JAM with Mike

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Value this moment

Thursday January 22, 2009 #89

“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.”
~James Oppenheim

We too often focus all or most of our efforts on activities to reach some goal or “prize” in the distant future.  A simple reminder here to remember to value where you are at this moment, the people around you and the opportunity every second offers to experience joy.  The choice is always yours.


January 25, 2009 Posted by | Gratitude, Happiness | , | Leave a comment

Success advice from Jewel

Thursday January 15, 2009 #88

“No longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from.” 

 ~ Jewel. From the song: “Life Uncommon”

Frequent contributor MD shares today’s quote from singer, songwriter and sometimes poet, Jewel.  The quote speaks well to us as we seek to improve ourselves by giving up certain habits and behaviors that do not contribute to our success path.  The habits that are the most difficult to end are those we are emotionally attached to – negatively attached, but attached nonetheless.  We spend too much time thinking about the habit we want to stop, rather than focusing on a replacement behavior.  

Today’s action plan:  Pick a replacement behavior for that habit you want to break.  Focus on that new behavior.  Imagine yourself experiencing fully the benefits of that new behavior.  Then, do it!  Again and again.  Only be repeatedly acting in the new way, will it become your new habit.

January 25, 2009 Posted by | Goal Setting, intention, Success, Take Action | , , | Leave a comment

Happy New Year!

Thursday January 1, 2009 Happy New Year! #87

“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.”

 ~Ellen Goodman

This quote mirrors my philosophy about resolutions.  The best return on effort is on maximizing our potential vs. reversing or stopping our flaws.  That doesn’t mean I think we should ignore our foibles.  We should always try to stop bad habits and reduce excessive behaviors.  However, I believe we should focus most of our self-improvement actions on those areas of our lives with the greatest potential.  What do you love?  What are you most passionate about?  Where are your greatest skills?  Focus on moving these forward and your 2009 is bound to be the best year possible! 

Happy New Year.  May you make the most of 365 days of potential!

January 25, 2009 Posted by | Goal Setting, intention, Take Action | , , , , | Leave a comment

Year’s end

Tuesday December 30, 2008 #86

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.” 

 ~Hal Borland

Some say we should look at year’s end as a true end; to forget what has gone before and be glad for the ability to forget it and move on.  I disagree.  I believe we should pause at year’s end and take a mental walk through the many victories large and small experienced in the last year.  As we look at these we will likely see those following periods of extra effort, fruitful collaboration, overcoming of obstacles, and using the gifts available to us.  Please remember these as you reset your goals for 2009.  The wisdom gleaned from our past experiences, if we paid attention, is what will aid us in our activities in the new year. 

Be safe tomorrow night and I will be toasting to your health, wealth and happiness in 2009!

January 25, 2009 Posted by | Goal Setting | , , , , | Leave a comment

Merry Christmas!

Thursday December 25, 2008 Christmas 2008

“I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. 

 ~Charles Dickens

Thank you!

I appreciate you being a loyal JAM with Mike! reader in 2008.  I have enjoyed writing for you, and reading your feedback, stories and quotes.  Our life journeys are so amazing and I am privileged to be spending a couple moments with you each week.  I hope you have been able to use the JAM messages to improve your day or to help you toward achieving meaningful change in your life.

Please be sure to take some time to enjoy your family and/or friends and the beauty of this holiday season. 

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?  It came without ribbons.  It came without tags.  It came without packages, boxes or bags.  And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore.  Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.  What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store?  What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?” 

 ~Dr. Seuss

January 25, 2009 Posted by | Gratitude, JAM with Mike | , , , | Leave a comment

Take action, repeat

Tuesday December 23, 2008 #85

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


Fellow JAMmer CB submitted today’s quote from Aristotle which emphasizes the key to achieving our goals and resolutions:  Action, repeat.  Action, repeat.  The challenge is that this works for both achieving goals and continuing poor habits and problems. 

In our last JAM I asked you to take a few minutes and write out the answers to these 4 questions:

1. What do you want to change?
2. What do you want to outgrow?
3. What do you want to avoid?
4. What do you want to enhance? 

Do you want to change your attitude or your life situation?  Do you want to outgrow a juvenile habit?  Do you want to avoid negative people in your life or other obstacles to your success?  Then you’ll need to take specific actions that build habitual routines that help you change, outgrow, and avoid as you want.  These actions will need to be repeated, over time.

Do you want to enhance your strengths, your positive relationships, your income?  Similarly, you’ll need to take specific actions that help you enhance what you want.   

The good news, is the actions you need to take to change, outgrow, avoid, and enhance are inter-dependent, working together to accomplish all of these “wants.”  Nature abhors a vacuum.  As you make a resolution to lose weight, for example, you can’t just avoid bad eating habits.  You must also replace that bad habit with a positive counter-action:  better eating habits, exercise, etc.  Sounds simple but obviously it is not or we wouldn’t fail in our resolutions every year.

