JAM with Mike

Motivation to Start Your Day!

Optimistic Thoughts

Thursday April 24, 2008

“Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society.  The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute.”

~Gil Stern

Optimism has been shown to be a key characteristic of successful, happy individuals.  Each individual has a different take on optimism.  The following thoughts on optimism are contributed by fellow JAMmer LP.  Enjoy!

You have heard the tired old adage of the glass that is either half empty or half full. George Carlin says it best, “The glass is twice as big as it needs to be.”

The definition of an optimist is someone who agrees with Voltaire, “This is the best of all possible worlds.”  A pessimist agrees.  (source unknown).

Thank you, LP, for your contribution.  Fellow JAMmers:  send in your stories, quotes, and anecdotes and they may be used in future JAMs!


April 25, 2008 Posted by | Humor | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pick the Narrator of Your Story

Tuesday April 22, 2008

“No matter where you go or what you do, you live your entire life within the confines of your head.”

~Terry Josephson

Today I will cover the 8th in this series of 8 action ideas for learning how to take action.  If you would like to refer back to any of the other action items, remember that you can access the archive of previous JAMs at https://jamwithmike.wordpress.com.

Action item #8:  Pick the narrator of your story

If you were asked to describe the “voice” of your thoughts, who would it sound like?  Is it Eeyore?  “I don’t know.  I guess I’ll take action.  If I have too.”  Change Eeyore to someone who energizes you, who can motivate you to take action.  It can be a movie star, your best friend, your spouse, someone you admire – anyone as long as they can inspire you.  Have fun with this.  Try different voices and see who motivates you.  It may sound silly, but it can really make a difference!

Your assignment:  Try out several “narrators” and find the one that truly motivates you to action.  If it is true that “you live your entire life within the confines of your head”, wouldn’t it be wise to pick the narrator of that life?

I have enjoyed sharing the 8 action ideas to help you “get up and get on with it.”  I hope you have tried some of them.  If you have, and you made some progress I would love to hear your story.  Just reply to this email and share your experience.  It might just help your fellow JAMmers!

Remember:  Learning to take action is critical to your long term success and happiness.  You are someone with incredible talents who will change your and others’ lives in so many incredible ways if you just get up and get on with it!

April 25, 2008 Posted by | intention, Take Action | , , , , , | Leave a comment

No More Analysis Paralysis!

Thursday April 17, 2008

“Chi Wen Tzu always thought three times before taking action.  Twice would have been quite enough.”


I hope that you’re finding this series of action ideas to help you “get up and get on with it” useful.  Here is the 7th of 8 action ideas to enable you to do just that.

Action item #7:  No more analysis paralysis!

You know the term.  Analysis paralysis is how we describe people who never get on with it because there is always a bit more information to gather and analyze.  Often when you are stuck and not taking action, the reason is analysis paralysis.  At some point, you have to decide you have enough information to make a decision and/or take action – and do it.  There are very few decisions that can’t be undone or redirected with a bit of effort.

Your assignment:  Think about that project you’ve been working on that is ready to go, or that decision which needs to be made.  Why aren’t you finishing the project or making the decision?  Waiting for one more data point?  One more opinion?  One more analysis?  You have enough information.  Finish the project.  Make the decision.  Get up and get on with it!

April 25, 2008 Posted by | Take Action | , , , | Leave a comment

Clean Up the Clutter!

April 15, 2008

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

 ~William Morris

Are you reading this in the office?  At home?  Take a look around your desk/work area.  Is it organized, clear of clutter, everything you need accessible and easily found?  Good for you!  Now for the rest of you:It’s time to do an office “cleanse”.

Action item #6:  Clean up the clutter!

At work and at home:  You may be one of those people who claim you need to have a cluttered workspace.  Don’t fall for that excuse!  Cleaning up your work area and removing all the clutter is essential for clear thinking and productivity.  All that clutter creates cluttered thinking.  When you clear out the clutter, you will clear your mind.

At home:  Given that today is tax day, it is likely that you have been tearing apart your work area at home finding all those receipts and preparing your return.  That tax return is on its way, so celebrate with an office cleanse and set up some better filing methods to make next year’s tax prep more efficient.

April 25, 2008 Posted by | Take Action | , , , | Leave a comment

April is National Humor Month – Celebrate!

Thursday April 10, 2008

“The man who doesn’t relax and hoot a few hoots voluntarily, now and then, is in great danger of hooting hoots and standing on his head for the edification of the pathologist and trained nurse, a little later on.”

