Mojo – Marshall Goldsmith (Book Summary)

“I have bones of a black cat, I have a clover with four petals, My mojo works,” says the song I’ve got My Mojo Working, which became popular thanks to the famous American bluesman Muddy Waters.

Mojo is the most important amulet in African American magic, a flannel bag in which objects with magical powers are worn.

Does your mojo help you? If not, refer to the thoughts of the coach Marshall Goldsmith and the journalist Mark Reiter, who will tell you what needs to be done to make it work again.

In this optimistic, though not too original, book on self-improvement, the word “mojo” means inner strength that fills life with meaning and positive emotions.

The author tells how to strengthen self-confidence and cope with difficult life circumstances.

This book is available as:

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How is Your Mojo Doing?

Is your mojo valid?

If so, it means that you are confidently going through life. Mojo is luck and energy, it is a spark whose light is visible to others.

For athletes, mojo means a special upsurge that helps defeat rivals.

In the definition of mojo (“joyful attitude associated with what we are doing now, which rises from the inside and glows from the outside”) the word “now” is very important.

Mojo works only at the moment, not capturing either the past or the future. Those who are completely devoid of mojo are colorless, boring, restless and embittered – and everyone around them notices it.

If in the place of mojo the web emptiness grows – “nojo” – a person considers himself a victim and is filled with bile and indignation. And people with mojo enjoy every day, look to the future with hope and do not blame fate for failure. If you have a mojo, you are lucky:

“Mojo plays an important role in our pursuit of happiness and the meaning of life because it helps to achieve very important goals: learn to love what you are doing and not be afraid to show it.”

Mojo is not issued with a birth certificate.

It needs to be grown in yourself. According to the “mojo paradox,” the natural way of human existence is to mechanically continue to do day after day what you are doing at the moment without thinking about your life. Inertia paralyzes people and hinders their personal development because any development is a violation of the established order.

To rekindle the light of your mojo, you need to have the willpower, without which change is impossible, and not deviate from the plan. It takes a constant analysis of what you are doing so you don’t slide back into old habits. Your coach or mentor can conduct such an analysis, but you yourself can learn to evaluate your actions.

Take a closer look at your daily activities by asking yourself two questions:

  1. Meaning. From the point of view of the long-term effect: what does this action have to achieve an important goal?
  2. Joy. In terms of short-term effect: does it bring joy and satisfaction?

“Many of us make one very serious mistake – we regard our“ I ”as a fixed, unchanging object.”

In this vein, you need to constantly evaluate the things that make up your life. As soon as you learn to look at the events of each day through the prism of “Sense – Joy,” you will naturally begin to strive for a more rational organization of your activities. If you have a business ahead, consider in advance whether you should start working on it.

These techniques will help you create your own internal mojo, the strength of which depends on four factors:

  1. Your personality. In order to get a light in your mojo, you first need to understand yourself. There is a connection between the achievements of a person and his work on his personality. Those who achieve success, usually purposefully build their individuality, not falling into dependence on the image of their “I”, which is formed by the people around them. Improving your personality does not have to go along the thumb road that stretches from your past. As a sculptor, carve your new self, referring to the ideal mental image.
  2. Progress. Look impartially at what you have achieved in life. Do not diminish the significance of what you have already done and what you can do in the future. By realistically evaluating your personal and professional achievements, no matter what others think of them, you will strengthen the effect of your mojo. What matters is not those results that impress others, but those heights that you yourself consider important to yourself.
  3. Reputation. If for some reason, notoriety has begun to spread about you, then your mojo will have a hard time. As you know, it’s very difficult to regain a good name – you need to do it persistently and systematically. If your colleagues have the opinion that you are always negligent in your work, then you will have to reconcile every step you take to restore your reputation. If you make one small mistake, he will outweigh the months of hard work. The fact is that there is such a psychological pattern: if someone has a reputation for hacking, then those around him will subconsciously be wary of his work and look for flaws.
  4. Reconciliation with circumstances. Learn to accept circumstances that you cannot influence. Free yourself from destructive, “toxic” emotions. Do not declare war on those who directly or indirectly caused you suffering in the past – stop mentally returning to these events and forgive the offenders. Direct your energy to what you can change, and reconcile yourself to circumstances beyond your control. Seek joy in what you are doing now, at the present moment. Do not become attached to thoughts of the past or future.

