The term MOJO has been bantered about from magical charms and supernatural powers to emanating charisma and instilling confidence. In the world of stars, celebrities and debutants, MOJO also involves discovering one’s purpose and sustaining real passion for that purpose.
I grew up thinking that one becomes passionate about something and that becomes one’s purpose. Later in my life, I discovered that the opposite is really true. When we get in touch with the WHY we are doing something, we can get at the core of what drives us. By getting in touch with this WHY, we define our personal and professional foundation- our purpose. When we embrace that purpose, we become passionate about the next question- the HOW. The passion drives us to stay on purpose. That is the engine or our MOJO. It’s exhilarating to find the WHYs that motivate us, that turn on our power as we engage in the HOW- our MOJO. As we all know, one can begin to experience a MOJO reduction or complete loss. What then?
I recall suffering from MOJO reduction on the road…
Years ago I auditioned for the band Foreigner and got the gig. I loved the experience. I was involved with the reinvention of the band in the early ‘90s when the original singer, Lou Gramm came back to the band and the industry was buzzing about this reformation of the right and left brain- Lou and band creator, Mick Jones. I was excited to record The Very Best and Beyond album of four new tunes repackaged with some old hits. This became the impetus for a world tour, and I was grateful and excited to be the rhythmic foundation of this venture.
We toured the world and beyond, playing to devout Foreigner fans who reveled in our presence. But after about 18 months on the road, I realized the irony of having played Feel Like the First Time nearly 400 times! In contrast to having stage fright, I felt nothing on stage. I began longing for that right amount of lovely butterflies in my belly accompanying me to my drum throne as the curtains parted and we blazed into the first song, which as I recall was Double Vision. I had lost my MOJO; it wasn’t fair to the audience, band or me. It’s not my style to complain about things so I kept it to myself, internalizing my dull discomfort because I never wanted to infect everyone else’s MOJO.
Relive Success Experience
Even RockStars need to recall times of supreme rocking to get inspired. I started meditating on some of my favorite moments on stage to recall the feelings, sights, sounds, smells and other sensory stimulation to get me in that MOJO rich headspace. What truly tipped me back into a passionate rocking zone was getting in touch with my WHY. Why was I up there? I really pondered that question until I remembered that I am in a service business. That experience was not about how I felt but how we felt. All authentic communications are about the experience for all involved and concerned. That viewpoint brought back my empathy for the audience. I started looking at the band’s performance from their viewpoint and tapping into the excitement and freshness that this moment would bring them. I looked into the eyes of the fans. Lo and behold, the butterflies flew back in my belly and my MOJO revved up to a level that I had not experienced in quite some time.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Ironically when we hang out in our comfort zone for too long, it becomes either a neutral zone or a discomfort zone. A few suggestions that have worked for me and I witnessed working for others:
Get inspired By People that Are MOJO Enriched
I love watching TED talks, hanging out with people that leave me with greater energy, or getting a shot of pure joy from my four year old daughter. Many times others will give us the jump start we need to get us back in touch with our WHY.
Get To Vs. Have To
Try shifting your thinking from what you have to do to what you get to do. It changes the way your brain operates. You’ll feel a lot differently about any experience; it simply becomes more fun. If you consciously chose to do it, then you can create a new sense of value in your life, of free will. This is your life, your job and your family that you have worked to create. Take pride in it. Stop for a moment to acknowledge it. Value the little things that you have taken for granted as things that are simple pleasures—to experience, not to be taken for granted. Quit taking yourself so seriously and getting trapped by your have-to mentality. This can give you a quick shot of MOJO.
Professionally your value may be determined by what you bring to the table or party. Your MOJO drives you to achieve. So remember that to give MOJO, you need to be able to receive it. To be able to receive it, you need to see the end game, the big picture, the WHY! You need to nurture the reason why you there, hit the refresh button to get in touch with your original purpose that feeds your inspiration. Remember, having an authentic purpose is what creates real passion, not the other way around.