Ooops, have you lost your mojo? Is something feeling off or missing inside?
HOW AM I GOING TO GET MY MOJO BACK?
To examine the question we have to examine the backstory. What have you accomplished? Where are you really, today?
It is very all-american to find a mojo, however in other countries when you spend time with people working in the arts, they don’t take a “mojo-based” approach to creating anything. This is because the focus isn’t on themselves, it’s on their creations.
Is there something wrong with not having a mojo? No. It’s human to lose inspiration and energy because it isn’t naturally sustainable. The key is creating in spite of the tidal current.
You try to get yourself to do things as self-manipulation because you said you would, you’d let yourself down. Or the truth of the matter is you’re complacent, so you attempt to create enough of a conflict to force action.
Why would you do things that you hate? You do anyway because you really want the outcome it serves. Writers and musicians don’t play only on days when they’re “feeling it.” Amateurs only do it when the stars are right or when they’re in the flow. Professionals do it because it’s a creative habit.
My dad being an actor on Broadway, night after night the show goes on. When the curtain goes up and he’s on, dad is at the top of his game. It’s not about being inspired, or circumstances, it’s about knowing how to bring something into being. People that are really good at what they do, and know what they’re doing don’t need determination. Their eye is on their skills and coming by the honestly, instead of how they feel or what they think about themselves (their identity).
Talent is what you start with, not what you end with. Even people who are less gifted than others have created incredible careers.
What have you been able to do? What are the actual abilities and/or inabilities you currently possess?
Self-knowledge is about self-honesty. Confidence arises from being true to yourself. When you say what is true about what you have, or have done, or not done, you have a better starting point to gauge what you need to learn. Knowing where you are compared to what you want makes learning essential.
The armature and engine of the creative process is structural tension. Something in the structure itself when current reality and the desired outcome are different, is inclined naturally to seek resolution. This becomes an underlying structure itself which according to nature’s laws moves to advance energy where it’s most likely to go.
I intend to talk more about vision to the people I coach, not problems. Problem solving is a take-over approach when vision is absent, or not the predominant creative force that govern decisions. Becoming more outcome-oriented rather than problem-driven is like Jacques Cousteau. The core vision and true love of nature drove his environmental conversation leadership decisions. Problem solving structures lead to burnout, while creating out of love for creations lead to lasting enthusiasm, renewal, and momentum. Removing unwanted conditions is not creating desired ones.
As Robert Frost said, “I never try to worry anybody into intelligence.” Out of love and desire for a creation the effort to create is brought forth by what we want to create for its own sake, because we care. What matters becomes the core source of motivation for creating. However, we don’t become leaders based on our vision, we become leaders based on our skills.
The creative process has created all the arts, technology, science, and we don’t think of our lives itself as the subject matter of the creative process. But we can shift our focus to a creator-creation separation to create our life building process. In creating, what matters is how well you create what you create. It doesn’t need belief as a reason why some people are successful or not. How good you are at creating the outcomes you want tells the tale.
Reward-based motivation is not outcome-based motivation. When you focus on rewards, you make decisions on what is easier, and getting satisfaction. This explains why all to often leaders cop-out early on, and lower their visions. They feel frustration and setbacks that are normal during the process, and instead govern their actions by emotional tension instead of structural tension.
When we grow up with an abundance of visible resources we are susceptible to entitlements that haven’t been earned. We lack the resourcefulness and tolerance with the intestinal fortitude to go the distance. Coupled with the American fetish for self-improvement, we take things way too personally, operating from something wrong with us. And when identity is dominant, we can’t use failures as assets, instead discouragement leads to compromising vision and mediocrity. We look to feelings of inspiration, motivation, and confidence to steer us, rather than taking a long term outlook and approach to experimentation and learning. Instead, we can learn to work from structural tension, by knowing the skills we actually have in comparison to what we really want, as the primary organizing force to learning, making strategic choices, and building capacity.
You may be talented in many ways, but nothing in the rulebook says you must use them. You choose what matters to you, and decide where to put your attention (or not).
Talent is overrated, deep, iteratively repeated action at something that leads to capacity building which moves toward the outcome you seek to create. The key is always knowing where you actually are compared to where you want to be. This includes your imperfections and competencies as a point of reference baseline. Having this as a starting point in relationship to where you want to be becomes the pivotal force in bringing creations you love into reality.
If you’ve lost your mojo, do the following:
Get out a white piece of paper.
Ask: “What do I want to create?” Describe it, be true to your desired conditions.
Ask: “Describe where I am now in relationship to this?” Be honest – good, bad, ugly, be accurate. Just news, not editorial.
Then: “What is my first set of steps or actions?” This gets you to make decisions. These are guesses that you will gain clarity from action.
You learn best by doing, not setting and getting everything ready to be just right.
Creating can be a way of life. Happiness is the boobie prize of creating what matters to you.