Mojo Score Card

It turns out that there are two types of mojo amulet: “professional mojo”, which manages abilities and character, and “personal mojo”, which is responsible for those personal benefits that a person receives from his activities.

The level of mojo activity depends on how your personal and professional activities affect you and how you perceive it. To understand how this level changes depending on the circumstances, create a “mojo assessment card” for yourself. Evaluate each of your classes on a scale of 1 to 10 on the ten parameters listed below.

Each lesson can get up to 100 points – 10 in each of 10 categories. By calculating the number of points for each type of activity, you will see which classes increase the strength of your mojo, and which, conversely, decrease. The first five parameters relate to the professional field,

“Do you want your children to be happy? Your parents? Your other loved ones? Are your like-minded people at work? Then start with yourself. Be happy”.

  1. Motivation. When doing this, you simply spend your time (low score) or work with passion (high score).
  2. Knowledge. If you are proficient in the skills required for this job, give it a high rating. If you feel insecure – low.
  3. Abilities. If you spend your time productively and do this work easily and with artistry, it deserves a high score.
  4. Confidence. If you have no doubt the level of your professionalism, put high scores; if you are unsure of yourself, move closer to one.
  5. Sincerity. This business will get a high score if you really like it.
  6. Joy. Appreciation will appear here if the work gives you pleasure.
  7. Reward. Is it worth taking this matter from a financial or other points of view? If yes, give a high score.
  8. Meaning. Does this activity bring you satisfaction? A positive answer will earn a high score.
  9. Growth. If this activity helps you grow, it is highly appreciated.
  10. Thanks. Are you grateful to fate for sending you this activity? Gratitude is marked by a high score, dissatisfaction – by a low.

Mojo Setup

Mojo is associated with both your personality and your life circumstances. To make your mojo stronger, sometimes you need to somehow change the first, and sometimes the second.

It is not easy to figure out which of these two aspects needs to be addressed. Use the recommendations below to determine the cause of your problems and make corrections. Then your mojo will work.

