How to Bring Back Furloughed Mojo

Businesses of all shapes and shades are facing a variety of challenges. Some have extra red tape to deal with, some have pandemic restrictions to adapt around, some have Amazon lurking too close for comfort. In these times that are a-changing, it can feel more difficult to access your internal motivation or mojo. But so much of what we feel is actually a decision, albeit often an unconscious one. 

Ancient wisdom indicated as much, and these early ideas—going back to Greek and Roman philosophy—have been confirmed by modern knowledge. A great deal of the science around positive psychology and happiness, for example, 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. 

Make the right choice

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. 

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 from a client or a change in trading, or some other situation, take a moment to notice what you’ve made it mean. If you lose a customer, does that mean that your business model is useless or does it mean you need to make improvements? What we make something mean is not the only meaning on offer.

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. This strategy is the worst thing we can do. Instead, start small and aim to be a little better tomorrow than you are today. 

Take a moment to consider one thing you would like to change and focus on improving that by 1% every day. This approach is much more viable and is much more likely to produce the desired effect.

Decide to be Happy

In Michael Singer’s The Untethered Soul, he asks a really great question. 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. We all know people who seem to be most content when they are 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?

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. 

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 you can employ is the gratitude ritual. The idea is to start and end your day with three things that you are grateful for. Do you have a particularly lovely customer? Does your team support each other? Is there a part of the working week that doesn’t feel like work? Try to come up with different things rather than the same few each time. And don’t just list them. Really connect to each 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 business. Making these little changes to your thinking can make a huge difference. It’s those tiny little changes that add up to the changes we want to see and allow us greater and more consistent access to our mojo. Things are really challenging for a lot of people right now, but we need to stay motivated and positive.


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.