JAM with Mike

Motivation to Start Your Day!

Service is the true Heroism

Thursday July 23, 2009 #140

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” 

~Arthur Ashe

Enjoy #2 of the “5 Life Lessons” by Geir Ove Knutsen:  “Pickup in the Rain”

One night, at 11:30 pm, an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride.
Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled ’60s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab.
She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man’s door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached.
It read: “Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband’s bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.”
Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole.

The Lesson:  Never pass an opportunity to serve others. Our smallest gestures showing care can affect their life profoundly.


July 26, 2009 Posted by | giving | , , | Leave a comment

The Significance of Dorothy

Tuesday July 21, 2009 #139

“I am only one, but I am one.  I cannot do everything, but I can do something.  And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”  

~Edward Everett Hale

Frequent contributor LT shared with me “5 Life Lessons” from a gentleman named Geir Ove Knutsen.  Now I share them with you.  Here’s #1:  The Cleaning Lady.

During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read
the last one: ‘What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?’
Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50’s, but how would I know her name?
I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.
‘Absolutely,’ said the professor. ‘In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say ‘hello.’
I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

The Lesson:  In our life we will meet many people. All are significant. They all deserve our attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say “hello.”

July 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Wake up the Giant Within You

Thursday July 16, 2009 #138

“Don’t live down to expectations.  Go out there and do something remarkable.”  

~Wendy Wasserstein

“Just in case you are not doing what your potential allows you, it is time to arise from your comfort zone. If you can sing, sing now. If you can build a business, do it now. If you can do motivational speaking, speak today. If you can lead, seek the mandate of the people when that time comes. Stop being a spectator when you should be at the forefront. Wake up the giant in you.” ~Shawn M. Bremner

This is part of an excellent blog post at Aspire Higher Motivational Quotes.  Click on the link to read more!

July 18, 2009 Posted by | intention, Success, Take Action | , | Leave a comment

A Social Experiment

Tuesday July 14, 2009 #137

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” 

 ~Thornton Wilder

As you scurry through another day of business and activity, I invite you to pause a moment and notice the many wonders you have all around you.  The following short story illustrates the point perfectly.  Enjoy it.

Washington DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later:  The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the till and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes:  A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes:  A 3 year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly, as the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced them to move on.

45 minutes:  The musician played.  Only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while.  About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32.

1 hour:  He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities. The questions raised:  In a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ….

How many other things are we missing?

July 18, 2009 Posted by | Gratitude, intention | , | Leave a comment

Your Second Wind

Thursday July 9, 2009 #136

“Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second.”

~William James

You’ve been working so hard to achieve that goal.  A goal that is worthwhile, with great meaning for you and those important to you.  But you’re exhausted.  Things are looking bleak.  You can’t see how you can possibly continue.  You’re ready to give up.  DON’T.  You’re almost there – keep pressing on and you will find your second wind.

July 18, 2009 Posted by | Goal Setting | | Leave a comment

Listening to the Voices

Tuesday July 7, 2009 #135

“If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint”, then by all means paint & that voice will be silenced”

~Vincent van Gogh

What is that ‘impossible’ dream you have for yourself?  Running a marathon?  Playing an instrument well?  Getting a professional degree?  Learning to scuba dive, snowboard, hang glide, pilot a plane?  It is likely you are not living your dream because of that voice in your head that says you can’t do it – for whatever reason.  The only way to shut off that voice, and live your dream is to go do it.  You have the power to act.  Do it!

July 18, 2009 Posted by | Goal Setting, intention, Take Action | | 3 Comments

Believing in the Dream

Thursday July 2, 2009 #134

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”

 ~Anatole France

Taking action each day, no matter how small, toward our goals is critical to achievement.  Inspiration for action comes from believing in a dream or a vision of something that excites or energizes us.  What is your dream?  Believe in it, and act.

July 18, 2009 Posted by | Goal Setting, Take Action | | Leave a comment

The Gift of You

Tuesday June 30, 2009 #133

“The only true gift is a portion of yourself.”  

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Often the best thing we can do for a friend or family member is to spend time with them and listen.  Stop for a moment from your busy schedule and frenetic activities and focus on someone important to you.  Ask them how they are doing, or to tell you about an accomplishment they are proud of or something they aspire to.  And then listen.  Just listen.

July 18, 2009 Posted by | giving | | Leave a comment