JAM with Mike

Motivation to Start Your Day!

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

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

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

Breaking Free

Thursday October 17, 2013 #568

“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.”

~Mark Caine


You have the power to overcome all but the most daunting circumstances.  Your foundational belief on life’s potential determines the limit to your power.  Do you view your potential and the potential of those around you from a paradigm of scarcity or abundance? I challenge you to see the world as a place of abundant opportunity, talent, and possibility – which it is.  From this perspective, your current circumstances can be viewed for what they are:  A temporary situation.  Each moment has within it the spark of possibility – for you to take small or large actions to change your current circumstances to your liking and betterment.

Determine where you are headed, decide to succeed, and then do what you must to move in the direction of success no matter the current environment.  It is a world of abundance.  Use your power to create your path to success.

October 19, 2013 Posted by | change, Perspective, Possibility, Success, Take Action, Talent | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just to be Alive

Tuesday October 15, 2013 #567


I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable … but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a great thing.


~Agatha Christie

good to be alive


Today is the one year anniversary of my father’s passing. He used to share quotes with me regularly and this was one that I thought quite poignant as I reflect upon his life.  He went through many challenges, as we all do, but always tried (not always successfully) to stay focused on his blessings and being grateful for living.


As you and I go through life and experience the many unavoidable physical and emotional challenges, we can try to remember all that is good in our life, all the amazing talents, relationships, and possessions we have.  It just might get us through these challenges a little faster, with a little less pain and a little more positivity.  If we can do this, I know my dad would be proud.

October 19, 2013 Posted by | Gratitude, Perspective, Wisdom | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life is to be lived!

Thursday September 26, 2013 #562


“I believe life is to be lived, not worked, enjoyed, not agonized, loved, not hated.”


~Leland Bartlett

life is to be lived


The quality of our life is dependent on our state of mind, the choices we make about how we experience all we have and don’t have.  Life doesn’t happen to you. You happen to life.  You truly have the power to have good things happen and pass unnoticed or experience joy fully.  You similarly have the power to wallow in the negatives that befall us all, or acknowledge the negative, learn from it and move on. 


When you find yourself in a moment of joy, experience it fully and with gratitude, and share the moment with others to magnify the power.  When you find yourself in a moment of defeat, pain, or disappointment, don’t deny it.  Experience it, acknowledge it.  Then ask, “What can I learn from this?”  Don’t forget the lesson, but let go of the negative emotions.  This all takes practice.  Begin today.

September 28, 2013 Posted by | Gratitude, learning, Perspective, Take Action | , , , , , , , , , , , | 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

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

Appreciating what you have

Thursday June 13, 2013 #532


“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”


~Frederick Koenig


This truth has been said in many ways, but the essence remains the same:  The truly happy among us are those with the courage and the wisdom to pause and be grateful for what they have vs. yearning for what they do not have.  It does not mean they do not strive for achievements and goals.  It is that they recognize the gifts they already have today which they will use to take action to get to what they are after.  This provides not only happiness, but peace, confidence, and courage.


Take a bit of time each day to reflect on what you do have and then take action to make a difference!

June 22, 2013 Posted by | achievement, courage, Goal Setting, Gratitude, Happiness, Perspective, Take Action, Wisdom | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments