JAM with Mike

Motivation to Start Your Day!

Enjoying the Journey

Thursday June 5, 2014 #633

“Great results cannot be achieved at once; and we must be satisfied to advance in life as we walk, step by step.” ~Samuel Smiles

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It is common to get discouraged on the long path to achieving our dreams.  Anything worth achieving is going to be challenging and may result in many failures as we attempt to move forward.  To not only achieve our goals, but more importantly to enjoy the journey, we must allow ourselves to recognize the many small victories along the way.  This is the definition of the joyful, happy life – the ability to enjoy the journey.  We do this be recognizing the steps taken, and being grateful for the people and the experiences we are fortunate to have along the way.

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June 7, 2014 Posted by | achievement, Goal Setting, Gratitude | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gratitude

Thursday May 1, 2014 #623

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”

~A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

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We all have moments of gloom and negativity.  It is part of being human.  However, if you are negative and ill-tempered on a regular basis, it is a choice you have made.  We all know we are at our best when we are feeling and thinking positively.  So how can you break out of a temporary bad mood, or a more tenacious state of negativity?  Begin with gratitude.  By reminding ourselves (or discovering for the first time) of the many people, things and circumstances that make our lives better than they would otherwise be, we begin a path to positivity.  Despite the many challenges we all face, I am certain you have many things to be grateful for.  Just as Piglet can find gratitude in his heart, so can you!

May 3, 2014 Posted by | Gratitude | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happiness

Thursday April 3, 2014 #615

“If we only wanted to be happy, this would soon be done. But we want to be happier than others and that is almost always difficult, because we see them happier than they actually are.”

~Charles de Montesquieu

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The path to sustainable joy and moments of intense happiness stem from our ability to realize with gratitude all that we are fortunate to have in this life. Unfortunately, our human tendency is to compare ourselves and what we have with others – particularly our perception of others’ happiness. Too often our lens is one of scarcity rather than abundance and we subconsciously or even consciously covet others’ possessions, relationships, and perceived happiness. We must fight this human tendency by consciously recognizing our own gifts and realizing everyone has their own challenges and limitations. Focus less on comparisons and more on gratitude. Decide to be happy and you’ll likely find your way there.

April 6, 2014 Posted by | Gratitude, Happiness | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reflection, acceptance, gratitude

Thursday March 27, 2014 #613

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

 ~Neal A. Maxwell

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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

Leadership

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

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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

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

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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

Love

Thursday February 13, 2014 #602

 

Someone has written, Love is a verb. It requires doing – not just saying and thinking. The test is in what one does, how one acts, for love is conveyed in word and deed.

 

~David B. Haight

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Yes, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.  And yes, if you are fortunate to have a partner in your life, you ought to do something to celebrate your gratitude for this special someone.  However, I urge you to consider your daily acts and gestures.  Why wait for this one day?  Or their birthday, or your anniversary?  Most people agree that simple expressions of love outside of these holidays carry far greater meaning and will contribute to a healthy, intimate, and long-lasting relationship.  Still, he or she will still appreciate a Valentine’s gesture – so don’t forget that too!

February 18, 2014 Posted by | love | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Feeling Alive

Thursday January 9, 2014 #592

 

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”

 

~Thornton Wilder

gratitude

 

As I reflect on the moments in which I have felt most alive, more filled with joy, and most happy, they are those moments in which I was most aware of the many blessings in my life.  My wife, my children, and my grandson by far top that list.  My extended family, closest friends and most valued work colleagues come next.  The opportunity to bring my best to work every day for a tremendous organization and live in an exciting foreign country rounds out my top 3.  The list goes on, but you get the idea. 

 

Rather than spend any more time focusing on what you don’t have, think about all you do have, reflect with gratitude and allow yourself to feel a bit more alive, joyful, and happy.

January 11, 2014 Posted by | Gratitude, Happiness | , , , , , | Leave a comment

2014: The Year Ahead

Thursday January 2, 2014 #590

 

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”  

~Søren Kierkegaard

2014 - the year ahead

 

Welcome to 2014!  I am not one for New Year’s resolutions.  However, I do believe in taking time to reflect on last year’s achievements and failures to provide context for adjusting my areas of focus in the year ahead.  Like me, I am sure if you reflect on 2013 honestly, you will find much to be grateful for, achievements to celebrate, as well as failures to learn from.   

My challenge to myself and to you is to spend a bit of time to do a realistic reflection on 2013 and then focus on building upon another year of wisdom to enable an exciting and achievement-filled 2014.  Don’t dwell too much on the past but rather determine what can be learned from both the good and the challenging moments and then focus on moving forward with this knowledge.

 

I’m focused on making 2014 a foundational year for my and my family’s personal and professional next leap forward.  How about you?

January 5, 2014 Posted by | achievement, learning, Wisdom | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Abundance

Thursday December 26, 2013 #588

 

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”

 

~Eckhart Tolle

Abundance

It is a natural part of being human to strive for more:  more wealth, more possessions, more pleasure…  more, more, more!  Most of us also realize that “more” of these things do not usually have anything to do with what we really want:  more happiness, more joy, more love, more meaning.  And in fact, the opposite is true:  The more we experience happiness, joy, love, and meaning, the more likely it is that we will find these manifested in wealth and other material things.

 

Begin your journey with gratitude and acknowledgment of the many blessings you already possess, including the many people around you.  If you can feel this authentically, you will find your path to tangible abundance clear and aided by both your own efforts and by the gifts of those you impact.

December 27, 2013 Posted by | Gratitude, Happiness, love, Pleasure | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment