JAM with Mike

Motivation to Start Your Day!

Reflection, acceptance, gratitude

Thursday March 27, 2014 #613

 “Do not let the future be held hostage by the past.”

 ~Neal A. Maxwell


Every one of us has acted in ways we are not proud of. We have said and done things in moments of anger or sadness, or just through carelessness, that have hurt other people or ourselves. These situations cause us pain, guilt, and even shame as we berate ourselves for our transgressions. The real challenge is three-fold: First, reflection. We must reflect on these situations and allow both the feelings of regret, as well as learning from the event so as to not repeat it in the future. Second, acceptance. We have to get over it and forgive ourselves. It does us know good to keep dwelling on past mistakes if we have accomplished the first challenge of real reflection. Finally, gratitude. The third step is to use the wisdom gained from our personal experience to guide ourselves and offer counsel to others who are still struggling with the challenges of reflection and acceptance. We couldn’t do this without the experience, so gratitude is the final step.

Reflection, acceptance, gratitude. Be up to these three challenges, and never let your future be held hostage by your past.


March 29, 2014 Posted by | Forgiveness, Gratitude, learning, Wisdom | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Power of our Thoughts

Tuesday March 25, 2014 #612

“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.”

 ~Mahatma Gandhi


It is a well-known and provocative idea, that we become the person we believe ourselves to be in our deepest thoughts. I do believe that our perception of ourselves is fully dependent on what we think and believe to be true. Those thoughts are heavily influenced by the people we choose to surround ourselves with (and those we don’t choose, e.g. childhood family), what we choose to read and watch and learn. These thoughts then lead to the choices we make spiritually, socially, and professionally. Except for the family you were born into, virtually all other factors of your life are the result of the choices you have made.

So the question then is simply, are you happy and engaged with the person you have chosen to be? If not, you have the power to choose today any of a number of actions to propel you toward redefining yourself and it begins with a single thought – to define yourself in a new and better way. Thoughts alone, of course only provide the dream. Actions take you there. But without the dream, actions create movement but not necessarily to a truly desired outcome. Think well, act wisely.

March 29, 2014 Posted by | Belief, Happiness, intention, Take Action, Wisdom | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Thursday March 20, 2014 #611


“A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, and a little less than his share of the credit.”


~Arnold H. Glasow



A strong leader is a combination of strong ego and humility.  To get to a position of authority, one must have the courage of their convictions, be able to project confidence and capability, and have a healthy belief in their abilities.  This can come across as being ego-centric and many a leader is criticized for actions and words that seem to indicate it is “all about them”.  It is a natural consequence for a strong leader, and therefore must be balanced with intentional humility.  The reality is that ongoing success for any leader is dependent upon the engagement and superior efforts of those they lead.  All good leaders know this and nurture their people.  The point though is that the leader must be quite intentional about their words and actions so that their followers know their leader will shoulder the blame for challenges, and give credit to their team for successes.


I have had my own challenges in effectively expressing my gratitude for the efforts of others, and suspect you may face this challenge from time to time yourself.  Let’s all remember to be intentional on expressing well our gratitude for all those who create the achievements for the teams we are honored to lead or in which we participate.

March 23, 2014 Posted by | achievement, Gratitude, intention, leadership, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Choosing Change or Acceptance

Tuesday March 18, 2014 #610


“Life can either be accepted or changed. If it is not accepted, it must be changed. If it cannot be changed, then it must be accepted.”


~Winston Churchill



I don’t know about you, but listening to close friends and family members complain about their situation without any effort to change it (or accept it and move on) is exhausting and frustrating.  I specifically mention close friends and family because for anyone else, I can just ignore it and move on myself.  I can and do make that choice.  But for people I truly care about, I am invested by choice in their lives and want them to experience joy and happiness.  I know for myself that when I find myself wallowing in anger, self-pity, or sadness it is time to choose.  I can accept or change.  Change my perspective, or take action to change a situation or help someone else change theirs.  If change is not possible, I can choose to accept.


So, back to others who complain yet take no action to accept or make changes.  I choose this:  I will accept others for how they are feeling, help when help is desired (and not when it isn’t), and focus on taking actions that keep me moving forward.  In this way I focus on what I can control (myself) and lower my frustration about others’ attitudes.

