mean it was nothing. It would be like, someone would say something sort of playful and I would think “How dare you joke like that.” I would want to lash out and punish them in some way. I was just seething. And it was just so strange, because again, there was nothing to be mad about. We were sitting out on our front porch having dinner together, beautiful evening. It made no sense, but there was just this powerful emotion and sensation of anger in me.

So, in the moment, I noticed it, thought, this is really strange. Tried to work through it, let it go, and ultimately it did work. I never let any of it out, and pretty soon was back into the moment. Enjoying the evening.

But then later, I think the next day, the kids and I were watching one of the last Harry Potter movies, the Deathly Hallows, and there was the section where Harry Ron and Hermione were looking for the Horcruxes and they were carrying one of them with them. It was a necklace, and they had to take turns wearing it. And whenever someone had the necklace on, pretty soon they would start acting in a really strong negative way. Angry, accusing, defensive, belligerent.

I remember one scene in particular where Ron was doing that, getting in Harry’s face in a very uncharacteristic way and Hermione said “You have to take that thing off.” And she did, and things got better.

But it struck me, that is a great way to think about and talk about these black moods we get into from time to time. To think of them as “Wearing the Horcrux.” And this is not as silly as it might seem.

The other ways you hear people talk about a bad mood is, well, it’s a bad mood, got up on the wrong side of the bed, got your crabby pants on, I always like that one.

And we know what the terms mean, but they’re not really helpful. You know? I mean, there’s a little benefit in being able to playfully point out someone’s bad mood, but that’s about it. Wearing the Horcrux though is a LOT better.

For one thing, it’s a super clear image. I guess you have to have read the book or seen the movies. So not everybody’s going to get it. But if you have, you totally get it.

More important, it gets the dynamics right.

With got up on the wrong side of the bed and got your crabby pants on, there’s nothing really you can do about that. You’re just identifying the problem. And the problem is YOU. YOU’re in a foul mood.

But with Wearing the Horcrux, first it’s clear that it’s an external trigger — something’s causing you to feel that way. And second, the solution is obvious and easy. You just take it off.

And both those things are true enough to be genuinely helpful.

It’s not really just you being that way when you’re in one of these states. Something is triggering it, and it’s probably something physical. Fatigue. Allergy. Hormones. Something is causing it.

So it helps you depersonalize the situation and click out into observer mode, which is always the first step to take in self-regulation. Just observe what’s happening for you. So it really helps with that.

And the image of just taking the thing off is really nice and helpful, because most of the time, it really is about that easy. Once you identify that you’re in a state you don’t want to be in, it’s not that hard to snap out of it. You can point your attention elsewhere. Cognitive control. You can ask yourself a question, like “Is this the way I want to be right now?” You can do some LIFTS like I talk about in the book and the training. Depending on the situation you can do something physical — get up, walk around, take some breaths. Have a drink of water.

Many simple things you can do to snap out of your mood. But thinking about it this way in the first place — “Oh, I’m wearing the Horcrux” — is a great way to get you started in the right direction.

Anyway, we’ve been using this now in our family, and I really like it. I thought I would pass the idea along to you in case you found it helpful.

Couple pieces of news this week. First, the videos for Raise Your Inner Game ACADEMY — the full training program from the book — are almost done now. Should have that up and testing within the week. Super excited about that. It’s going to be such a great training. And if you end up hearing this some time in the future, it IS a great training. You should definitely check that out.

Also just got in the super cool Raise Your Inner Game Medallion. It’s basically and UP button for your inner elevator. Beautiful custom bronze coin. Up arrow on the front from the book cover. Great quote from the book on the back. Nice substantial feel to it. You keep it in your pocket or purse and when Gravity gets strong, you just reach in and give it a push. I love these coins and you can get these right now. davidlevin.com. Right on the front page. So both those are exciting. More to come on the ACADEMY training.

Otherwise that’s it for this week. Let me remind you – invite you – to get a copy of Raise Your Inner Game if you haven’t already. If you’re into personal development, you really just have to read this book. There’s nothing like it anywhere. It can make such a difference for you. And it’s easy to get. A quick read. The book retails for $19 but you can get it on my site for $15 plus free shipping. The audiobook is also available. Ebook of course. Whatever works for you. So pop on over—davidlevin.com—it’s right on the home page. Grab your copy. Grab a medallion to go with it. They’re prefect together. Put your name on my newsletter list, if you aren’t already. Also, check out the podcast. The David Levin Show on iTunes and Google play. The audio from blog posts goes up there, but also a weekly journal, which is a fun piece, plus other special items as they come out. Love to have you join me for that. Otherwise, thank you. Keep up the good work. I’ll talk to you next time.

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