Category Archives: Success

Are you Waiting? Or Are You Climbing Your Mountain?

Wisdom from Children’s Books & Movies III

“Life is like a camera….focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don’t work out, take another shot.” (Unknown)

Point to Ponder:
Are you waiting for great things to happen in your life or are you actively pursuing them every day?

Action Item:
Take full advantage of your life and start climbing your mountain(s), even if you are unsure of the top — just start stepping.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Upon graduating from college, I was given the book Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss. Before reading it I was dumbfounded that my very close friends would give me a children’s book for a college graduation gift. Then, I read it and it made perfect sense. As in all of Dr. Seuss’ books, the illustrations are whimsical and childlike, but the story covers every square inch of life’s interesting journeys and the opportunities that await us, if we so choose. Here is my favorite message from the book:

Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

It’s opener there in the wide open air. Out there things can happen and frequently do
to people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.

You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race
down long, wiggled roads at a break-neck pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come,
or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil,
or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls,
or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.
NO! That’s not for you!

So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!

This book is bursting with greatness! It does seems perfectly suited for a college graduate, however, I actually think it makes better sense for those of us who live more predictable and routine lives (due to our jobs, children, family responsibilities, etc.) to read so we can be reminded of the plentiful opportunities that are bubbling around us. We just have to look up and see them!

My reasoning for this is that a graduate’s life experience is limited, causing them to be inherently fearless and able to see life as giant blank canvas. But, as we all know, life is hard and full of setbacks. It doesn’t take too long of being in “the real world” to experience crushed dreams, broken hearts, and unmet expectations…and suddenly life doesn’t seem as wide open and filled with opportunity as it once did. This is a universal experience that can cause us to become less optimistic, hopeless, and even jaded, which keeps us existing in a fear-based room called (as Dr. Seuss says) “The Waiting Place” — the worst place to be.

In life, I think it’s very easy to become complacent. I also think it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and give up on pursuing the things that truly interest you. Perhaps these are things that you optimistically set out to explore and achieve following college. Or maybe they are new interests? Either way, what’s most important and exciting is that everyday is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!


‘Pop’ Your Spell

Don Miguel Ruiz says “one fear or doubt planted in our mind (in the form of a word or comment and by another human being) can create an endless drama of events.” In other words, we’ve chosen to believe the words of another person as truth and it has cast a negative spell on our life. This belief is holding us back! Conversely, we really know the truth, and at any point we have the power to break the spell and be set free from all untruths that will allow us to reach our unlimited potential. Really, the choice is as simple as writing it on a balloon, popping the balloon, and letting it go, as seen in this week’s video.

Happy Spring Break!


Other Videos You Might Like:

Wait…Can I Have YOUR Mantra?

“Once you become consciously aware of just how powerful your thoughts are, you will realize everything in your life is exactly how you allow it to be.”
-Melaine Moushigian Koulouris

Point to Ponder:
Have you been putting off determining your mantra?
Remind yourself that it can’t hurt to create one,  why put it off when it could do nothing but GOOD for your life?

Action Item:
If you have already determined your spring mantra, repeat it to yourself at least once a day.  If you haven’t, do it this week!

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Now that we’ve been sharing mantras for the past two weeks, I’m curious if you are suffering from “mantra envy” like I am?  Perhaps you have even asked, “Wait..can I have your mantra?”

I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with identifying with and wanting someone else’s mantra, as it simply means that we have a lot in common. And, the more we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and share, the greater opportunity we have to connect on intimate levels, inspire one another and have the greatest impact. So in the spirit of sharing, below are the  personal mantras of three more of our amazing leaders: Alli, Jill and Kathleen

“Conceive – Believe – Achieve”

by Alli Phillips

by Alli Phillips

For the last several months my husband and I have been casually brainstorming a business idea that has me very excited. Not only do I think our idea is a good one, but I love that it involves us working together. However, even though I WANT to work toward making our idea a reality, I am prone to self-doubt as well as letting the busyness of day-to-day life consume me…. So, this spring, the areas of wellness on which I’d like to focus are “occupation” and “personal growth.” My mantra is “Conceive – Believe – Achieve” based on the quote from Napoleon Hill, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

