JAM with Mike

Motivation to Start Your Day!

Your Servant Heart

Thursday August 29, 2013 #554

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know. The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.”

 ~Dr. Albert Schweitzer

 servant leadership

For those of you chasing happiness as defined by wealth, pleasure, and accumulation of ‘things’, be forewarned:  None of these alone create joy and lasting contentment.  True happiness seems to be inextricably attached to a service orientation.   This can certainly mean traditional service such as charitable works and philanthropy.  More often though it is simply an attitude of service or what is sometimes referred to as a servant heart.  In practical terms, this simply means caring for others’ welfare above your own. 

As a leader, this is referred to as servant leadership – the idea that the majority of a great leader’s focus is on understanding his people deeply, identifying strengths and sources of motivation, aligning roles with these in mind, and providing tools for their success such as time, technology, education, coaching, mentoring, and even getting out of their way if that is what is most beneficial.

You can apply this servant heart orientation to all aspects of your life – partner, parent, community organizations, and your work place.  If you do so consistently and from a place of authenticity, you will likely find that elusive happiness you seek, and more often than not, wealth, pleasure and the ability to accumulate things.  You actually can have it all.


August 31, 2013 Posted by | Happiness, leadership, Pleasure, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Innovation vs. Carelessness

Tuesday August 27, 2013 #553


“To err is human, but when the eraser wears out ahead of the pencil, you’re overdoing it.”


~Josh Jenkins



In an age of innovation, organizations are pressing their people to take risks and even reward mistakes as long as the mistake is in pursuit of innovation.  A risk-taking culture is difficult to foster due to fears of punishment and years of top-down management but is possible to achieve over time as senior leaders champion risk taking and even failures that provide strong learning.  The trust will build over time and encourage more innovative thought processes and risk-taking.  The balance is to ensure risks are taken for organizationally beneficial reasons and not just due to carelessness.  When dealing with a careless employee, today’s quote can help explain the difference between strategic risk taking and carelessness.

August 31, 2013 Posted by | innovation | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pushing Your Limits

Thursday August 22, 2013 #552 

“Don’t be afraid of opposition. Remember, a kite rises against not with, the wind.”

 ~Hamilton Mabie

a kite against the wind.jpg

 I find I am often at my best when I am working under pressure to achieve a worthy goal.  Virtually all worthy goals are difficult to achieve and have challenges to overcome, people to influence, and new skills or knowledge to learn or adapt to.  Too often, people give up when things are difficult.  This is a huge mistake. It is in these challenging moments that we stretch, grow, and develop to meet and beat the obstacles.  Pick exciting, challenging goals that test you and push your limits.  You will be better for it!

August 31, 2013 Posted by | achievement, Goal Setting, persistence | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Choosing What Goes Into Your Mind

Tuesday August 20, 2013 #551

“You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.”

 ~Zig Ziglar

feed your mind

I’m thinking a lot about our ability to train our minds to help us stay focused on continuous improvement in our ability to be the best person we can be in any given moment.  I know I am at my best for both my own good and those around me when I am positive, focused, and energized by hope and possibilities.  I am in this state because of what I am taking in:  positive reading and media, associating with high-energy, positive and inspiring individuals, helping others grow and develop, and giving my time and talent to those who need it.

I am not always successful, but when I find myself in a down state, I know how to return to being the best me:  take one action after another in the areas listed above until the weight of the positive inputs allows me to not only offset the negative feelings but to solve or navigate the challenges that caused the negative state initially.  This is my choice and I make it.  You have the power to do the same.  Choose to exercise your power.

August 31, 2013 Posted by | change, inspiration, problem solving, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Choosing Your Focus

Thursday August 15, 2013 #550


“You become what you criticize. You become what you adore. Whatever you focus on grows in your experience.”  

~Alan Cohen

choose joy


Shared with me by JAMmer FG, today’s quote reminds us that we will always move inextricably toward our dominant thoughts and thus take on the characteristics of what we predominantly focus on.  You must choose what you read and watch, who you associate with, and the activities you engage in.  These should all be things you adore which add to your joy and well-being.  Don’t waste your time criticizing others.  This not only gives them power, it keeps your mind on things that bring you negative emotions and actually creates in you the very things you criticize.  Be intentional.  Move toward joy by the choices you make.

