JAM with Mike

Motivation to Start Your Day!

Choose Positivity

Tuesday May 2, 2017 #884

“People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson


People tend to fall into one of two generalities:  negative or positive.  While there are infinite variations, and people can shift from negative to positive, we all tend to have a tendency one way or the other.  Even if one is naturally negative, however, it needn’t define their character.  However, it does take intention, strength and even courage to train oneself to behave and think positively if this isn’t your natural state. Similarly, a naturally positive individual can be eventually dragged into negativity by negative people and circumstances without intention and strength of character.

Your character is defined as the manifestation of your intentions.  I challenge you to choose positivity in the face of negativity, either through intentionally leveraging your positive nature, or through the challenging work of developing the habits of thought and action that develop a positive outlook.

What is your opinion of the world?  What is the confession of your character?  Choose positivity.  And work like hell to maintain it.


May 5, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Seeing the Positive

Thursday March 16, 2017 #871

“To a dull mind all of nature is leaden. To the illumined mind the whole world burns and sparkles with light.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson


It is always your choice to see things in a positive or a negative light.  There are very few things that are truly without worth.  Even the “ugly” has beauty within it if you choose to see it.  Don’t go through life either seeing the bad in everything or maybe even worse, seeing nothing of any interest at all.  Choose to seek the interesting, the beautiful, the surprising, in everyone and everything.  Allow your mind to see the possibilities.

March 27, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Make Your Own Luck

Thursday June 4, 2015 #731

“Good luck is another name for tenacity of purpose.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson


I do not believe in luck and neither should you.  Good things happen for us when we are clear on what we want, repeatedly take action to prepare ourselves, and pay attention so we recognize and take advantage of opportunities as they come along.  Don’t wait and hope for “luck” to come along.  Create your best future by preparing for it and acting to make it so.

June 16, 2015 Posted by | purpose, Take Action, Tenacity | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Conquering Fears

Sunday November 16, 2014 #678

“They can conquer who believe they can. He has not learned the first lesson is life who does not every day surmount a fear.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Everyone has fears.  Those who appear fearless have merely learned to face and conquer their fears through tenacious action and a stubborn belief in their own ability to persevere.  This ability is learned and only gained through experience and will.  Don’t think you need to do this alone.  Share your fears with those you care about and enlist their help and guidance in your quest to accomplish your goals and purpose.  Get out there and push through the challenges of the day and gain the experience that will serve you well through the normal messiness of life.

November 23, 2014 Posted by | Perseverance, Tenacity | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Taking the Next Step

Tuesday August 5, 2014 #650

 “All great masters are chiefly distinguished by the power of adding a second, a third, and perhaps a fourth step in a continuous line. Many a man has taken the first step. With every additional step you enhance immensely the value of your first.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


So many times we begin our journey to achieving our goals, but stop when things get a little challenging.  Taking the first step toward your goal is fantastic.  Most never even begin. However, the only way to achieve anything worth having is to have the persistence to continue taking the next step and the next, despite challenges, lack of resources, and distractions.  Take that next step!

August 8, 2014 Posted by | achievement, persistence, Take Action | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Promise & Potential

Tuesday December 31, 2013 #589


“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”


~Ralph Waldo Emerson

2014 - its up to you


Amazing to realize another year in our life journey is coming to an end.  And exciting to think about the year ahead and the people, experiences, and opportunities we will encounter.  As you consider how you will experience the 52 weeks ahead, remember to reflect on all your gifts and talents. 


This is the time to think of the power you hold to use all you have learned to this point to enable you to bring the best of yourself to all that comes to you in 2014.  Regardless of the challenges in your life, you have immense power to choose hope over despair, positivity over negative thoughts, and to surround yourself with positive and energizing people and experiences.


2014 is shaping up to be an amazing year, full of promise and potential for those who choose to make it so.


I hope to hear from you as you live your year intentionally and positively.  Happy New Year!

January 5, 2014 Posted by | intention, learning | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aiming High

Tuesday September 10, 2013 #557


“We aim above the mark to hit the mark.”


~Ralph Waldo Emerson

aim high2


This is a time-tested truth:  Always aim to achieve results greater than required.  If you do, it is highly likely you will always achieve at least what is expected and often much more.  In so doing, your achievements will bring you success, and likely appropriate rewards.  If you only aim at what is expected, you are guaranteed only ‘satisfactory’ results and will often achieve less than expected.  This is a recipe for mediocrity at best, and failure at worst.  Aim high and achieve beyond your dreams.

September 16, 2013 Posted by | achievement, Goal Setting, Success | , , , , | 5 Comments

Understanding balance

Tuesday December 18, 2012 #481


“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.”


~Ralph Waldo Emerson


The universe requires balance.  No one gains success, achieves their dreams, accomplishes great things, without sacrifice.  You will lose something in the path to achievement.  Realize this with pragmatism and sober reflection.  Make your choices carefully knowing this truth.  The pain and failures along the way become far more bearable when you understand the cost of attaining your chosen goals.

December 31, 2012 Posted by | achievement, Understanding | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Get on with life

Thursday November 29, 2012 #476


“Don’t waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour’s duties will be the best preparation for the hours or ages that follow it.”


~Ralph Waldo Emerson


The key to achievement is knowing what you stand for and the kind of difference you want to make in this world.  Worrying about possible negative outcomes of your efforts will not serve you.  Focus instead on doing your best with what you have to work with right now.  Doing so will likely move you in the right general direction and you can course correct from there.  Get on with life – you will be fine.

December 30, 2012 Posted by | achievement, intention | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Every end is a beginning

Tuesday October 23, 2012 #465


“There is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning, and under every deep a lower deep opens.”


~Ralph Waldo Emerson


This is a tough one for me to write.  It is my first JAM I’ve written since my Dad’s passing last week.  He was a great collector of quotes (now you know where I get it from!) and I went to his list and chose today’s message.  I could write for days as to what this man has meant to me and my development as a person and a leader.  I will instead keep this short and just tell you that I truly loved my dad and will miss him terribly.  However, as Emerson brilliantly stated, every end is a beginning – even a life.  I will move through my grief and continue my quest to be a positive force, seeking to be contagious in offering hope, encouragement, and love to a world that needs it.  My dad would expect that from me.  And I will not let him down.


Thank you to all who have offered their condolences and kind thoughts to me and my family.  It is truly appreciated.


Good-bye Dad

December 24, 2012 Posted by | Gratitude, leadership, love | , , , , , | 2 Comments