“Embrace Life’s Challenges, Eager to Gain all the Blessings Hidden in the Difficulties”

by Jill Watts

by Jill Watts

Over the past year I have had many life challenges to deal with, and as I am not always able to stay positive and push through whatever comes my way, I certainly have not embraced many of these challenges. I have spent a lot of time and energy trying to figure out why they happened the way they did, how they could have been different and have whined about them. I realized that if I just accept things exactly as they are in the present moment and embrace the challenge, trusting that everything will work out in the end and that something good will come out of them– a blessing– that life would be so much easier and happier. This pertains to my work, my marriage, my children, relationships…ALL aspects of my life. We are constantly faced with challenges in our lives, especially as we get older and our children get older. Life is constantly changing and bringing upon new challenges, which is what makes us grow and become stronger, wiser and live with more gratitude. I often have to remind myself these days to embrace it rather than complain about it!  Almost always there is a blessing that comes out of it in same way. It also helps me realize how truly blessed I am.

“Don’t Be Afraid to Be Amazing!”

by Kathleen Parker

by Kathleen Parker

I have to confess I borrowed my mantra from the words of Olympic Snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler. When I first read her words I knew they meant something to me. Growing up with a driven and goal-oriented father, I remember his words to us 6 kids: “You can search for happiness your whole life and you will never find it. It is through your accomplishments that you find happiness.” Often I get “comfortable” with my day to day life, and at times get stagnant and stuck. “Don’t be afraid to be amazing” motivates me to continue to challenge myself in ALL aspects of my life, even if it leads to some failures and disappointments. My failures have been a vehicle for learning and growth, and if I did not go through them I would not be a better version of myself. BRING IT ON 2014!! I will NOT be afraid to be amazing!!



Why Everyone Should Create a 2014 Mantra

“Words have power. They work. That’s why poetry can affect people. That’s why music and lyrics and songs affect people, and that’s why chants and prayers and affirmations and all those various things affect the frame of mind.”
– Sammy Hagar

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Having grown up the daughters of a coach, my sister and I were raised to be physically and mentally tough. For example, in the horrible event that we would ever be attacked, our dad showed us how to defend ourselves. And I’m not talking when we were in middle school or high school — he started demonstrating this in first or second grade! It went about like this: “If someone approaches you, the first thing you do is kick’em in the groin. Then, as they are bent down in pain, with both hands and like a cymbal, pop’em in the ears. Finally, hit’em in the nose.”   Clearly the assailant would  be hurting from the groin kick, but their ears would also be ringing, their equilibrium thrown off to prevent them from chasing us, and their nose, well, that’s just adding insult to injury.

Then were the mottos that have shaped our mindsets. When my sister or I would fall and hurt ourselves, my dad would make us repeat “I’m mean, I’m tough!”  Eventually, we’d start laughing and the pain would go away; however, when you’ve told yourself those words enough times, they begin to shape the way you think and your ability to handle painful situations. Ironically, the other day I stubbed my toe, and while crouched down and moaning, Durant (my three-year-old son) said, “Mommy, you’re mean and tough!” Of course I beamed from the inside-out and said, “Yes I am!” and quickly got over my sore toe.

The second and equally as important motto is: “I’m as good as the best and better than the rest.” My dad reinforced this when we played sports. Of course there were times when we would doubt our abilities and get down on our performance. Without fail he’d always say, “Get your head up and say it.” And so, we’d pick our head up and say, “I’m as good as the best and better than the rest,” and we’d have to repeat it until we meant it. Interestingly, the motto never made us arrogant, rather, it instilled self confidence and helped us persevere and pursue our goals and dreams without fear. Now, in the event that fear or self-doubt ever creeps up, we repeat the words, “I’m as good as the best and better than the rest” …and the fear magically disappears.

While the mottos I was coached to say and now live by continue to be a part of my mental programming and psyche, my life, like all of ours, is constantly evolving and each season brings a new and different set of circumstances, opportunities, challenges and goals. And now that I am fully immersed in 2014 and can look at it with a realistic pair of eyes (not just January 1/New Year’s eyes), I’ve decided to create my “mantra”/”intention”/”motto,” if you will, to guide me through the next several months. What I’ve chosen is: “We Can Do Hard Things.” I’ve chosen this because it serves as a reminder to me that while I am working, pursing my personal and professional goals and striving to be my best, WE can do it. And, because it is all hard, my husband Russell and I are in this together, and it takes a village to parent children, get anywhere, and accomplish anything. Saying and seeing the words “We Can Do Hard Things” will inspire me to hit the hard things head-on and keep going.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Point to Ponder:

How about you?
Do you have a 2014 seasonal saying or focus that will help you reach your goals, aspirations or simply help you get through the next several months with a smile on your face?

