5 Ways to retrieve your AWOL mojo
By Sid Madge, Meee
Even if Amazon isn’t coveting your customers (yet), the chances are your business, whatever its shape or shade, has been facing—or is about to face—a challenge or two, perhaps in the form of extra red tape or adapting to changing pandemic restrictions. Accessing your internal motivation or mojo can feel more difficult than it used to. But so much of what we feel is actually a decision, albeit often an unconscious one.
Ancient wisdom indicated as much, and these early ideas—going back to Greek and Roman philosophy—have been confirmed by modern thinkers. A great deal of the science around positive psychology and happiness, for example, has roots in ancient philosophy.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which is largely drawn from the teaching of Socrates, considers the origin of mental disorder, including a lack of motivation or absence of mojo, to lie not in brain chemistry but in our irrational beliefs. Roman Stoic philosopher Epictetus said, “Men are not disturbed by things, but by their opinions about them.”
I’ve written three Meee in a Minute books on ‘micro-moments’ for life, work and family. Micro-moments offer us a quick, practical way to change our opinions about things and, as a result, change how we feel, the outcome and even our life.
Make the right choice
One of the founders of CBT, Albert Ellis created his ABC model which can be a useful guide to regaining control over thoughts and feelings so we can better access our best self.
A is for activating event.
B is our beliefs that interpret that event and construct meaning.
C is the consequence – especially the emotional consequence.
The next time something happens, or you feel stressed by some news from a client or a change in trading, or some other situation, take a moment to notice what you’ve made it mean; what we make something mean is not the only meaning on offer. If you don’t win a big contract, does that mean that you need to rethink your entire business model, or does it mean you need to learn and make adjustments?
Aim for 1%
When we are in a slump or finding it hard to get motivated, the tendency is to pursue an all-or-nothing approach. This strategy is the worst thing we can do. Instead, start small and aim to be a little better tomorrow than you are today.
Take a moment to consider one thing you would like to change and focus on improving that by 1% every day. This approach is much more viable and is much more likely to produce the desired effect.
Decide to be Happy
In Michael Singer’s book The Untethered Soul, he asks a really great question. Do you want to be happy? Yes or No? If it’s Yes, then what do you need to change to be happy?
Motivation is tough to access when we are miserable so take a moment to really think about and answer that question. We all know people who seem to be most content when they are miserable, but if you are not one of them, decide to be happy and do what you need to do to make space for happiness. If you do, your motivation will also increase.
There is nothing more powerful than a changed mind.
Take a moment to turn your lack of motivation on its head. Instead of wondering what’s happened or why you suddenly feel so flat and unenthusiastic, go in the other direction. Make a list of the things that DO NOT motivate you.
Sometimes it helps to focus on what we know we don’t want and won’t do as a way to gain clarity about how to regain our mojo.
One of the most powerful mind tricks you can employ is the gratitude ritual. The idea is to start and end your day with three things that you’re grateful for. Do you have a really helpful supplier? Have your team embraced Zoom? Have you taken on a particularly promising new employee? Try to come up with different things rather than the same few each time. And don’t just list them. Really connect to each gratitude as an emotion. Remember, it’s not happy people who are grateful, but grateful people who are happy.
These ‘micro-moment’ suggestions focus on changing your meaning or choosing a better frame or belief through which to view the circumstances of your business. It’s those tiny little changes that add up to the changes we want to see and allow us greater and more consistent access to our mojo. The months ahead may be challenging, but it is important to put in the work necessary to stay motivated and positive.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sid Madge is founder of Meee (My Education Employment Enterprise) which draws on the best creativity and thinking from the worlds of branding, psychology, neuroscience, education and sociology, to help people achieve extraordinary lives.
To date, Meee has transformed the lives of over 20,000 people, from leaders of PLC’s and SME’s to parents, teachers, students, carers, the unemployed and prison inmates.
Sid Madge is also author of the ‘Meee in Minute’ series of books which each offer 60 ways to change your life, work-, or family-life in 60 seconds.