JAM with Mike

Motivation to Start Your Day!

Don’t be so certain

Thursday February 26, 2009 #99 

“I am certain there is too much certainty in the world.”

~Michael Crichton

The general population was certain that the price of housing and commodities would go up forever.  Now they are certain that the stock market will never recover and that American-style capitalism is dead.  Hmmm…

The “certain” will learn in the end that nothing is certain other than our own character and our ability to make a difference through consistent, intentional actions.  Of that, I am certain.


February 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Don’t think. Don’t talk. Act.

Tuesday February 24, 2009 #98

 “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”

~Walt Disney

There is something undone on your list of to-do’s or a goal that you have wanted to achieve.  You have thought a lot about it.  You have talked to your family or friends about it and the positive changes that will come when you get it done.  Stop thinking about it.  Quit talking about it.  Do something about it and take action.  Now.

February 28, 2009 Posted by | Take Action | , | 2 Comments

Wisdom Listens

Thursday February 19, 2009 #97

“Knowledge speaks. But wisdom listens.”  

~Jimi Hendrix

A message to the leaders reading today’s JAM:  Spend some time today listening.  Most leaders believe that they must consistently tell their teams where to go, what to do, and how to do it.  However, successful leaders know that true wisdom comes from asking good questions and listening intently to the answers – both verbal and through body language.

You do possess tremendous knowledge.  When you are asked for advice, perspective, or direction, give it.  Otherwise, ask questions, be quiet, and listen.

February 28, 2009 Posted by | leadership, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Get Involved!

Tuesday February 17, 2009 #96

“When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.”  

~Pauline R. Kezer

I frequently write about the importance of taking action.  Today’s economic situation requires us to get involved with efforts to improve our individual and collective situation.  At once we must be conservative with our expenditures while aggressively driving growth.  It can and is being done by thousands the world over and yet all we hear about are the latest layoffs, bankruptcies and defaults.  Be a model of positive and intentional action.  You too will feel the sense of hope and accomplishment of those who are making a difference.

February 28, 2009 Posted by | intention, Take Action | , , , | Leave a comment

Happy JAMmin Valentines Day

Saturday February 14, 2009 A Valentines Day Message

“When we begin to love again, we look back on the times when we were certain we would never again love or be loved, and we smile.  How could we have been so blind?  Yet it’s the memory of those times that makes loving again so much more meaningful.  We have more to give than we ever had before.  We can receive more than we ever could before.
And now, so acutely aware of the risk we take in loving, our love becomes more precious a gift than the love we gave with reckless abandon…  The grief of losing haunts us sometimes, but we’ve been through the worst and survived.  It gives us new freedom.  We know that we may not be here tomorrow, so we’d better love for all we’re worth today.”

~From “Companion Through the Darkness” by Stephanie Ericsson (Harper Perennial 1993)

CE sent me this Valentine message today and I decided to share it with all of my JAMmers.  You may be in a situation so that this message speaks directly to you.  If so, look forward with great anticipation to that next great love.  Or, you may be like me and be in a relationship with the love of your life.  If so, celebrate today with gratitude.

Either way, like in all things action is our way forward.  Action to consistently improve and enhance our relationships – new or existing.  Love is a verb.  The feelings of love are the outcome of our intentional loving actions.

“We must understand that desire to love is not itself love. Love is an act of will – namely an intention and action.”  ~Scott Peck

February 28, 2009 Posted by | intention | , , , | Leave a comment

Be a Rock for the Flock

Thursday February 12, 2009 #95

 “Leadership is an action, not a position.  

~Donald H. McGannon

Fellow JAMmer KT sent the following:

Maybe you could do a JAM on the necessity/effectiveness of the leader being a rock for the flock in troubled economic times.  (Look at that phrase I just coined)!!!  🙂

We are all dealing one way or another with the current economic malaise.  You needn’t be a leader by title to be a “rock for the flock”.  All of us can provide the leadership our work groups, friends, families, and communities need right now:  gratitude, calmness, a kind word, the willingness to pause and listen, a vision for a better future, and the courage to push someone to take action to make a difference for themselves or others.

There are over 300 of you reading this.  Go now and be a rock for your flock and see what a difference you can make.

Let JAM with Mike be a rock for you, my flock of JAMmers!

February 14, 2009 Posted by | leadership, Take Action | , , , , | Leave a comment

What really matters

Tuesday February 10, 2009 #94

We all have two choices: We can make a living or we can design a life.”  

~Jim Rohn

This JAM is a little longer than usual.  My Dad sent me the following message.  I’d heard it before, and maybe you have as well, but it is a timeless piece of wisdom that bears repeating.  Enjoy it and thanks, Dad, for sharing!

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.  When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.  He then asked the students if the jar was full.  They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar.  He shook the jar lightly.  The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.  He then asked the students again if the jar was full.  They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.  Of course, the sand filled up everything else.  He asked once more if the jar was full.  The students responded with a unanimous “yes”.

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand.  The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided,

“I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.  The golf balls are the important things – your God, family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car.  The sand is everything else – the small stuff

If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.  The same goes for life.  If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.  Play with your children.  Take time to get medical checkups.  Take your partner out to dinner.  Play another 18.  There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.

Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter.  Set your priorities.  The rest is just sand.”

One student raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.  The professor smiled, “I’m glad you asked.  It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple cups of coffee with a friend.”

February 14, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Serving with Love

Thursday February 5, 2009 #93

“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” 

~Oprah Winfrey

Zig Zigler also reminds us that it will do us no good to climb the ladder of success, only to find the ladder was leaning against the wrong wall!  The messages from Oprah and Zig are the same:  Ensure what you are striving for is connected to what you love.  Take time to discover what you truly love so that your goals and subsequent actions tie to your passions.  Without love and passion, our victories are empty no matter how impressive the effort.  When our actions are in alignment with what we love, and combined with service, the universe tends to help us along our path.

February 7, 2009 Posted by | Goal Setting, intention, Success | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keep Moving. Take Action!

Tuesday February 3, 2009 #92

“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes but they don’t quit.”

~Conrad Hilton

Regular JAMmers know that “taking action” is a recurring theme for my messages.  Why?  Truly, of all the potential success factors, almost nothing else matters.  Education, intention, skills, leadership, courage, … they all make a difference.  But without action, nothing happens.

Today’s action plan:  Think of the most challenging goal or project in front of you.  List as many small actions you could take today to move you forward on that goal or project.  Pick one and DO IT!

February 7, 2009 Posted by | Goal Setting, Success, Take Action | , , | Leave a comment

Choose Courage

Thursday January 29, 2009 #91

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” 

~Anais Nin

Every moment of every day we are each faced with options to stay put, move forward, or fall behind in regards to all aspects of our lives:  personal, professional, community, and spiritual.  What do we choose?  The timid may fall behind, or at best tread water.  The courageous, however, move forward.  Bit by bit; step by step.  Always redefining the moment by their simple willingness to choose to move forward.  Today, right now, in this moment, will you be timid or courageous?

Thank you to fellow JAMmer, JF, for courageously sharing today’s quote!

February 7, 2009 Posted by | intention, Take Action | , | Leave a comment