In the event you need some help, here are a few ideas that I hope light a fire in your soul, alter your mindset and inspire positive action:

Get your hair wet (a.k.a., have more fun); Making memories is more important;
Dirty shorts can be worn twice; Be fearless; Love myself; Leap and the net will appear;
Be nice; Carry on warrior; Participate in the rhythm of life; Love being alone;
Trust the process; Discover ME; Be consistent; Never say never; Balance is impossible

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Action Item:

Determine how you would fill out the 2 steps of the card above
to intentionally pursue a healthier you in body, mind and/or spirit this spring!



Persist to Achieve

We’re entering our 4th week of January & are pacing ourselves for positive long-term & permanent change. Maybe this is a breeze for you, or maybe you’re struggling. Either way, we’re in this together & we’re walking along-side you. In this week’s video, motivational speaker and life coach Tony Robbins provides valuable insight into how to make our positive changes STICK. As you watch, ponder your “why” & next week we’ll put pen to paper & make this thing HAPPEN!

Video not working? Watch it here on YouTube.

Don’t have 10 minutes to watch?  A few of our favorite points from Tony’s talk:

Statistics show that 90% of people who made a new year’s resolution have already broken it by January 15th!

There’s something inside of us that makes us want to make things better.

Getting things is not going to make you happy…the secret to real happiness is progress. If we can make progress on a regular basis, we feel alive.

You don’t have to work on changing… everything in life is always changing. Change in life is automatic, but progress is not. You have to work at it.

The first step for lasting change is have a vision. A vision for what you really want…what excites you…it has to be a compelling vision, not something that you have to push yourself to do.  You’ve got to have strong enough reasons that you’re going to keep going when the going gets tough.


The Key to New Year’s Resolution Success


“Pace yourself. Your best moments will be those you live in, not rush through.”

Point to Ponder:
Are you going after one of your new year’s resolutions or goals full-throttle?

Action Item:
Re-think how you might pace yourself more realistically so that you can have sustainable, long-term success.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Once upon a time I ran a marathon, and once upon a time I could run a half marathon with ease, and the three-mile loop at Lady Bird Lake was simply a warm-up. Now, 2 children and at least five years later, the three-mile loop is a struggle.  Because I love the serenity of a jog (especially around Lady Bird Lake), one of my 2014 goals is to run the loop without stopping.  So, last Monday I set out on a mission to regain my running endurance. I knew going into it I would likely be winded and want to stop, but the moment I stepped onto the trail I felt like “the old Neissa” again. I was strong, athletic and invincible, so I took off! As you might expect, within five minutes I began to walk, and I wasn’t feeling the confidence I experienced just a few minutes earlier. Long story short, I did complete the loop but it was a humbling run/walk combination.

Then, on Saturday morning I got up early to try again, but this time I was much more strategic and realistic. Rather than let my ego push me beyond my cardiovascular limits I recognized and accepted my stamina state and paced myself. Surprisingly, and with the exception of intentionally walking across the Pfluger Bridge to enjoy the view, I completed the loop without stopping. My time wasn’t great, but I really didn’t care.  It’s a marathon and not a sprint, right?!

Throughout my jog, I thought a lot about the concept of pacing myself and how relevant it is in life, and for this time of year in particular. Too often, the vast majority of my goals, resolutions and expectations are motivated by past successes: what I once was or what I once could do. And, because one of my Achilles heels is living in the past or future, I have trouble accepting my present reality and don’t pace myself, which of course results in not having long-term success with my goals.

Like anything worth having or accomplishing, it takes time — even if it is something that was once easy! So in this new year, I challenge you to pace yourself and embrace what is sustainable, which is nothing that can be achieved overnight or within a few weeks or months time. This includes building or repairing healthy relationships, adopting healthy habits, acquiring healthy thoughts, creating a healthy body and everything else that is on your 2014 to-do’s, goals and resolutions list.  So, go ahead and pace yourself, and let’s make 2014 the best year of our lives!

We Love the Holstee Manifesto

This simply speaks for itself.  Watch, read & enjoy 🙂

The Holstee Manifesto

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The Third Metric

How do you define success?

by Pam Owens

by Pam Owens

I’ve been successful. That kind of “check the box” successful.  I’ve always been a pretty good student, excelled in college and graduated with a perfect GPA from graduate school while working three jobs —  one that had me traveling 40% of the time. I married the best guy ever who I grew up with and met in church, and launched a successful business that has sustained for years. We built a home, had two amazing children, are the first line of support to our aging parents and volunteer in the community.

Check, check, check!  I’ve checked all of the boxes. I did it “right” and in the “right” order. The problem was, I was not present for any of those activities. I was a spectator in my own life, and my definition of success (the one that society has truly thrust on all of us) had me fooled.

Then I realized that if I was going to get it right for the next quarter of my life, I had to enter into the third metric. Simply put: I had to redefine what success and well-being looked like for me. What about you? How do you “show up” everyday? Still checking those boxes? Come to the Intentional Renewal Retreat and figure your true definition of success… and walk away changed.

— — — — —

Pam OwensPam Owens is President and CEO at Edge of Your Seat Consulting, Inc. and is a featured speaker at iGnite’s Intentional Renewal wellness retreat in February 2014.  Back by popular demand, Pam’s authentic, passionate and hysterical take on life is something all women can benefit from. As a wife, mother of two, business owner and speaker, Pam understands the importance of taking the necessary time each day to nurture oneself so you can be your best.   Known for her no-nonsense communication style, Pam has toured the U.S. for the last 16 years delivering customized training, strategic planning, fundraising consulting, keynote speaking and executive coaching for corporate clients, school districts, non-profits, higher education institutions, religious entities, and small businesses.  Join us at the Intentional Renewal Retreat and learn more about putting the “third metric” into practice in your life.


Exactly Where You Need to Be

Greatest Blessings come with patience

You will get there when you are meant to get there, and not one moment sooner… relax, breathe and be patient.
– Mandy Hale

Point to Ponder:
Do you question why you are where you are in life?

Action Item:
Remain patiently determined while understanding that you are planted where you and others need to grow.

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

Despite the fact that we profusely fought as teenagers, my older sister Shonna is my best friend. While our core values and beliefs are identical, we are two very different people. For example, she’s an ER nurse, while hospitals make me queasy. She’s direct and doesn’t mind confrontation, while I’ll do almost anything to smooth over an unpleasant situation. We both believe in the power of goal setting, however Shonna isn’t satisfied until it is accomplished, while I tend to find joy in the journey.

Over the past nine years, Shonna has been working diligently on accomplishing a long-term goal related to her career success. She has remained prayerful, faithful and determined, however she also stays perpetually frustrated and curious, wondering when she will see the fruits of her labor. Then, a few months ago during a bizarre dream (involving, of all weird things, a Rubik’s Cube), she was given the peace of mind she had been searching for. Not only did the dream reveal that she was exactly where she needed to be, but most importantly it showed her that while her time would arrive, she was where she was so that others could get where they needed to go.

We both believe that her dream was divinely inspired and certainly not coincidence. Its message is powerful and one that we all can benefit from, which is:

We all play a significant role in one another’s lives. Never is the meeting of a stranger or where we are at any given point inconsequential to the grand plan. We are planted where we need to grow, and, as frustrating as it can be, we must remember that 99.9% of the time it’s not about us. If looked upon from above, we would resemble an orchestra — everyone playing a different instrument, some well and some not so well, but nonetheless, creating a musical masterpiece together.

In case you feel like Shonna did, wondering when your hard work will pay off, why you are where you are, or when your time will come, just remember you are exactly where others need you to be, and therefore, exactly where you are supposed to be.

What do you think? Join the discussion here


What Life is REALLY All About

iGniters pushing the limits at Molly's Cross Training Class- Pease Park

iGniters pushing the limits at Molly’s Cross Training Class- Pease Park

Life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them. So go out and start creating. Life is short. Live your dream and share your passion.
– Holstee Manifesto

Just like the saying by Napoleon Bonaparte “a picture is worth a thousand words,” this week’s video is also worth a thousand words. Check it out and be inspired to keep living an awesome life!   ~Neissa

JOIN THE DISCUSSION- Life is Short. If this day were your last, what would you be doing?