JAM with Mike

Motivation to Start Your Day!

Question Everything

Thursday May 18, 2017 #889

“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.”

~Erich Fromm


To thrive in today’s highly complex world, it is important to build your mental agility and creativity to spot opportunities and solve problems.  The main stumbling block for most people in gaining access to their creativity is certainty and rigidly held beliefs.  Other than natural laws (gravity, etc.) almost nothing is truly certain, and it is the unwillingness to consider new or alternative ideas that keeps most people from success and happiness.

I urge you to never allow anything to be unquestionable.  It is strength of character that allows us to consider ideas that go against what we’ve been previously taught and assumed to be “fact”.  Only by letting go of certainties has man ever advanced culturally, intellectually, or scientifically.  All great discoveries and innovation come from someone who questions a supposed truth.

Be curious, question certainty, allow your creativity to flow.


June 4, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment


Tuesday May 16, 2017 #888

“The creative person wants to be a know-it-all. He wants to know about all kinds of things: ancient history, nineteenth-century mathematics, current manufacturing techniques, flower arranging, and hog futures. Because he never knows when these ideas might come together to form a new idea. It may happen six minutes later or six months, or six years down the road. But he has faith that it will happen.”

~Carl All


Today’s world is ever changing and growing more complex as digital platforms provide direct access to near-infinite amounts of information and data.  This access is both exhilarating and overwhelming.  It is necessary to learn how to regulate your consumption of information, and how to utilize these tools to provide what you need, when you need it.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this is our ability to learn across many areas of interest.  While we can now dig as deeply as we’d like into one area of interest, we do not need to limit ourselves but rather can gain a broad level of exposure to many subjects.  This provides the basis for creative thinking and problem solving as we are able to connect unrelated data in new ways.  This is true creativity.

Try to avoid “binge” consumption but do explore the many areas of potential learning to arm yourself with the tools that inspire creative thought and problem solving in today’s complex environment.

June 4, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

The Journey of Discovery

Thursday July 30, 2015 #745

“One very important aspect of motivation is the willingness to stop and to look at things that no one else has bothered to look at. This simple process of focusing on things that are normally taken for granted is a powerful source of creativity.”

~Edward de Bono

Stop And Look

When you or a team you’re working with find yourself stuck trying to solve a problem or imagine new opportunities, it is often helpful to re-frame the problem/question.  Move beyond the obvious or your previous experience.  Look below the surface and try to find connections or factors that may be hidden by common beliefs.  It is in this journey of discovery that you will likely find your path forward as your creativity is unleashed.

August 7, 2015 Posted by | Creativity, motivation | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Moving Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Tuesday July 28, 2015 #744

“The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity; moving beyond it necessitates intuition, which in turn configures new perspectives and conquers fears.”

~Dan Stevens


Intuition is the art of using all your experience and knowledge and applying it in a new and unclear situation.  If you don’t stretch yourself beyond your habitual methods, if you stay in your comfort zone, you will likely fail or at best achieve mediocrity.  Instead, use your power of intuition to imagine new ideas and unique scenarios to creatively move through challenges and maximize opportunities.

August 7, 2015 Posted by | comfort zone, Creativity, Intuition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Working for Inspiration

Tuesday August 12, 2014 #652

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

~Pablo Picasso


To thrive in today’s increasingly complex and fast-paced world, creativity and innovation become foundational competencies.  To develop these and maximize your potential, you must be actively working on learning and applying your knowledge daily.  Learning isn’t enough.  Inspiration doesn’t come readily by standing still.  Application, execution, and then reflection must occur regularly.  As you do so, and if you keep all your senses open, inspiration will strike.  Get going and get inspired!

August 24, 2014 Posted by | innovation, inspiration, learning | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Tuesday April 8, 2014 #616

 “The nature of creativity is to make space for things to happen… We can drive it out with our busyness and plans.”

 ~Iain McGilchrist


 If you are like most, you allow the busyness of life to remove almost all moments of quiet reflection, time to think, develop new ideas, dream of possibilities, and to create. Everyone possesses the power of creativity and innovation. But few give themselves the time or even the permission to do so. Don’t deprive yourself or the world your potential and abilities. Allow yourself a bit of time to free the creativity within you.

April 19, 2014 Posted by | innovation | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Feel what it is like to create

Thursday July 18, 2013 #542


“The essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail.”


~Edwin H. Land



Fear of failure is the killer of creativity and innovation.  However, simply saying “don’t be afraid” will not give us the courage to create.  Courage is not the absence of fear.  Courage is the ability to act despite our fears.  The reality, and you know this intellectually, is that the cost of failure is usually not catastrophic.  What to do?  Keeping in mind something significant you’d like to work on, start small and create something, anything.  Try a new recipe, write a poem, comment on a blog with your own original take on the subject.  Feel what it is like to create. 


Use that experience to gain the courage to start working on creating something important where failure is possible.   The world needs your ideas!

July 20, 2013 Posted by | courage, Take Action | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The recipe for enthusiasm

Tuesday December 4, 2012 #477


“Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity.”


~Bo Bennett


When trying to raise your own enthusiasm for a challenge or activity, or the enthusiasm of people you lead, consider the recipe provided in today’s quote. 


Excitement stems from anticipation of something you desire.  Are you clear about what you desire or what your team desires?  The vision you have for yourself or your team must tie to achieving that desired state.


True power comes from an inspired choice.  Without an inspirational foundation, it will be tough to drive enthusiasm.  What inspires you? 


You cannot motivate others – you can only provide a motivational environment.  Motivation usually stems from a clear vision of why we should strive for something as well as supporting those who choose to follow.  What are you doing to motivate yourself and your people? 


Finally, a bit of creativity is usually required to inspire and motivate different people and to overcome various obstacles.  Creativity comes from asking questions and being open to learning and accepting new ideas.  What are you doing to drive creativity?


Put it all together and you may just find that enthusiasm you and your team needs to truly achieve!

December 30, 2012 Posted by | achievement, inspiration, leadership, learning, motivation | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Acting outside the box

Tuesday October 30, 2012 #467


“It isn’t enough to think outside the box. Thinking is passive. Get used to acting outside the box.”


~Tim Ferriss


There is such a push today for innovative and creative ideas.  We’re constantly encouraged to ‘think outside of the box’ and imagine new possibilities.  But like all thinking exercises, nothing happens with those thoughts unless action is taken.  Before you spend more time in creative brainstorming sessions, look back at your notes from the last several meetings and see what you can act upon now.

December 29, 2012 Posted by | imagination, Take Action | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We are never done – keep moving!

Thursday October 18, 2012 #464


“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”


~Franklin Roosevelt


Happiness comes from a feeling of forward momentum.  This is achieved by intentional effort, using our talent and creativity to take small and not-so-small actions that move us forward.  A happy life is defined by daily efforts to move forward, even when we don’t succeed, especially when surrounded by those we care about and who care for us.  We are never done – keep moving!

December 24, 2012 Posted by | achievement, Happiness, intention, Success | , , , , | Leave a comment