Mojo, phone home! Even in the best of times, motivation can be difficult to find, maintain or sustain. Thus, it can be understandable that it may be downright elusive or flighty these days, during a global pandemic. I hear from colleagues, clients, student-athletes, and friends about the up and down days, the ebbs and flows of energy, and about the temporary loss of motivation….where did my “mojo” go?
In case your motivation dips a bit or seems to disappear, here are three tips for how to regain, maintain or sustain it:
1. MOVE. Yes, move around!
The word “motivation” actually comes from Latin roots and the word “movere” to move. So motivation literally contains movement, and when we are motivated, we typically move towards things we want. If we have lost our motivation, maybe plain old movement can help bring it back. Physical activity is a known antidote to stress, and a key ingredient for healthy lifestyle, and building resilience. Get up, get moving, which could clear your head, release helpful neurotransmitters, grow new brain cells, strengthen neuronal pathways, improve memory and sleep, and a whole bunch of other good stuff!
2. Connect with your PURPOSE.
There are many ways to work on connecting with purpose, and however you prefer, and whether you call it your why, your ikigai, your values, or your North Star, you need to connect to it regularly. When we are clear about our purpose it gives us drive, and releases energy. And energy is the key to movement. With a full tank, we are more able to move in the direction of our purpose. Energy towards purpose looks like motivation to me! It is okay to be where you are, it is just not okay to stay there. Sometimes in the midst of a lot of noise, we may lose sight of our purpose or find it hard to see a path forward. That is why breathing and meditation can be helpful – to slow down and reconnect, both to ourselves and to our greater purpose. When we quiet the noise, be still, and really listen, we can hear a lot!
3. Use your TEAM.
Relationships are the secret sauce of life. As you may know, social networks keep us healthier, happier and thriving. Connections fuel us and this fuel helps us move, and helps us stay on purpose. If you have ever been on a sports team, think about how you were there for your teammates, helping them shake off mistakes, disappointing performances, or getting through tough times. Think about how your teammates have been there for you. My college tennis team has a group text that we use almost daily, and we are there for each other through injuries, surgeries, loss of parents, children’s heartaches and heart breaks, graduations, and, lately through Covid testing. It is nice to know that our teammates have our backs. When I’m feeling like I’m starting to slog, I reach out to a teammate to connect and get re-energized. The power of the connection is like fuel, and I can literally feel my energy change after a real, authentic conversation. Filled with “relational fuel,” I feel more ready to move, or take actions that are aligned with my purpose.
For me, movement, connection to purpose, and the power of team are three of my ‘go to’s’ whenever my ‘mojo’ is a ‘no go.’