Embarking on something new is the most exciting, energizing feeling in the world. We get fired up and can’t stop talking about it, at least for a while. Then, inevitably, we hit a plateau. Stagnation sets in and we lose our mojo. For the purposes here, I’m assuming mojo refers to desire, passion or motivation.
Here’s what the best leaders do when they’ve lost theirs:
■ Change Your View: It’s time to leave the uninspiring, gray-walled cubicle farm and get some work done from the park, art museum, or college campus. Environment matters. We encourage our kids to play outside, so why not take our own advice? Take calls while on a walk through the zoo or analyze a summary from a picnic blanket in the botanical garden. You’re bound to think differently than when staring at your computer screen.
■ Change Your Attitude: Envision your “finish line” — signature from a new client, 15 pounds lighter, or PTA’s parent of the year award — and try to feel what it will be like to have attained your goal. Work backward to determine what steps are then needed to reach that point. Setting small, incremental goals for each stage of the process will help keep you focused and your mind alert. Before you know it, you’ll see your dreams manifest in real time.
■ Change Your Patterns: Beat poet Tuli Kupferberg wisely noted, “When patterns are broken, new worlds can emerge.” If you eat at the same restaurant for lunch all the time, walk one block farther to check out a new spot. See what happens by just sitting on the other side of your desk, looking at a different wall or window. It’s a variety of small improvements that will increase your batting average dramatically.
■ Change Your Priorities: Your calendar doesn’t lie about where your focus and priorities are, so make it clear that you value your time for the categories upon which you want to focus. Block out time for activities requiring your attention and adjust the rest of your day accordingly. The only way to accomplish goals is to force them to the top of your to-do list. Robin Sharma phrases this perfectly: “Your daily schedule reflects your deepest values.”
■ Change Your Friends: The people with whom you surround yourself heavily influence you. If you’re lacking motivation and feeling down on everything, it might be time to upgrade your sphere of influence. Negativity breeds negativity, but likewise with positivity, which is the good news. Those closest to you should be the same people who bring out your best qualities, including your mojo for life’s adventures.
Not all of these changes are easy. In fact, none of them are. They all require a forced change of habit, which can feel like an insurmountable challenge. But getting your mojo back is critical for your quality of life so it’s cause for some radical changes and the outright shattering of your own conventional wisdom.
Face it — feeling passionate and motivated every day for your work, family and self is a win for yourself and those who depend on you.