~Elbert Hubbard

In the last JAM, I suggested taking a one-day holiday.  So, following my own advice, I am taking a break from the serious business of helping you find ways to take action.  Instead, let’s look at the recognized holidays for the month of April and the next couple of days.

(Yes, I know I took a break on April 1st too – you weren’t supposed to notice that!)

April is “Stress Awareness Month”, and “National Humor Month”, which certainly goes together perfectly, doesn’t it?

Your assignment:  Today and tomorrow, find ways to laugh out loud and reduce stress.  Here are two suggestions from Holiday Insights:

Today:  National Siblings Day

What a great way to celebrate national Humor Month!  Call your brother or sister (or someone in your life you regard as one) and share a joke, or laugh about a funny memory.

Tomorrow:  Barbershop Quartet Day

This can be a good way to both relieve stress and laugh too!  Try to find a local venue that has a barbershop quartet as the entertainment.  What a happy, carefree, way to pass some time.  Plus, these singers are usually incredibly talented.  You’ll be laughing about the experience for weeks to come.

Next JAM:  Action item #6 to help you “get up and get on with it.”

April 12, 2008 Posted by | Humor, JAM with Mike | , | Leave a comment

Take a Holiday!

Tuesday April 8, 2008

“A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.”

 ~Robert Orben

You might find this one a bit controversial.  It is an alluring concept, but it is quite hard to actually do it. 

Action item #5:  Take a Holiday!

Your assignment:  Take an unscheduled day off – the whole day.  Certainly do it in accordance to your company’s attendance policies, blah, blah, blah…  But:  Make it happen.  Do nothing having to do with work or “normal” household chores.  Do something you love to do that is good for you:  spa treatments, go to a ball game, volunteer at your kids’ school, take a one day art or self-improvement course at the local adult education facility, etc.  

Amazingly, the world will not shut down if you do this.  But you will come back the next day rejuvenated and prepared to take action once again.  Your productivity will be increased and much higher than if you had just stayed on the treadmill another day.  Try it!

April 12, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Distractions be gone!

Thursday April 3, 2008

“You can always find a distraction if you’re looking for one.”

~ Tom Kite

I hope you enjoyed Tuesday’s humor quotes and that you’re enjoying this series of action ideas to help you “get up and get on with it”. 

Remember:  Learning to take action is critical to your long term success and happiness.  You are someone with incredible talents who will change your and others’ lives in so many incredible ways if you just get up and get on with it!  Here is the fourth of 8 action ideas to enable you to do just that.

Action item #4:  Distractions be gone!

Unless we are really turned on and passionate about a project, we are likely to seek out distractions that can serve as excuses for not taking action.  I do it, you do it, we all do it.  But if we allow it to continue, we’ll never get on to the actions that will get us what we truly desire.

Your assignment:  Eliminate the things you find yourself doing that distract you from taking action.  This will include things like TV, excessive computer time, books, etc. Eliminating distractions will create a bit of a vacuum – your mind will want to find something to do.  If those distractions are gone, you will be more inclined to take action on the things you want or need to do.

April 12, 2008 Posted by | JAM with Mike, Take Action | , , | Leave a comment

Use Humor to Break Through

Tuesday April 1, 2008 #23

 “Humor is the affectionate communication of insight.”

~ Leo C. Rosten

In honor of April Fool’s Day, I will break from our series of action ideas to help you “get up and get on with it” – well, sort of.  As I began writing today’s JAM, I planned on sharing with you 6 quotes on humor.  I am still going to do that.  However, I realized that the use of humor can be one of the best tools we have to “get up and get on with it.”

With affection, I share with you the insight of today’s action item:  Use humor to break through

Your assignment:  Read through the 6 humor quotes (1 above and 5 below).  Ponder them a bit and find a way to use one or more of them to alter your thinking just enough to push yourself into action on one of your key goals.

For example: 

I think the next best thing to solving a problem is finding some humor in it.” ~ Frank A. Clark

Action:  Determine an obstacle to taking action, find some humor in it, and break through!

Here are four more humor quotes.  Enjoy them, enjoy April Fool’s Day and…SMILE!

“Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.” ~ Francis Bacon

“A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs — jolted by every pebble in the road.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

“This I conceive to be the chemical function of humor: to change the character of our thought.” ~ Lin Yutang

“Humor is perhaps a sense of intellectual perspective: an awareness that some things are really important, others not; and that the two kinds are most oddly jumbled in everyday affairs.” ~ Christopher Morley

April 12, 2008 Posted by | Humor, JAM with Mike, Take Action | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment