Get back your missing mojo in 5 easy steps

Get back your missing mojo in 5 easy steps

By Sid Madge, Meee

What a twelve months it’s been. And there is still a while to go before we get back to something approximating the days before home schooling became a thing. It is little wonder that it can feel more challenging than it used to be to access our internal motivation or mojo. But so much of what we feel is actually a decision, albeit often an unconscious one.

A quick chat with ancient Greek and/or Roman philosophers would reveal that this isn’t a new idea. A great deal of the science around positive psychology and happiness 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.


  • ABC

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 – including oodles of mojo.

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 or 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 our patience stumbles at the twenty-seventh again! (other kiddie tropes are available), does that mean we are bad parents, or does it mean that we are just a bit tired? Practise your ABCs.

  • 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. If we have had a bit too much of the kids’ lockdown baking and we need to get in shape, we might decide to run 10K straight out the blocks or perhaps to dedicate a fortnight’s exercise to sprinting as fast as we can. This strategy is the worst thing we can do. Instead, start small and aim to be 1% better tomorrow than you are today. This approach is much more viable and is much more likely to produce the desired effect, as long as we remain consistent.

  • Decide to be Happy

In Michael Singer’s book The Untethered Soul, he asks: 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. Some folk revel in being 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.

  • What is it NOT?

If you are struggling to find your mojo and you’ve checked down the back of the couch and it’s definitely not there, then a good way to track it down is to work out what it’s not. Like so much about our life, the outcome is massively influenced by our state of 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. If it’s easier, consider what DOES NOT make you happy. The two are inextricably linked.

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. 

  • Gratitude Ritual

One of the most powerful mind tricks that I employ each day is the gratitude ritual. I’m not perfect at it and I don’t always remember to do it, but the idea is to start and end the day with three things that I’m grateful for.

Consider tacking the process onto an existing habit so you don’t forget. For example, as you are brushing your teeth night and morning, think of three things you are grateful for in your life. Try to come up with different things rather than the same few each time. This isn’t ticking boxes on a Tesco or Morrisons delivery list. Really connect to that gratitude as an emotion. Remember, it’s not happy people who are grateful, but grateful people who are happy.

All of these ‘micro-moment’ suggestions are focused on changing your meaning or choosing a better frame or belief through which to view the circumstances of your life.  Things are really challenging for a lot of people right now, but we need to stay motivated and positive. Making these little changes to your thinking can make a huge difference and allow us greater and more consistent access to our mojo.




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.