Understanding the Mojo element of Acceptance from Marshall Goldsmith

This is the fifth and last article in the series of five articles. In the last four articles, we had first discussed the MOJO concept as explained by Marshall Goldsmith, in his book MOJO and explained it in the context of our real world. The second, third and fourth articles dealt with the elements of MOJO, namely, identity, Recognition, and Reputation. In this article, we will deal with the Mojo element of Acceptance, as explained by Marshall Goldsmith.


When we talk about MOJO, we need to accept that the elements of Identity, Recognition, and Reputation as explained in the earlier articles do have a good deal of relevance to each of us. We need to have our own Mojo moments in life. To once again bring Mojo into focus, according to the author, Mojo is that positive spirit toward what we are doing now that starts from the inside and radiates to the outside". To any individual, it can mean a big Aha! moment, and to our kith and kin, it can make a huge difference in terms of pride and happiness as well.

In this article, we will deal with the Mojo element of acceptance. As usual, we will draw particular references from the text and then anchor them in the context of practical situations in our day-to-day lives. While doing so, we will be able to understand how Mojo plays a major role in our success as human beings.

Let us take one very significant quote on acceptance. The author keeps on stressing the need for each of us to accept things as they are. We should not keep on brooding over the past or worry about the uncertain future. It is in this context that acceptance becomes very important. He says accepting the present as extremely important and goes on to add "It's not because I need to convert people to my way of thinking. It's because worrying about the past and being anxious about the future can easily destroy our Mojo. It upsets us emotionally. It clouds our judgment. It fills us with regret. And it can lead to self-punishment. This sort of thinking afflicts the high and the low, the rich and the poor, the achievers and the struggling. "(page 81)

Mojo moments are always focussed on the here and now. This has been discussed in the three earlier articles as well, beginning with 1understanding identity as element of mojo, then acheivement learning and what it means for mojo, and
understanding the mojo element of reputation

From the aforesaid three articles, it is easy to appreciate the importance of the present context with particular reference to the three elements of identity, achievement, and reputation, for our Mojo moments. It is in this context, as explained above, that our acceptance of the present is very important.

In this article, we will discuss a) The magnitude of the here and now for Mojo b) Getting ahead with acceptance of reality and c) Learning how to constantly use acceptance for success.

The magnitude of the here and now for Mojo

As already explained by Marshall Goldsmith, we can easily transition to experiencing far better Mojo moments, when we concentrate on the here and now. As explained in the aforesaid quote, it makes us biased and we are upset emotionally. Let us take a simple example. The father had a nasty spat with his boss at 4 PM the previous day. He ventilates all the anger at his wife when he gets home late in the night, after another three rounds of meetings that also did not go well. He is a Senior Production Manager with two daughters. The elder one is already nine years old. She would understand her father's tensions. The younger one is just four and had just brought a notebook with the teacher's praise written on it. The child just expected a pat on the back. But the father was still brooding over the last day's spat with the boss and still feeling miserable. Worse, his mind was wondering how he could give it back to him. He just pushes the daughter away saying " am too busy, don't disturb me now". The child rushes out crying to the mother, who is so busy preparing the breakfast and is getting ready to go to her office as well. It is just that she has the luxury of boarding the metro train a little later. But the journey time is a neat 45 minutes. The mother says "honey, I will look at it in the evening, okay?".

The child is upset totally that either parent is not caring. Life is full of such examples. If the father had only forgotten the spat the moment he left office, his response in the situation could have been different. It could have been his Mojo. Which was not to be. We need to accept current realities as they are and then move on.

Getting ahead with acceptance of reality

This is nothing but the continuation of the previous point. It is so essential that we accept reality as it is. For example, have we not seen people who grumble when it rains very heavily? Yes, our schedules for the day might get a little off-target, but rain is such a natural thing. Without rain, we will have no drinking water. We will have droughts. We will face a scarcity of vegetables and fruits and even rice. So, one thing leads to another. In life, it is always that we need to sacrifice something to achieve something. This is very true and we need to understand that accepting the rain is the simplest way of preserving our identity, our recognition and our achievements, our other Mojo elements and developing them further.

To take one fabulous example. M.S. Dhoni would never show his emotions on the field. A gentle scare would tell it all. His cool exterior is the cause of his superior Mojo. His acceptance of current realities, particularly in the IPL has made Chennai Super Kings the best team in the history of IPL.

Learning how to constantly use acceptance for success

In our Indian way of life, with spirituality being a binding force, it is quite easy to understand the relevance of acceptance as an element of Mojo. For instance, it is possible to find many people singing in the temples, at least for thirty continuous minutes. They do it with such dedication and devotion. One can easily see it on their faces. Their contentment and their oneness with the Divine would be so visible and clear for all to see.

This is that particular lady's Mojo moment. She had accepted her life as it is. She had prayed to God for something that is so personal, but the fact that she had left everything to the Lord does make a huge difference. Yes, all our efforts do make sense as what our Bhagwad Gita, the greatest scripture of Indian culture, teaches us. We just need to do our best and leave the rest to God. Lord Krishna did not preach that we sit idle and pray that we win one crore in the lottery ticket. He had merely said that we need to do all hard work, but the fruits of such hard work will automatically come if the process is right. This is the crux of the whole message. Look at how hundreds of thousands of people accept their present condition and try to always do something far better, given the present circumstances. The author merely tells us that our present efforts are very important.

Let us learn to do this continuously and we will be able to see the benefits of a better Mojo in each of us. And when we do that, we will become far better human beings. Our Mojo will become so perfect that we will start seeing more meaning in whatever we do at any point in time.


All that we need to do in any current situation is to accept the reality as it is. The aforesaid discussion was centered just around that. When we start doing the small things, the big things will automatically fall in place and our better Mojo will make us far better human beings at any point in time. Let us practice acceptance as art right now and move on with our lives.


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