JAM with Mike

Motivation to Start Your Day!

The intention for excellence

Thursday May 26, 2011 #319

“Since most of us spend our lives doing ordinary tasks, the most important thing is to carry them out extraordinarily well.”


I have learned this lesson from key mentors and in my own experience:  I am most content and inspired when I live my life with the intention for excellence.  No matter what the task or interaction, I strive to engage each with my best efforts.  I don’t always succeed and can find myself less energized and even depressed when I give less of myself.  When we focus with intention to bring the best of ourselves to every encounter and activity, we create amazing impact and bring about our own satisfaction and happiness.


May 29, 2011 Posted by | excellence, Happiness, inspiration, intention | , , | Leave a comment

It is in the doing that inspiration strikes

Tuesday May 24, 2011 #318

“The great composer does not set to work because he is inspired, but becomes inspired because he is working.  Beethoven, Wagner, Bach and Mozart settled down day after day to the job in hand with as much regularity as an accountant settles down each day to his figures.  They didn’t waste time waiting for inspiration.”

 ~Ernest Newman

It is in the doing that inspiration strikes.  I confess to occasional writers block in producing these JAMs.  I have learned that to be inspired to write, I have to write.  Thinking about it does not create the inspiration, the writing does.  You can apply this to any pursuit, creative or otherwise.   You want love?  Then love.  You want health?  Act in healthy ways.  It truly is in the doing that we are finally inspired to be and do what we desire.

May 28, 2011 Posted by | inspiration, Take Action | , , | Leave a comment

Magical things

Thursday May 19, 2011 #317

 “The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.”

~E. Phillpots

I truly believe the universe offers us limitless possibilities waiting for us to find a path toward their discovery.  I believe it starts with the assumption the magic exists and the actively positive nature of our everyday behaviors and thoughts.  I am always seeking to ‘sharpen my wits’ of awareness so as to see the magic as it appears.  I have found much magic in my life and look forward to discovering more!  How about you?

May 22, 2011 Posted by | Belief, Possibility | , | Leave a comment

The man of character

Tuesday May 17, 2011 #316

 “Faced with crisis, the man of character falls back on himself. He imposes his own stamp of action, takes responsibility for it, makes it his own.”

~Charles de Gaulle

It is common to look outside for the causes of a personal, organizational or community crisis.  That path almost always leads to unnecessary and misplaced animosity.  The key to resolving crises is to look internally and discover the actions you can take to move past the crisis, learn and evolve.  Think of a challenge you are facing and rather than looking for blame or other external causes, determine what you will do, now, to make a positive move to learn from and move past the challenge.

May 22, 2011 Posted by | learning, problem solving, Take Action | , | Leave a comment

Move toward your dreams

Thursday May 12, 2011 #315

“We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing.  Action always generates inspiration.  Inspiration seldom generates action.”

~Frank Tibolt

There is great value in the practice of creative thinking, brainstorming, and idea generation.  However, ideas without action are useless.  We often daydream about possibilities and ‘what ifs’.  Today, focus your mind and determine one small action you can take to move toward your dreams, and do it, even if the path is completely unclear.  By taking action, you will create the energy necessary to build momentum – and the path will begin to take shape.  But only if you act!

May 16, 2011 Posted by | intention, Take Action | , , | 2 Comments

The concept of action

Tuesday May 10, 2011 #314

 “To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.

What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places — and there are so many — where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.

And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”

~Howard Zinn

Over the next several weeks, I am dedicating my JAMs to the concept of action.  I have compiled a list of compelling quotes about taking action which I hope will inspire in you the energy, passion, will, and the means to take action in your own life.  There is much to be done to move our own lives forward.  There is a greater responsibility, however, for each of us to take action to move our families, communities, work groups, and organizations forward.  I believe we are in an amazing time in human history in which we can shape our current and future possibilities – if only we will take action.  So let’s limit the intake of negative thinking and move into possibility mode.  Will you join me?

May 15, 2011 Posted by | intention, Possibility, Take Action | , | 2 Comments

One time, one encounter

Thursday May 5, 2011 #313

“Ichigo Ichie” the motto in the Japanese tea ceremony which means “one time, one encounter.” This for us is a cue to see every moment as special and unrepeatable; it banishes boredom since no experience is ever the same.


Today will only happen today.  Will you treat it as unremarkable, going through the motions as though you have infinite tomorrows?  Or will you recognize today and each of it’s moments for the precious gifts they are?  I challenge you to be fully present for each encounter today and see if you can’t find the magic in each.  It is there if we only open our minds and hearts to possibility.

May 8, 2011 Posted by | Gratitude, Possibility | , | Leave a comment

Pause. Reflect. Redirect if necessary

Tuesday May 3, 2011 #312

 “As you climb the ladder of success, be sure it’s leaning against the right building.” 

~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

This simple yet profound quote has long been a favorite of mine and one I think about often.  As we work so very hard to achieve our career and personal ambitions, it is wise to pause and reflect regularly to ensure the path we are on is leading to what we truly desire.  The reasons we had for embarking on our path may have changed, and the end of the journey may no longer be a desired state.  Pause.  Reflect.  Redirect if necessary and then move forward again with a heightened sense of purpose and passion!

May 8, 2011 Posted by | achievement, Goal Setting, intention, Passion, Success | , , | Leave a comment

We are never done

Thursday April 28, 2011 #311

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

~Winston Churchill

True courage is shown both in the ability to continue to push further when “success” is reached, as well as pushing forward after a bitter failure.  We are never done – and that is the gift of this life!

May 8, 2011 Posted by | courage, Success | , , | Leave a comment

The process of becoming

Tuesday April 26, 2011 #310

 “Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. You may not be perfect, but you are all you’ve got to work with. The process of becoming who you will be begins first with the total acceptance of who you are.”

~Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

Shared by JAMmer VL, this beautiful quote reminds us to have patience with ourselves as we navigate our life’s journey.  Our lives and those of others around us are truly a process of becoming.  Patience with yourself and patience with others will make all of our journeys more bearable during the darker moments and more remarkable during the joyous moments.   There will be plenty of both!

May 8, 2011 Posted by | patience | , | Leave a comment