It was bad and I knew it. It was so bad that I'd gone from binge-watching Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey to repeat-watching Hallmark romance movies, crying over and over again at the same sad scenes and happy endings. I was stuck and I had no idea how this had happened. I'd lost my mojo for my career, the "follow your bliss" work that had been my dream job as far back as I can remember.
Like Austin Powers who had his mojo stolen in the movie The Spy Who Shagged Me, I needed to get it back. But how?!
(Spoiler alert) As Austin discovers at the end of the movie, his mojo was inside of him all along, and no one could really take it from him. So, along the same lines, if my mojo is inside of me, then I never actually need to "get it back." I just need to figure out how to rekindle the flame. However, as I discovered after days and days of couch-surfing, this can be a lot easier said than done!
After much research and many trials and tribulations, I finally did rekindle my mojo (in other words, my motivation) for my life's dream again. And, as I look at it from the "Monday morning quarterback" position, I can only say that it didn't have to be as hard as it was. I just didn't know what was happening to me, so I wasn't asking the right questions or looking in the right places for help.
Here's the good news: You don't have to go through what I did to find your mojo or motivation for your career, or even your life, again. In fact, why reinvent the wheel? It's much less work and a whole lot more fun to learn vicariously through others.
So, before you give up on your dreams and passions"¦
Try these 3 things to reawaken your mojo
Make motivation a habit
As Zig Ziglar once said,
People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing"”that's why we recommend it daily."
You've got to work at it. Just like you do with your partner when you set up "date night" every Friday so you can work on your relationship, or how you hire a personal trainer or go to the gym to maintain your physical health, you have to work at keeping your mojo alive.
You need to make motivation a daily habit, although how you do this is up to you, as you're the one who knows what feeds, excites and fulfills you. Doing this doesn't actually take a lot of effort, but you do have to set an intention every day to keep that motivational flame lit up.
As I discovered the hard way, motivation isn't something that's just there, all the time, pushing you along towards your dreams. I used to think that it was intrinsic and that I'd always have the drive and passion I needed. So when it was gone, I spent a lot of time being confused and even feeling betrayed, disappointed and bitter. But in reality, I was just being lazy. I wanted things to happen to me. I didn't want to put much effort into it. I didn't even think that I should have to put much effort into it.
It took me a few rounds of getting knocked down and climbing back up before I finally realized that perseverance was key to keeping my passion alive. You've got to keep at it through thick and thin, when the going gets rough and yada, yada, yada. There's a reason why we have so many idioms for this"”it's important!
People who are successful at what they do don't get there overnight. In fact, anyone who's been called an "overnight sensation" will tell you that their success actually came about after years of hard work and effort.
Find what works for you
You can spend a lot of time copying others, using the infinite number of tools and techniques that are found within self-help books, online courses and articles like this one, but the bottom line is that you have to figure out, for yourself, what works for you.
Once you make motivation a habit and learn to persevere, the rest will come easily. I figured out that I need to honour my time and my schedule, even if it makes no sense to anyone else. Just by doing that, I was able to offer myself the freedom to refresh and rejuvenate my mind and body in a way that works for me.
By accepting that there are still days when I want to "veg" in front of the TV watching Hallmark movies, and coming to understand that I need to completely disengage sometimes, I was able to get back to doing what I love with the passion that makes life fun and exciting again. To help yourself do the same, I suggest you figure out what works for you, make a list of these things and stick it on your bathroom mirror so you're reminded of them every day.
Remember to embrace the good and the bad
While we like to think that once we've discovered our passion(s), everything will run like a well-oiled machine, it's important that we remind ourselves that nothing feels 100 percent fantastic all the time. It's time for a reality check"”time to embrace all aspects of life, both the good bits and the not-so-good bits. Once you do that, it's all good!
This article was first published here.