August 18, 2013 Posted by | intention | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Distorted Perceptions

Tuesday August 13, 2013 #549


“I’ve discovered, on more than one occasion, that my single-mindedness has distorted my perception and left me susceptible to becoming blind-sided from something outside my field of view.”


~Jerry Downs

distorted perception


We are taught that to do our best, we must focus single-mindedly on our desired results and pursue them relentlessly. This is indeed the way to achieve results.  However, remember during your pursuit to allow yourself to pause to take in new information, determine those who can help us, and potentially changed circumstances we would otherwise miss.  If we do not do this, we can easily find ourselves having achieved results that are no longer valid or needed.


Keep your peripheral vision operating during any quest or project to ensure that you can evolve your efforts and meet both current and changing circumstances.

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

August 18, 2013 Posted by | achievement, Perspective | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pursuing Greatness

Thursday August 8, 2013 #548


“Pursue something so important that even if you fail, the world is still better off.”


~Tim O’Reilly

Pursue Greatness


Everyone has the opportunity to make a difference. This is about doing more than is necessary to just muddle through in your role as parent, partner, team member, or leader.  It is not about being perfect – no one is.  It is to decide to bring the best of yourself to your various roles as frequently as possible.  The key is to recognize both the potential and your obligation to make every role you have meaningful and capable of greatness.  Decide to be the best and even if or when you fail at times, the people around you will be better for your efforts, and who knows?  Potentially the world.

August 11, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

What is your character? What will define you?

Tuesday August 6, 2013 #547


“I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had the courage to go forth into its expanse.”


~Charlotte Bronte from Jane Eyre



There are tough times for all of us when the world becomes very small, and we feel closed in on all sides by fear, anger, sadness, or other negative emotions.  It is in these moments that our true character defines us.  Do we stay imprisoned by this negative state or do we force ourselves to see the potential for learning and growth from the experience?  If we can push our thoughts into this direction of hope, we can take the actions necessary to return to a state of hope and positive expectations. 


No one escapes negative circumstances.  In these moments you’ll need to know:  What is your character?  What will define you?

August 11, 2013 Posted by | character, courage, learning, Take Action | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Living a worthy life

Thursday August 1, 2013 #546


“When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life, so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice”


~White Elk

the good life


This is one of those big, deep thoughts but one I believe we must focus on regularly:  Am I living a worthy life in this moment?  We all know we could die or become incapacitated at any moment and lose all chance of being the person we hope to be, personally, professionally, and spiritually.  And yet we rarely stop, reflect, and refocus ourselves on what is important, and saying “no” to what is not.

As we start the eighth month of 2013 – 60% of the way through another year! – pause today and ask yourself questions of alignment, of purpose, of belief, and of love.  All of us are imperfect and all of us can use this time, if we choose, to regularly course-correct and move with intention on a path of meaningful existence.  And as you do this, remember to celebrate all the ways you are living the life you want.  You don’t have to wait until you die to rejoice – celebrate each moment that you are the best you.

August 4, 2013 Posted by | intention, love | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be a carrier of positivity

Tuesday July 30, 2013 #545

“Keep your fears to yourself, but share your inspirations with others.”

~Robert Louis Stevenson


It is our human nature that compels us to confirm our perceptions by seeking like-minded people and we do this through sharing.  Unfortunately, most of what we share tends to be negative and based on fear.  Most commonly this shows up as gossip which we all know intuitively is damaging and yet we often indulge and participate.

Today is a new day.  Still feed your need for confirming perceptions, but start from a base of a commitment to share only positive and inspiring thoughts and perceptions.  “Gossip” by sharing a story of inspiration or courage that you read or heard, or sharing a little known positive fact or attribute of a co-worker or friend.  Your example will not only make you feel better, it will cause others to think about such things themselves.

Be a carrier of positivity.  Dare to be Contagious!TM

August 4, 2013 Posted by | courage, inspiration | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment