JAM with Mike

Motivation to Start Your Day!


Thursday April 2, 2015 #713

Leaders aren’t born, they are made. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal which is worthwhile.”

~Vince Lombardi

Green Bay Packers Coach Vince Lombardi, 1961 NFL Championship

Yes, for some, leadership comes more naturally than others due to innate intelligence, charisma, and confidence.  However, sustainable success as a leader requires not only some level of these talents, but also the exceptional drive, motivation and perseverance required to push through inevitable challenges.  Even someone with limited charisma and confidence, and average intelligence, can rise to effective leadership success if they are willing and able to fight through obstacles and failures with determination and grit.  And highly intelligent and charismatic individuals often fail to lead due to laziness and hubris.  Regardless of your level of talent, if given the opportunity to lead, focus on your character and drive and you can be the leader you are capable of and that your people need.


April 4, 2015 Posted by | achievement, character, confidence, Goals, leadership, motivation, Perseverance, Success, Talent | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Futility of Forcing Belief

Thursday March 12, 2015 #707

“To believe in your choice you don’t need to prove that other people’s choices are wrong.”

~Paulo Coelho


Social media and daily conversations are filled with people attempting to persuade others to accept their views and their vision of reality.  Often this leads to heated arguments and worse.  All this shows is people with weak character and insecurities which require them to “prove” they are right.  When you possess true character and courageous conviction, you have no need to convince anyone in your beliefs.  Stop trying to persuade others and calmly go about your life, secure in your core beliefs.

March 15, 2015 Posted by | character, courage, Persuasion | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Evolving Through Curiosity

Tuesday July 29, 2014 #648

“Read every day something no one else is reading. Think every day something no one else is thinking. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity.”  ~Christopher Darlington Morley


The most boring people I know, and usually the least successful and most unhappy, are those who either stop learning, or only listen to or read about what they already know and/or believe in.  They lack curiosity, and are often fearful of learning anything or listening to anyone that might challenge their limited worldview.

Don’t be boring!  Be curious and seek out new ideas, and philosophies different from your own.  Challenge your beliefs, not because of a lack of character, but because you have the courage to realize that the world and the context is ever-changing and evolving and often that means you must evolve too.

August 3, 2014 Posted by | character, courage, Curiosity, Happiness, listening | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Strength in Humility

Thursday July 10, 2014 #643

“Humility, I’ve learned should never be confused with meekness. Humility is being open to the ideas of others.” ~Simon Sinek


The weakest people I know are those who lack the character strength to listen to and respect those with opinions that differ from theirs.  To do so requires humility.  Humility, I believe, is one of the most difficult competencies to master as it relies on a bedrock of character strength.  The humble person is neither meek nor weak, but rather is confident that their character allows their beliefs to evolve over time, and is curious to actively seek out new perspectives, new knowledge, new ideas that challenge their thinking.

The way to grow the competency of humility is to intentionally seek out and listen to opinions different than yours.  Not necessarily to agree but rather to engage in thoughtful, respectful discussion or reflection and determine by your own thinking whether your beliefs should evolve.  Be strong, be humble.

July 13, 2014 Posted by | Belief, character, Curiosity, Perspective | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 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

Influence and inspiration

Tuesday April 30, 2013 #519


“Titles mean little in terms of real power, which is the capacity to influence and inspire.”


~Colin Powell


You don’t need a fancy title to wield power and influence.  A real leader is one who in the moment uses their capabilities, humanity, and character to make someone’s situation better, to inspire others to make a difference in a business or a relationship.  That is real power.  And anyone can do it, from the front line staff person to the senior leader.  What will you do today to influence and inspire?

May 4, 2013 Posted by | character, inspiration, leadership | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leveraging knowledge and enthusiasm

Tuesday November 27, 2012 #475


“Knowledge is power and enthusiasm pulls the switch.”


~Steve Droke


Learning from both experiences and formal education provide us with the knowledge necessary to earn the ability to wield power with character and conscious.  But without enthusiasm, the knowledge and the power lay dormant.  Make sure your efforts to gain knowledge are focused on the things that inspire you so your enthusiasm and passion enable you to put your power to work in the service of your highest held values.

December 30, 2012 Posted by | character, learning, Passion | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aspects of a life well lived

Tuesday November 6, 2012 #469


“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”


~Helen Keller


It may sound trite, but the quote is true.  The challenges we face are necessary aspects of a life well lived, of the path to wisdom, and of the building of real character.  No one expects you to enjoy challenges, suffering, and pain.  However, it is entirely your responsibility to view such occurrences with the perspective necessary to allow learning, growth, and personal development.  It really is a choice you can, and must make for yourself and to benefit the people around you.

December 29, 2012 Posted by | character, inspiration, learning, Success, Wisdom | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Power of Intention

Thursday September 13, 2012 #454


“Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny”


~Ralph Waldo Emerson


JAMmer JK shared today’s quote which reminds us to be intentional about our thoughts.  If you know what you want from your life, it pays to think those thoughts that drive the actions that build the habits that form your character which delivers your destiny. 


If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, intentionally replace some of these with positive versions.  Over time, your positive intentions will drown out more and more of your self-limiting negativity.  Don’t feel badly if this is where you are – it is human nature for most to be our worst critic and to lean toward negative thoughts.  What are you thinking about?

December 15, 2012 Posted by | character, intention | , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding Yourself

Thursday September 6, 2012 #452


“Some people say they haven’t yet found themselves. But the self is not something one finds; it is something one creates.”


~Thomas Szasz


We read about people endlessly seeking their ‘true self’ through serial relationships, multiple jobs and/or degrees, retreats, etc., etc.  Is this you?  The reality is you don’t need to look any further than yourself.  You have been there all along.  Take some time with yourself and determine your core values and beliefs.  From there, through experiences and relationships which hold true to these values and beliefs, build a stronger you which is consistent with your most authentic self.

December 15, 2012 Posted by | Belief, character | , | Leave a comment