March 23, 2014 Posted by | change, Happiness, Perspective, Take Action | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Power of Forgiveness

Thursday March 13, 2014 #609


“To forgive is to permanently shed hurt feelings and to put something away. It means drawing a line under something and saying, “Finished”…The courage to forgive is gigantic, and the courage to acknowledge the need to forgive is perhaps even greater.”


~Edward Crowther



What negative feelings are you holding onto?  In this life, people will disappoint you, anger you, hurt your feelings, ridicule you, take things from you, and more.  But remember:  the vast majority of people will inspire you, make you smile, encourage you, give of themselves for you, and much, much more.  Don’t spend your time dwelling on the wrongs people have dealt you.  The power of forgiveness is to give your mind the space to focus on the incredible goodness of most people.  Forgiveness is not weakness.  Forgiveness is courageous and powerful.  Who do you need to forgive?

March 16, 2014 Posted by | courage, Forgiveness | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Using Feedback

Tuesday March 11, 2014 #608


“You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.” 


~John Wooden



Seeking feedback is important in order to maintain a realistic perspective on our effectiveness and how we are perceived by others.  However, it is unhealthy to obsess over the feedback we receive, whether allowing positive feedback to inflate our ego or negative feedback to destroy our confidence.  Seek out and pay attention to the feedback from people around you – especially peers and your team.  Use the feedback to test the intentions of your actions, and make adjustments accordingly.  But never, never obsess.

March 16, 2014 Posted by | Perspective | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lenses We Wear

Thursday March 6, 2014 #607


“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”


~Henry David Thoreau



We all know the “glass half-full” and “glass half-empty” comparison of optimists and pessimists.  However, the power of this simple observation should not be underestimated.  It goes beyond the desirability of a positive outlook.  The very nature of how all aspects of life are perceived is shaped by the lenses we choose to wear.  And yes, it is a choice.  Wearing the lenses of hopefulness, positivity, gratitude, and potential, everything – people, objects, and the world around us – is imbued with possibility and beauty.  The very same things when viewed through the lenses of hopelessness, negativity, and thanklessness show us only impossibility and ugliness.  Make the choice today to wear the lenses that allow you to see the beauty in the world and in yourself.  It will make all the difference.

March 8, 2014 Posted by | Gratitude, Perspective, Possibility | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Tuesday March 4, 2014 #606


“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”


~Vince Lombardi



In my journey to understand the success factors for a quality life, I have seen one potent combination that more than any other seems to deliver joy, happiness, and ongoing achievement:  Commitment to excellence, tied to a clear target.  The target or targets for that commitment can be precise, or can evolve, or can change completely.  The point is to possess an attitude of excellence for whatever you have chosen for your short, medium and long term goals and aspirations.  Therefore, the combination of clarity of purpose and the quest for excellence is powerful indeed.  Neither delivers independently.  You must have both.

March 8, 2014 Posted by | achievement, excellence, Goal Setting, Happiness, intention | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Friday February 28, 2014 #605


“I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”


~Robert McCloskey



Ah – the challenges of human to human communication!  Whether our communication is verbal, or in writing, what we say is rarely fully understood as intended.  A colleague recently related the story of giving a carefully scripted presentation to his team.  After finishing, he asked each of them what they heard.  It took until the 5th or 6th person, for someone to repeat back the salient points of the presentation. Two points here:  First, we must realize that despite our best effort, most of what we say is misinterpreted to some degree or even unheard.  Second, it is a mark of a strong leader to seek to ensure his message is understood.  Only then can we know if and how we must clarify our communication to ensure understanding.

March 2, 2014 Posted by | leadership, Understanding | , , , | Leave a comment


Thursday February 20, 2014 #604


“Leaders see people for who they are becoming, not who they were”


~Bob Goff



It is said that the first impression is the most important.  This is quite true.  It is very difficult for our subconscious mind to remove the clarity of our first impressions of a person or situation.  However, great leaders do not let this impact their effectiveness.  It is critical as leaders to intentionally force ourselves to think more of a person’s potential than of their history.  This is how we find the “diamond in the rough”, the person whose potential is as of yet unrealized, but with your guidance can find it.  This is true not only for a young person just starting out, but also for the 25 year veteran who may be underutilized and waiting to be “discovered”.  Be the leader who sees potential, nurtures it, and brings it to fruition.

March 2, 2014 Posted by | leadership | , , , , , | Leave a comment