Mojo.  An absolute fantastic word that is truly difficult to define.  You could go with what our good friends at Merriam-Webster and say it is:

a magic spell, hex, or charm; broadly : magical power <works his mojo on the tennis court>

That’s pretty good… not great, but a fairly solid B on the grading scale of life.

I tend to think of mojo more from the Dr. Evil definition from Austin Powers:

Austin Powers always defeats me because he has mojo… The libido . The life force. The essence. The right stuff . What the French call a certain I-don’t-know-what.

Granted that seems rather vague, but the vagueness is the beauty of it all in the end.  Mojo is the juice that gets you going and excited about life.  It’s passion, but with a bit of a funky twist.

Mojo has been on my mind of late, mostly because I have had a loss of it for a variety of reasons.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not exactly all-world when it comes to dealing with change, but despite that fact, life has given me a bit of it over the last year or so.  Funny how life works like that – you would think it would just listen to my wise counsel on how things would go, but apparently not.  Slowly but surely, I woke up to find myself just not quite feeling it… and that’s really the problem with losing your mojo.  It’s not as if you are struck by a blinding white light like Saul on the road to Damascus, but it’s more of a slow creep that nibbles away bit by bit when you lose your vigilance.

Heck, a prime example of my mojo loss was this very blog that means quite a bit to me.  I had to go back and look at it today to see when my last update occurred… February 28th.  Yeesh.  But I was just not feeling the inspiration or the muse to make this blog happen… so today, I decided “Aww screw this” and sat down to write the words you read this very moment.

But let me be crystal clear in my view of the loss of mojo… it doesn’t happen because of what life does to you.  Not at all.  It happens because of how you respond to what life throws at you.dwight-gooden(2)

For instance, let’s say life went all circa 1985 Doc Gooden on you by throwing you a  major curveball – the kind that no one alive is going to be able to deal with well.  Break-up.  Job loss.  Illness of a loved one.  Those things are certainly going to drop you in your tracks for sure and any of those scenarios takes a lot of time, effort, patience and faith to pull through.  In that sense, no one on earth should expect someone dealing with anything like that to immediately bounce up and say, “Well dagnabbit all!  Life is all about how I respond and not allowing anything to be done to me!  I think I’ll go watch Mary Poppins and whistle a happy tune!”

But at some point in that coping process, it becomes a lot less about whatever happened and all about how you respond to it.  For bigger life changes, that period is longer and you shouldn’t beat yourself up for not bouncing back like a damn superball.  You cannot be low forever.  You cannot mourn for an eternity.  You cannot go all Brian Wilson and lock yourself away in your house for years while wearing a bathrobe as your fashion statement on a daily basis.

Which is why I love this Nike commercial so much:

Because it’s about at least pushing yourself to see how quick you’re gonna get up.

As always, the words I write in this blog do not come from a place where I am sitting idly back and pronouncing forth how I think everyone else should live because I have it all figured out.  I write this because it is equally a challenge to myself to do more, to be better and… in this case… to reclaim my mojo.  I just hope detailing some elements of my own personal fight gives hope or insight or even just a sliver of amusement to those who read this.

So to end it all, I give you the example of Sylvester Stallone.  No, seriously.  While Sly makes for a very easy target these days, it helps to think back to his earliest days before he was a big star.  Why?  Because in spite of everything he faced and all the hurdles in his way, he kept his mojo working against a Fat Bastard world that was seeking to sap it all from him.  Listen as Tony Robbins tells the story of Rocky:

Mojo – use it or lose it, people.  It’s far easier to keep than to reclaim.  I let it slip and now I’m working hard to get it back.

Cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war.

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