07 December 2015 15:16:03 IST

The role of acceptance in fixing your Mojo

Don’t fall prey to the "I-will-be-happy-when-I-achieve-X" syndrome

Having read about ‘mojo’ in the last few columns, this article will focus on the last component of mojo: acceptance.

This may sound philosophical, but this is critical to gaining and sustaining our ‘mojo’.

The main tenant of this is: changing what we can, and letting go of what we cannot change.

Dr Goldsmith brings up an interesting aspect of life which he calls the ‘Great Western Disease’. This disease affects anyone who says or thinks the phrase: “I’ll be happy when…….” And then you fill in the blank.

These are some of the common expectations:

> I’ll be happy when I have a million dollars in the bank

> I’ll be happy when we can move into a bigger house

> I’ll be happy when the kids graduate

> I’ll be happy when I retire

> I’ll be happy when I lose twenty pounds

> I’ll b happy when the mortgage is paid off

Well, the list of what will make us happy can be endless. Seldom do we realise that this is an illusion. This is actually a disease because we believe that achieving a goal will somehow make us happy. What we miss out is that the goal line will constantly move slightly beyond our reach. What this leads us to do is either worry excessively about the past or fill our lives with anxiety about the future.

And both can potentially destroy our mojo. So beware.

Projecting on others

It bothers us even more when we believe someone caused us that misery of missing our goal, or desire.

And we build up our anger against that person. In reality, this leads to us becoming miserable. When we are angry, we are perhaps punishing ourselves, not anyone else. By carrying around anger and negative baggage, we actually weigh ourselves down. In such a case, we limit our opportunities to find meaning and happiness. We inadvertently kill our Mojo.

Toxic emotions

Acceptance is the element that liberates us from such toxic emotions. Next time, you miss a goal or a desire and feel angry at someone who has disappointed you, ask yourself who is making you feel upset, angry or crazy. We will get around to the answer that it is we who make ourselves upset. By focusing on acceptance, we are no way avoiding change.

On the other hand, we would be changing what we can and “let go” of what we cannot change.

Raising acceptance quotient

How do we raise our acceptance quotient and thereby our mojo? First, we learn to influence our environment. Most of us are great sales people influencing our external customers, but do not pay attention to influencing internally. If we start treating our boss as a customer, we will start applying this skill on influencing him.

Second, we name it, frame it and claim it. If we want to improve our understanding of a situation, let us give it a name. It just can be a strategy (to achieve our goal), or a colleague’s behaviour that catches us off guard. Naming helps us learn, make sense of the situation and take control. We actually do it often even without realising we do.

It helps us to dramatically improve our understanding of the world around us. It is basically an exercise in observation and judgment.

Mojo is all about recognising our identity, achievement, reputation and acceptance.

To read more from the From the Coach section, click here .