The good news is that you have made a great first step by writing down the answers to the four questions – this is more than most people will ever do.  The better news is that written goals, combined with specific actions and repeated over time have always and will always guarantee significant progress to goal achievement.

We’ll cover examples of successful action techniques in upcoming JAMs.  In the meantime, be sure to pause and reflect on your many blessings this holiday week!

January 25, 2009 Posted by | Goal Setting, intention, Success, Take Action | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Get serious about change

Thursday December 18, 2008 #84

“A goal or a dream that doesn’t challenge the dreamer to become more than they’ve ever been, to go where they’ve never gone, or to feel things they’ve never felt, is actually like wishing for a giant “life snooze button.” Wanting abundance without an exchange of services, or love without loving, is a little bit like wanting an aquarium without fish, a leash without a dog, a frame without a picture…”

 ~Mike Dooley

Last JAM, we looked at the four basic tests for change: 

1. What do you want to change?
2. What do you want to outgrow?
3. What do you want to avoid?
4. What do you want to enhance?

Time to get serious.  Open a document on your computer and type the four questions, leaving space between.  Now, without overanalyzing, start typing in as many ideas you can think of under “What do you want to change?”  Then move on and do the same for all four questions.  There are no rules – be bold, be crazy, just keep typing until you exhaust your ideas.

Print out the document and put it in your briefcase or handbag and take it home with you.  This weekend, pour yourself a glass of wine pull out the document and highlight the items that grab you attention.  Make sure you have highlighted at least one item under each of the first three and at least two items under the last one.

We’ll talk about your choices next week.  Have a great weekend!!

January 25, 2009 Posted by | Goal Setting, intention, Take Action | , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing your life story

Tuesday December 16, 2008 #83

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”

 ~Anatole France

As promised last week, here is the first of a few JAMs on goal setting, taking action and experiencing fulfillment.

This piece was written by Executive Coach David Krueger, MD and provides a strong case for the mindset necessary for creating and successfully reaching the goals that matter.

Your Story: Old or New?
by David Krueger, MD

People perceive and remember what fits into their personal plot-an internal script of oneself and one’s world. Beliefs and assumptions (inspired by experiences) dictate what you look for and attribute meaning. You always find or create that which validates those beliefs, and ignore, mistrust, disbelieve-or more likely don’t notice-anything that doesn’t fit into that pattern.

People repeat behavior, even that which doesn’t work, because it offers security and familiarity. Doing the same thing results in a known outcome; predictability masquerades as effectiveness. When you move beyond a familiar pattern, you may experience anxiety.

Repetition reinstates the security of the familiar, even if the repetition is limiting or frustrating. By opting for repetition, people sabotage invention and imprison creativity. Stuck behavior has stuck consequences. Staying in a rut long enough begins to seem like fate. That outlook can lead to despair. The ultimate question about fixed beliefs or “stuckness” is: Does it work?

Who Wrote This?
Change may be difficult, but it begins with the easy recognition that you are the author of your own life story. Insight, understanding, and theory do not create change. New theories alone will not drive old lived experiences into extinction. Lasting change requires new lived experiences to replace old experiences – you invested a lot of years in the old system, and you will have to practice the new stuff as hard as you practiced the old stuff.


1. What do you want to change?
2. What do you want to outgrow?
3. What do you want to avoid?
4. What do you want to enhance?

That should be enough to get you thinking.  More to come.

January 25, 2009 Posted by | Goal Setting, intention, Take Action | , , , | Leave a comment

Thinking about resolutions

Thursday December 11, 2008 #82

“I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the years’.” 

 ~Henry Moore

As we move toward the end of the year, we naturally turn our thoughts to resolutions.  My regular readers know I don’t believe in annual resolutions but rather a monthly recalibration to ensure our goals still make sense and assuming they do, ensure we are celebrating our progress and thinking about the next actions we will be taking toward achievement.  Nevertheless, since so many will be thinking more intentionally about their goals about now, I will share over the next 2-3 weeks several thoughts about goal setting, taking action, and experiencing fulfillment.

January 25, 2009 Posted by | Goal Setting, intention, Success, Take Action | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be a doer of great things

Tuesday December 9, 2008 #81

What we think or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only thing of consequence is what we do.”

 ~John Ruskin

The world is full of people who think of and believe in great things.  But only a handful of brave individuals actually take action and do something about it.  The great news is that you get to choose which you’ll be – a doer or just a thinker.  What will you choose?

January 25, 2009 Posted by | leadership, Success, Take Action | , , | Leave a comment