  • Determine what is important to you. What are your life aspirations? To choose a clear direction, set significant goals that will help you move forward in both professional and personal spheres.
  • Analyze your current situation. Are you happy doing your thing? Does this occupation make sense of your life? If the answer is no, then, alas, it will be practically impossible for you to maintain the power of mojo.
  • Be an optimist. In many cases, we are unable to change our lives for the better and increase the magical power of our mojo, because we give up on failure and stop working on ourselves. This can happen for several reasons: change does not come as fast as we would like; changing something in your life is always difficult; people tend to be distracted by other things all the time; at the very beginning, efforts do not bear tangible results; it suddenly begins to seem to us that the cherished goal has been achieved, and we are retiring sooner than necessary; and finally, the most important thing – any transformation requires perseverance and strict adherence to the new rules. Many become discouraged if they only step back a little from the conceived program of self-improvement. As a result, they forever abandon their plans. Do not make these mistakes. Don’t be fooled – tell yourself that change is very difficult, and look at obstacles as an integral part of the process. Count on their appearance. Do not lose hope that you will eventually overcome them – then luck will smile at you.
  • Exclude one thing. Mojo very often loses its strength when some external factor appears that at once deprives you of happiness, determination, energy, and hope. Such a factor may be your ill-wisher, whose presence unsettles you, a problem that keeps you anxious, and even exhausting daily trips to and from work. Find a way to counter such harmful influences. Take the lead with John Madden, a television reporter for the US National Football League. During the football season, his life takes place on wheels: he crosses America from end to end on his bus, which he lovingly calls the “Madden Cruiser” – this is how he eliminated the fearsome flights of airplanes from his life. If there is a goal, there is a way.
  • Replace only one old brick with a new one at a time. Restoring mojo will seem an impossible task if you constantly think about how hard work you have to do. Do not give in to these thoughts. Focus on the one change you can handle. Having implemented it, proceed to the next reform. And so step by step. Imagine your goal as a chain of achievements, recalling the words of the American writer Edgar Doctorow: “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You don’t see anything further than that area, which is illuminated by the rays of the headlights, and yet, in the end, you get where you need to. ”
  • Do not forget about your goal, even in the most ordinary situations. The famous Peter Drucker always asked his clients: “What is your mission?” Ask yourself: “What do I need to achieve and how to do this?” When you clearly define your goal, begin to move towards it in everything that you do, in each moment of time. Your goal will lay the route along which your life will rush.
  • Do not be afraid to swim in unfamiliar waters. Mastering something new will fill your mojo with miraculous power. Strive for creativity and ingenuity.
  • To leave or stay? Thinking about staying at your current job or heading to new shores is painful. The output may suggest “mojo card”. Evaluate those activities that are part of your work responsibilities, and you will understand whether you should do what you are doing now. Such a “mojo analysis” will help you determine whether you need to change – work (that is, external circumstances) or yourself.
  • Hello and goodbye. How you leave your job is just as important as how you take up a new position. If there is a threat of dismissal, develop an “early departure” strategy to prevent this unpleasant (and cast a shadow on your reputation) situation.
  • Create your own measurement system. Gather information about circumstances that adversely affect your personal and professional life. Suppose you are worried that customers are not contacting you for advice as before. Start writing down the names of those customers who called to consult with you about something. The lack of calls may indicate that in reality there is some kind of problem that is worth paying attention to.
  • Strive to nullify the time you are wasting. Studies show that most people spend completely aimlessly about 65% of the total time that they spend on communication. Make yourself keep in conversations with people from vain stories about their own successes and criticism of friends or colleagues. Use this time more fruitfully.
  • Respect for everyone. Business people always show respect and prudence in relation to their customers and customers, but for some reason, they forget that they should also be respectful to managers. Arrogance and swagger in communication with superiors often lead to a sad end.
  • Give the problem a name. To deal with a problem, she needs to be defined. Suppose that a child, having heard “no” from his father in response to his request, immediately goes to his mother to ask her the same question. This is a typical example of using the “divide and conquer” technique, which your child may also practice. Calling this trick by your name, you can put an end to your manipulation.
  • Be gentle with friends. Surely you have to put up with the ridiculous antics of your family members from time to time. Therefore, do not be too picky with friends.

Receive Help From Others

Do not hesitate to seek help from your relatives and friends – their support will increase your chances of achieving important changes in life.

Do not forget to tell your loved ones how they are dear to you and how important their presence is for you. Remember the definition of mojo: “joy that grows from within to outside.” If you radiate happiness in the presence of other people, then your mojo is in perfect order.


  • Mojo is an amulet in African American magic that gives strength.
  • In a broader sense, this is a joyful feeling from doing useful work, warming a person from the inside and manifesting in his behavior. This is a feeling of happiness, meaningfulness and fulfilling life.
  • Nojo is the opposite state of dissatisfaction and irritation.
  • Mojo does not arise by itself: it needs to be grown.
  • The power of mojo depends on four factors: individuality, achievement, a person’s reputation and his ability to reconcile with circumstances.
  • To succeed, you need to build your personality in accordance with your own ideal way, not focusing on the values of other people.
  • The “mojo assessment card” helps to measure the value of each activity in your life by 10 parameters.
  • To restore the power of mojo and find peace of mind, you need to understand what exactly needs to be changed: your “I” or life circumstances.
  • “Mojo techniques” help to cope with the problems that you are able to solve, while others take for granted.
  • You can increase the strength of your mojo yourself, but it is better to do this with the help of your family and friends.

 Why You Should Read “Mojo”

  • To catch Mojo
  • To recharge energy
  • To gain momentum and stay on track

This book is available as:

AudiobookeBook | Print