JAM with Mike

Motivation to Start Your Day!

Private Sacrifices

Thursday July 12, 2018 #984

“Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them.” 

~Vaibhav Shah


We are fooled constantly into believing that the successful athletes, entertainers, and leaders we admire, achieve what they achieve because they are uniquely gifted with skills and attributes we can only dream of. We convince ourselves that we can never be like our heroes because we lack their natural gifts. This is a huge falsehood.

Virtually all of these “gifted” people achieved their status and level of achievement through years and years of focused skill building, practice, failures, practice, experience, practice, and more practice! Their “secret” is not merely their natural talent, but rather their determination to do what is necessary to be one of the best at their chosen talent or vocation.

If you aspire to be among the best in your chosen field, and you have at least rudimentary talent, the only question is the level of commitment you are willing to make. Commitment, focused practice, and perseverance to get us through the many times we will fail, will allow any of us to rise to a high level of competency, if not reaching the elite level.

Do you want to reach a competitive level in your chosen sport, or musical/artistic talent? Do you want to be the best possible leader or parent? Are you ready to commit? To persevere? To practice? Go for it!

October 4, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Beating Procrastination

Tuesday July 10, 2018 #983

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” 

~Pablo Picasso


This dramatic quote underscores the strategic importance of building our ability to avoid procrastinating on taking action on our critical few goals. Effectiveness begins with have clarity on our most important personal and professional goals, as well as the urgent tasks which may or may not have anything to do with our critical few.

Not everything on our to-do list needs to be accomplished today. However, the actions we plan to take to move forward on those goals which hold the most meaning for us must be prioritized. We can’t allow other people’s priorities or daily distractions to get in the way of what is most important.

Your task is to first clearly define your critical few goals. Second, to write down your daily task list, prioritizing those tied to your high level goals. Third, to attack the priorities first, while of course managing the required urgent tasks of the day as well as making time for family and colleagues.

Yes, it is a lot to manage. But when we are clear on what is most important, and we start our day focused on these actions, it is amazing how we are able to find the time to deal with urgencies and people, while still making progress on what is most important.

October 4, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

The Habit of Excellence

Thursday July 5, 2018 #982

“You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”



This is one of the oldest and truest quotes. People who are excellent at their particular craft didn’t wake up one day with that high level skill set. They worked on it. Every day, through distractions, failures, and naysayers. They do this over long periods of time – sometimes decades, until one day they show up in our awareness as the world-class athlete, the accomplished artist or musician, the brilliant leader.

In what arena do you want to show up in our awareness as “excellent”? The answer to how to get there is clear: build the habits necessary to focus your energy and effort to what is necessary to achieve excellence.

October 4, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

The Pursuit of Perfection

Tuesday July 3, 2018 #981

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less-than-perfect conditions. So what? Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident, and more and more successful.” 

~Mark Victor Hansen


For most of my life, this quote’s idea has been a mantra that allowed me to push forward when my natural mindset is to seek perfection. I learned long ago that taking action, even when not perfectly prepared and without perfect circumstances, in no way detracts from my quest for perfection.

We all know objectively that perfection is unattainable. However, I believe passionately that in the pursuit of perfection, we create amazing results that would not be possible if we’d only reached for “good enough”.

Key to the pursuit of perfection is taking action when you’re not completely ready. When we do this, we learn, we grow, we develop, we gain allies, we create the foundation for the next step and the next. In other words, we reach our potential only when we act despite not being ready.

What are you waiting on because you don’t think you’re ready? What action can you take right now to get going anyway?

October 4, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

One Person Makes a Difference

Thursday June 28, 2018 #980

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”

~Helen Keller


This beautiful quote has always been a favorite. The simplicity and the challenge of her message says that no matter what gifts or resources we possess, all of us are capable of doing something to make our families, our communities, our organizations, and ourselves a little bit better than if we did nothing.

Yes, I am only one. You are only one. But if each of us does one thing today to provide a bit of positive energy to someone or something, we can make at least a small difference. And maybe something much larger. If we possess character, what we cannot do is do nothing. Over 3,000 people read JAM with Mike globally. Imagine if all of us made a difference every day.

What will you do today?

June 30, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment


Tuesday June 26, 2018 #979

“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”

~Winston Churchill


We all tend to waste time away from what we are meant to be doing, and to be achieving, distracted by innumerable “barking dogs”. These distractions come in many forms: mobile devices, TV, “other people’s problems”, being drawn into negative or gossipy dialogue, and at times our own laziness. While not all of these can be avoided, if you are serious about living to your purpose and achieving what you are capable of doing, you must focus your attention on those actions that move you forward,

This does not mean maniacally doing nothing but work or altruistic and purpose-driven activities. We must also allow time for reflection and relaxation and renewal. But these too can and must be purposeful to maximize your potential.

