JAM with Mike

Motivation to Start Your Day!

Planning for greatness

Tuesday July 10, 2012 #435

“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.” 

~Leonard Bernstein

We’ve all experienced the phenomenon of heightened personal productivity when under time pressure.  There is something about a looming deadline that can either energize or paralyze us.  In my experience, the energy comes from a well conceived plan we can utilize to drive our actions in the limited time available to us to achieve great results.  Absent such a plan, we become anxious and even panicked as stumble along. 

You can be fairly certain you will be repeatedly faced with time pressure.  The lesson?  Know what you want to achieve, and have a plan to achieve it.


October 27, 2012 Posted by | achievement, Goal Setting, intention | | Leave a comment

An inspiring life

Thursday July 5, 2012 #434

“Your life is your message to the world. Make it inspiring.” 

~Lorrin L. Lee

Too often we don’t attempt an inspiring act because we believe inspiration only comes in BIG acts – saving a life, curing a disease, inventing the next great product, or making a million dollars.  The reality of inspiration is that it comes from small acts.  Being there when a friend needs someone to talk to.  Forgiving a transgression.  Helping someone who needs it.  Saying “thank you” for a job well done.

Live a life of small but intentional expressions of the goodness of your heart.  It will be an inspirational life indeed.

October 27, 2012 Posted by | inspiration | | 1 Comment

Take action and find out!

Tuesday July 3, 2012 #433

“Doubt can only be removed by action.” 

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Should I move forward with the project plan?  I have doubts it will work.  Should I ask her out?  I have doubts she will say yes.  Should I sign up for a personal trainer?  I have doubts I will stick to it.

In all situations of doubt, we can only get beyond this with intentional action.  Quit wondering.  Quit doubting.  Take action and find out!

October 27, 2012 Posted by | Take Action | | Leave a comment

Preparing to win

Thursday June 28, 2012 #432

“The will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win.”

 ~Bobby Knight

Whether in sports, negotiations, relationships, or projects, preparation is more often than not the key determinant to “winning”.  I am using the term winning to mean not only winning a contest, but also in achievement of any goal you set.  These achievements are all “wins”.  In the end, desire is important, but preparation allows us to put our best into any situation and achieve the private and public victories we long for.

Do the hard work of physical and mental preparation.  The fruits of that effort will be the wins you desire.

October 27, 2012 Posted by | achievement | | Leave a comment

Allow space for alternatives

Tuesday June 26, 2012 #431

“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach. It’s the end you’re after.” 

~Tony Robbins

This is the hallmark of personal and organizational leadership:  The ability to have a confident and consistent vision based on core principals and values.  And yet, to allow yourself and others to be flexible on the means to achieve your vision.

Reflect on your own approach.  Do you allow yourself and others to consider alternative approaches?  Or are you rigid in your belief that there is “one right way”?  I simply ask you to allow some space for alternatives.  You will find that people react best to clear direction on “where” and “why”, and freedom to explore the “how”.  Don’t you?

October 27, 2012 Posted by | leadership | | Leave a comment

Where your thoughts take you

Thursday June 21, 2012 #430

“You are today where your thoughts have brought you. You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.”

~James Allen

The power of the quality of our thinking to impact the quality of our lives is well documented.  And yet, we continue to allow ourselves to engage in petty bickering, blaming others, watching and listening to negative news and people, and more.  It is time to take control of your mental input, to make every attempt to remove yourself from negative people, negative media, and negative situations.  And instead, surround yourself with positive influences:  people, experiences, and media (such as JAM with Mike!).

I am not saying you can remove all negative influences.  What I am saying is to actively seek to balance an often negative world with the many positive inputs available to you.  It is a choice, and one that you have the power to make.

What is the quality of your thinking right now?

October 27, 2012 Posted by | intention | | Leave a comment

In times of change, learners inherit the earth

Tuesday June 19, 2012 #429

“In times of change, learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

~Eric Hoffer

Today’s quote was shared at a recent Learning & Development conference I attended. It speaks to the criticality of continuous learning, particularly in today’s rapidly changing environment.  While it is admirable to be “educated” via university degrees and such, it is imperative to continue learning to stay current, remain open to new ideas, and strengthen agility.

You can and should learn through books, internet and other reading and multi-media platforms.  But don’t forget that the most effective learning comes via experiencing all aspects of life’s experiences – at work, at home, one event, one project, one person at a time.

How do you continue to learn?

October 13, 2012 Posted by | learning | | Leave a comment

Yes, you do have the power to change your circumstances

Thursday June 14, 2012 #428

“The world is what you make of it, friend. If it doesn’t fit, you make alterations”

~Linda Hunt in Silverado

I listen too often to people complaining about their circumstances with little or no intent on changing those circumstances.  Yes, you do have the power to change your circumstances.  Start by looking at yourself.  What changes could you make in your own attitudes, perceptions, or proximity to your issues that could make a difference?  Do it!  Only then can you look at external elements. Yes, that job, that partner, that location may be the issue and you must show the character and courage to remove yourself from that negative influence. 

Start with yourself, then externally.  But by all means, don’t just complain without any action to change.  You are not a victim, except of your own self-judgments and self-limitations.

October 13, 2012 Posted by | character, courage, Take Action | , , | Leave a comment

“Dare to be Contagious!”™

Tuesday June 12, 2012 #427


“With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.”

~Max Ehrmann


It is easy to get lost in the negative inputs coming from popular media, as well as from co-workers, friends and family. So many challenges out there – real and imagined. I argue, however, that there is far more beauty and wonder in the world than these negative inputs would imply and that it is our obligation to notice, be open to, have gratitude for, and most importantly share all the positives in the world.


In that spirit, I share with you this beautiful 1927 prose poem by American writer Max Ehrmann (1872-1945). Today’s quote and the full Desiderata were in that same spirit shared with me by JAMmer CJ.  Enjoy…


Desiderata – by Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story.


Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.


Strive to be happy.


If this impacted you positively, please do your friends and family the favor of sharing the Desiderata with them. As I always say, “Dare to be Contagious!”™

October 13, 2012 Posted by | Gratitude, Happiness, inspiration, Perspective, Possibility, Success, Take Action, Wisdom | , | 1 Comment

Lessons Learned

Thursday June 7, 2012 #426

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”

~Bill Gates

When we honestly reflect on success we can recognize that it came after various setbacks along the way.  It was through those failures, small and large, that we learned how to succeed.  Don’t forget the lessons you learned through the failures as you celebrate your successes.

October 13, 2012 Posted by | learning, Success | , , | Leave a comment