JAM with Mike

Motivation to Start Your Day!

Choose to see paradise

Thursday July 25, 2013 #544

“Having listened and looked at a lot of things, it pretty much boils down to this: if I walk around damning the world it looks like hell. When I bless this place it looks like paradise. It’s personal.”  

~Jerry Downs


We create the world we see by our choices in how we define it.  We can choose to see things through a lens of scarcity, negativity, and ugliness… or, we can choose to see things through a lens of abundance, positivity, and beauty.  Why not make the choice to see the beauty in all things? You can do this, and it will take desire, determination and practice.  Make intentionally choosing your lens a regular habit and see the difference it makes in your life and in the lives you touch. 

Please visit Jerry Downs’ inspiring photography website:  Jerry Downs Photography


July 28, 2013 Posted by | intention | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Creating a culture with intention

Tuesday July 23, 2013 #543

“It is surprising what a man can do when he has to, and how little most men will do when they don’t have to.”  

~Walter Linn


In most groups, whether in business or socially, a small percentage does most of the work while most watch and try not to do too much.  In some groups however, most if not all of the team members work hard together to achieve great things.  What is the difference?  Culture.  A typical low-energy, siloed, inefficient and unproductive culture; or one that is inclusive, collaborative, high-energy, and fun.   

Culture will form with or without intentional guidance from leaders.  Whether a member of the team, or the titled leader, you can impact the culture positively by your own attitudes and behaviors.  Choose to be a positive force and get intentional about creating a culture you are proud to be a part of.  Be the one who does amazing things not because you have to, but because you want to.

July 28, 2013 Posted by | achievement, intention, leadership | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Feel what it is like to create

Thursday July 18, 2013 #542


“The essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail.”


~Edwin H. Land



Fear of failure is the killer of creativity and innovation.  However, simply saying “don’t be afraid” will not give us the courage to create.  Courage is not the absence of fear.  Courage is the ability to act despite our fears.  The reality, and you know this intellectually, is that the cost of failure is usually not catastrophic.  What to do?  Keeping in mind something significant you’d like to work on, start small and create something, anything.  Try a new recipe, write a poem, comment on a blog with your own original take on the subject.  Feel what it is like to create. 


Use that experience to gain the courage to start working on creating something important where failure is possible.   The world needs your ideas!

July 20, 2013 Posted by | courage, Take Action | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Intentional Life

Tuesday July 16, 2013 #541


“If we would only give, just once, the same amount of reflection to what we want to get out of life that we give to the question of what to do with a two weeks’ vacation, we would be startled at our false standards and the aimless procession of our busy days.”


~Dorothy Canfield Fisher



We spend hours, days, maybe weeks pondering over how to spend our next vacation.  The location, the sights to see, food to eat, people to visit, and more.  1 or 2 weeks, meticulously planned.  We go, we enjoy the vacation, and then it is over.  We then return to our lives – but with what plan?  Usually none other than answering our emails and looking at our to-do list.


The message here is that to maximize our lives – our whole lives, not just our vacations – we must be intentional.  We must take the time to reflect on what is truly important to us, what we would like to accomplish in our professional and personal lives, and begin taking action on those things that move us toward what we desire.

July 20, 2013 Posted by | achievement, intention | , , , | Leave a comment

An invitation to play

Thursday July 11, 2013 #540

“Most everyone is just a few inches from accepting the invitation to come play.”  

~Jerry Downs


Through all the hustle bustle of this crazy and intense life, a bit of downtime is necessary from time to time to reenergize and refocus ourselves on what is truly important.  If you are in a position of authority, be sure to allow your people to unplug on a regular basis and have some fun.  For many, this is uncomfortable to do so you may have to give a little push.  And don’t forget to give yourself permission to play too!

July 14, 2013 Posted by | leadership, Perspective | , , | Leave a comment

Avoiding mediocrity

Tuesday July 9, 2013 #539


“Focus on competition has always been a formula for mediocrity.”  

~Daniel Burrus


I believe too much time is spent on comparing ourselves and our businesses to the “competition”.  While understanding the competition is important to ensure visibility to new ideas and trends, focusing on what others are doing and copying their “best practices” can only lead to sameness and mediocrity.  True innovation stems from fresh, never before conceived ideas – not from copying others. 

Focus on being the best you.  Be curious and explore new people, places and experiences – especially those that have nothing to do with your business and normal activities – to allow your brain to process new ideas, new connections, that lead to breakthrough thinking.  Try your ideas out.  Fail or win, learn, repeat.

July 14, 2013 Posted by | Curiosity, learning | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Your bright future – it is up to you!

Thursday July 4, 2013 #538


“The future is only as bright as you make it.  Add those who reflect the light and remove those who dim it.”


~Michael Baisden


Our effectiveness and happiness is critically impacted by who and what we choose to associate with.  Few are strong enough to offset the impact of negative people and situations for any length of time.  While negatives will always be a part of the human existence, it is in our power to choose the vast majority of people we surround ourselves with and the experiences we have.  When it comes to people, this can be complicated, but the power is still there.  Remove people from your life that do not positively add to your effectiveness and happiness.  Add those who do! 


It takes awareness, and it takes courage.  But if you are serious about creating a life of joy and fulfillment, you must be intentional on whom to take with you on the journey.

July 6, 2013 Posted by | courage, intention | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Creating a motivational environment

Tuesday July 2, 2013 #537


“What a thrill one gets when you can see a light brighten before you in the eyes of one that listens.”


~David K. Aaker


As leaders, we are called upon to motivate our teams.  However, it is clear that no one can be motivated unless they are open to it.  I have often counseled developing leaders to avoid frustration when their attempts at motivation don’t work.  Our job as leaders is not to motivate, but rather to create a motivational environment.  We do this through taking the time to understand each of our team member’s interests, strengths, ambitions, and challenges; building trust (by trusting them!), and providing an inspiring and hopeful vision of our purpose and where we are going.  Be intentional about creating your team’s motivational environment.

July 6, 2013 Posted by | inspiration, leadership, listening, motivation | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just one can make a difference

Thursday June 27, 2013 #536


“One smile can start a friendship.  One word can end a fight. One look can save a relationship.  One person can change your life.”




We often think we can’t make a real difference because we are just one person, with no remarkable talents or wealth.  What can you do?  The answer really is everything.


You know in your heart this is true. Maybe you can even accept the logic of the power of just one.  So what is stopping you from actively reaching out, taking that small step, with your word, touch, look, smile?


Make a difference today.

July 1, 2013 Posted by | change, intention, Take Action | , , , | Leave a comment

Living a life of intention

Tuesday June 25, 2013 #535


“Attention is what steers your perception, controls your reality. It’s the gateway of the mind.”

~Apollo Robbins

 People go through their days – busy, doing things, talking to people, attending meetings, staring at their iPhones and tablets, laughing, crying, … living.  But with what intention?  I believe the key to progress, achievement, strong relationships, health, and ultimately our happiness is determined by what we choose to pay attention to.  If we focus on that which is in alignment with who and what we want to become, we will move toward those people and experiences.  If we focus on that which pulls us down, away from what we want to become, is it any wonder we don’t progress?

Each day, give yourself the space to reflect on what and who you are attending to and ensure you intentionally focus on who and what nourishes you.  It is your choice.  And you have the power to choose.

July 1, 2013 Posted by | achievement, Happiness, intention | , , , , , , | Leave a comment