To begin, pay attention to what is distracting you. Decide with courage and purpose to allow the distraction or to ignore it and remain focused on your intended actions. Over time, you will become better able to manage your attention and focus. It is worth the effort!

June 30, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 1 Comment

Choose Courage Over Comfort

Thursday June 21, 2018 #978

“To stay truly alive, we need to choose courage over comfort so that we keep growing, climbing, and challenging ourselves, and that means not getting stuck thinking we’ve found heaven when we’re simply sitting on the nearest plateau.”

~Susan A. David, PhD


As you travel on your journey of life, you will sometimes find yourself in a time of comfort where you have achieved goals you set out to achieve and are feeling pretty happy with things. When these times occur, there are two important things to consider:

  1. Reflect on the moment and what has been achieved, give yourself credit for your own strength and talents (without arrogance), and be grateful for all those who helped you along the way. Take time to thank people as well as to celebrate and feel the positive emotions that achievement can bring.
  2. DON’T STOP MOVING FORWARD! Despite how good this moment may feel, you must keep pushing yourself to take everything that you’ve learned to this point and apply it to new goals, aspirations, people to help and things to achieve. The world never stops moving forward, so what you’ve achieved today will not keep you successful and content for long. This is merely a plateau on which to gather your strength and courage to ascend to the next part of your life’s mission.

Life is a journey that only ends when we die. You’re still alive, truly alive – keep moving! Choose courage over comfort.

June 23, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Being Present Today

Tuesday June 19, 2018 #977

“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.”

~Bill Watterson


I am thrilled to present a guest JAM from new JAMmer ZC. Her observation is excellent and I hope you find the inspiration from her JAM to take some time today to reflect on your day, what you are grateful for, and pushing yourself intentionally to ‘be in the moment’ so as not to miss the many daily miracles around you.  Here is Z’s submission in its entirety:

 Here’s a contribution to the collective storytelling, truth nuggets, wisdom revealing circle of life of JAM with Mike. I love stories and I love the act of people sharing their wisdom with others, so we can grow together.

Often times, our goals and the next steps to reach them take over our daily lives to such extent that we forget to appreciate and truly live for today. In between the sprint towards the next agenda item and today’s both planned and unforeseen happenings, there is a gorgeous sunset, a child’s smile, a stranger’s kindness and our own courage to show up for our lives, right here, right now, never to be discounted.

For thousands of years, people across various backgrounds, ethnicity, age, and gender have been asking for the simplest of things. “Give us our daily bread” in the Lord’s Prayer caught my attention the other day. Why not ask for tomorrow’s big feast? Because all we really want is to enjoy today. And today can be simple and beautiful if only we paused for a moment to enjoy what is in front of us right now.

Honor yourself and those present in your day whether at work or at home by honoring today.

3 simple strategies to honor today:

 1)    Start your day with writing down three things you are grateful for and what would make today great (2 minutes)

 2)    End your day with writing down three amazing things that happened today and what could have gone better (2 minutes)

 3)    Throughout the day, as challenging situations arise ask yourself “Am I authentically me in this moment”? (10 seconds)

 Many thanks,


Thank you Z, for this inspiring JAM!

I’m spending some time today to follow the 3 strategies above. How about you?

June 23, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Focus on Impact

Thursday June 14, 2018 #976

Focus on money and we will make money. Focus on impact and we will make an impact.”

~Simon Sinek


Most of us work in the for-profit sector. Our internal and external stakeholders depend on us to contribute to the sustainable profitability of the organization. However, how we go about making profit is a choice. We can make money for money’s sake, or we can make money to make a positive impact.

Today, employees expect their organizations to be providing a positive impact on all stakeholders, as well as the communities and environment in which we operate. In your organization, is it clear what impact is made by the company’s success? If so, what can you do to increase that impact? If not, what can you do to help lead a discussion to define the purpose of your organization in a way that motivates high engagement and a drive for making a positive impact.

If you are the titled leader, make purpose and impact the foundation of your drive for sustainable profitability. I you are not the titled leader, you can still lead a push to talk up the impact your company is making, or lead the effort to define the impact. In either case, make a positive difference to make your workplace one that focuses on impact vs. just money.

June 23, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Lead With Conviction

Tuesday June 12, 2018 #975

“One man with conviction will overwhelm a hundred who have only opinions.”

~Winston Churchill


One of the most important elements of an effective leader is the ability to commit to a course of action, and champion that decision with conviction. I watch many leaders with good intentions hesitate, afraid to make a decision, particularly when there are many competing opinions on the direction to take.

While it is important for you as a leader to take the time to listen and be open to dissenting opinions, at some point you must make the call. The speed at which the decision must be made depends of course on the circumstances. If one of your team members is capable and accountable, let them decide and then support them. But if it is a decision that is yours to make, gather the opinions of your team and then decide quickly and with conviction.

Your team needs you to be clear with the objectives this decision will support, open to listening to alternative potential solutions, and then decisive and firm in the direction you decide.

June 23, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment