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How to Get It, How to Keep It, and How to Get It Back If You Lose It


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Is your magic inner Mojo working? Here’s how to get it happily back on track, no hoodoo required.

Editorial Rating



“I got my black cat bones all pure and dry, I got my four-leaf clovers all hanging high, I got my mojo working,” says the happy refrain of “Got My Mojo Working,” a 1956 song by Preston Foster, later made famous (with slightly different lyrics) by bluesman Muddy Waters. “Mojo” originally referred to a magical charm bag used in hoodoo, traditional African-American folk magic. The term mojo now connotes the idea of a positive life filled with meaningful activity. Is mojo working for you? If not, executive coach Marshall Goldsmith, in collaboration with author Mark Reiter, knows how you can get it going. Goldsmith, whose mojo is performing overtime, is an easy-access writer. In this cheery, if not terribly original, self-improvement book, he uses “mojo” to mean a happy sense of purpose. He tells you how to boost yours with some upbeat philosophy and good, uplifting case histories. getAbstract recommends this guidebook to anyone who seeks a reboot – and you won’t even need a four-leaf clover.


How’s Your “Mojo”?

Is your mojo working? Mojo is a sign that you’re at full speed. It’s your good fortune and drive, the element that’s working when you’re doing something optimistic and good. It’s the spark that others recognize. For athletes, mojo means being “in the zone.” It is a “positive spirit toward what we are doing now that starts from the inside and radiates to the outside.”

The elements of this definition each have meaning:

  • “Positive spirit” – Clear for all to see, it signifies “happiness and meaning.”
  • “Toward what we are doing” – This concerns the joy your activities provide.
  • “Now” – A vital distinction. Mojo is about the immediate moment, not the past or future. Great professionals with mojo exist in the here and now, fully involved in – and happy about – what they are doing at the present.
  • “That starts from the inside” – You know mojo if you have it.
  • “And radiates to the outside” – If you have mojo, others know it too. You emanate joy.

The opposite of mojo is “Nojo,” meaning “no joy.” People burdened with nojo are...

About the Authors

Executive coach Marshall Goldsmith has written 10 books and sold more than one million volumes, including his bestseller, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. Mark Reiter collaborated with Goldsmith on this book. He is also Goldsmith’s literary agent.

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