JAM with Mike

Motivation to Start Your Day!

Be Curious

Tuesday July 7, 2015 #738

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

~Walt Disney


Often times when you find yourself in a rut, the culprit is a loss of curiosity.  The same curiosity that drove us as children to explore new territory, to read and learn, to meet new people, and to try new things is what we need as adults to keep us inspired, interested, and moving forward.  I believe we need to actively engage our curiosity by reading and learning about new ideas and topics, traveling to new places near or far, meeting new people – especially those who challenge our thinking, and developing new skills.  These actions not only energize us, they create a habit of curiosity which helps us renew and inspire us throughout our lives.  Be curious.


August 7, 2015 Posted by | Curiosity, inspiration | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Tuesday April 28, 2015 #720

“Oftentimes the thing that makes the difference between a good student and a poor one, a good learner or a bored human being, is just a little curiosity. If you have it, cultivate it, feed it. Never let it go. If you do not have it – get it. Wonder, watch, ask questions, be alive. It’s just that simple”

~Marjorie Pay Hinckley


The difference between sustainable, recurring success and a pattern of failure often comes down to a question of curiosity.  Spend a little time today in critical reflection of your own thought patterns, habits and behaviors.  Do you accept information and decisions at face value, or do you ask questions and clarify intent?  Do you hold on to your opinions and beliefs long after the basis of these have been refuted or challenged?  Or do you allow your beliefs to evolve through an ongoing habit of questioning, reading, listening, and learning?  It is your choice.  You can be stuck in a pattern of mediocrity and even ongoing failure, or you can take control of your destiny through critical thinking, intelligent inquiry, and flexibility to change and evolve.  Be curious!

May 9, 2015 Posted by | change, Curiosity, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Risk Taking

Thursday April 9, 2015 #715

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”

~Mark Zuckerberg


Most of us are taught at home, at school, and at work how to plan effectively to minimize and avoid risk.  This has been an ineffective way to prepare for today’s reality of exceptional speed and change, and frankly has never been a good strategy.  Change has always been a constant, and the difference today is the speed of that change.  What we must all develop is the capacity and courage to take frequent and appropriate risks.  The environment around us is changing so rapidly that we must move more quickly than may be comfortable and this requires taking risk.  We can and should prepare for our decisions regarding risk through developing intellectual curiosity, learning as much as possible and paying attention to what is happening around us.  The risks we take will be necessary and more likely to succeed.  Standing still and avoiding risk is not an option.  Prepare as best you can, but act, even if it is risky.

April 11, 2015 Posted by | change, courage, Curiosity, learning | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Danger of Success

Tuesday March 24, 2015 #710

“Whenever an individual or a business decides that success has been attained, progress stops.”

~Thomas J. Watson


Most people, teams, and organizations react in the same way to success:  An assumption that they have the right formula for success and so they decide to use that formula again and again.  Logically if you consider the extraordinary level of change occurring in our macro and micro economic environment today, it is obvious that the formula for success today can’t possibly be relied upon to continue to work.  Interestingly most people will never understand this.  They keep trying the same formula and are surprised, even devastated, when it doesn’t work.  The key is to pay attention to your environment.  Observe, learn, and adapt.  So be part of the unique few who not only understand this but act on it:  reinventing success daily through their curiosity, observations and ability to test new ideas.

April 4, 2015 Posted by | change, Curiosity, learning, Success, Take Action | , , , , , , , , | 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


Tuesday May 6, 2014 #624

 “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.” ~Bill Gates


Whether changing ourselves, or preparing for changes around us, we do indeed overestimate what can and will change in the short term.  And we typically fail to recognize and prepare for the significant changes that will occur in the longer term.  To battle this tendency, be curious:  study history, listen to experts who attempt to predict future changes, and come to your own conclusions.  Based on your learning, take actions that can best prepare you for the future possibilities.  While predicting the future is haphazard at best, you must make the attempt so that you are less likely to be caught unawares when inevitable changes occur.

May 11, 2014 Posted by | change, Curiosity, learning, Possibility, Take Action | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Learn, Share, Apply. Repeat.

Tuesday September 24, 2013 #561


“Personal development is your springboard to personal excellence. Ongoing, continuous, nonstop personal development literally assures you that there is no limit to what you can accomplish.”


~Brian Tracy



If you find yourself struggling, ask yourself what you have learned lately and what new method you have tried.  When you finished school, whether it was high school, college, or a secondary degree, did you stop learning?  I find that ongoing success is attributable to a combination of continuous learning and continues application of what I’ve learned.  Learning comes in many forms:  formal courses, reading educational articles, seeking out and listening or speaking to people with expertise in some area you are curious about, and intentional experiences.  Perhaps the most powerful is the latter, but all of these are valuable when done with intention.  None have meaning though if we don’t use what we’ve learned, and share our knowledge freely with others.  Learn, share, apply.  Repeat.

September 28, 2013 Posted by | achievement, Curiosity, learning, Success | , , , , , , , , , , | 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

The quest for learning and knowledge

Thursday September 20, 2012 #456


“The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.”


~Benjamin Franklin


No matter how much we learn, or how much we believe we know the “truth”, the fact is that we are incredibly ignorant on most subjects.  And that is good!  When we accept that we do not have all the answers, it allows us to be intellectually curious, ask good questions, and continue our quest for learning and knowledge.  In this way, we stay nimble, flexible, and joyful as we continuously build upon our knowledge.

December 21, 2012 Posted by | Curiosity, learning, Wisdom | , , , , | Leave a comment