Tag Archives: Attitude is Everything

Always Grateful

nov20_2016

Point to Ponder:
Who or what do you need to be grateful for?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

With family coming to visit for the Thanksgiving holiday, I hired my friend’s housekeeper to clean our home. We haven’t had our house professionally cleaned since June and it was in desperate need of a good scrubbing. Erica, my friend’s housekeeper, let me know that she was going to get a friend to help her, and to insure that the house got as clean as possible, she was going to take her time. From 7:45 a.m – 5:30 p.m., Erica and Anna cleaned! I never imagined that they would or could clean for so long, but they did. Needless to say, the house is spotless and orderly- like a model home. It looks wonderful and feels even better! However, while our houses cleanliness is a delightful thing, is it temporary. It will soon look like a jungle gym and a stuffed animal, marker, crayon and Lego bomb exploded. However, what is permanent is Anna’s impact.

Prior to yesterday, I had only met Erica once and I had never met Anna at all, so throughout the day I would strike up various conversations. I tried not to bother them, but I wanted to get to know them. By their actions alone it was clear that they were both extremely hard workers and take pride in their work, but as so often occurs when conversing with people, it doesn’t take long to be reminded that everyone has a story and the human spirit is nothing short of incredible!

As soon as Anna finished up cleaning the very last thing, we began talking and she let me know that twenty-five years ago she moved from Mexico to San Diego. She became a US citizen, got married and had three children. Her children are twenty-two, twenty and sixteen. To use her words, she is unfortunately divorced from her children’s father and while he is a part of their lives, her children live with her, she is the provider and she is their rock. Her twenty-two year old son is in the Navy, her twenty year old daughter is in college and her sixteen year old son attends a high-school academy in San Diego. And, as I continued to ask her questions, she let me know that after dropping her son off at school every morning she goes back home to prepare meals for her family, studies and then works as a custodian at a middle school, from 2:30 – 11:30 p.m. When I asked her what she is studying, she let me know that she is striving to get her GED (her high-school diploma). As I nodded my head in disbelief and amazement of the character and strength of this woman, she let me know that she is fifty-two years old and that the only thing she can attribute her strength to is God. She is faith-filled, grateful and she blew my mind!

When Erica and Anna finally finished I gave them both a hug for all of their hard work, but more than making my house look amazing, I was thankful for the opportunity to get to know them. Not only was I reminded of the blessing of being able to afford someone to clean our house (something my mom or my husband’s mom, both single-moms, never had the luxury of being able to afford), but most importantly, I was reminded that despite life’s disappointments and challenges, the blessings of each day outweighs the burdens, attitude is everything, having faith is essential and living with and in gratitude is the only way to live.


Action Item:
Whether it be verbally or in a hand-written note, thank someone you are grateful for and/or give thanks for what you are grateful for.


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The Next Best Thing

Inspiration from the iGnite Archives

April24_2016

Point to Ponder:
Do you struggle with contentment, have trouble appreciating your life and/or find yourself always looking for the next best thing?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

In an effort to fill my life with as much motivation and positive thinking as possible, I subscribe to inspirational and spiritual email services, read nurturing books, surround myself with “light-giving” people, spend time outside and try to exercise several times a week. One of the email newsletters I receive is called Simple Truths, and several times a week they send quotes, short videos and exerts from their books. Just this week I scrolled through one of the newsletters titled “Attitude is Everything.” Honestly, because this message has been drilled into my brain since as far back as I can remember, I initially disregarded it, as I knew it wasn’t going to be new information. This was “old hat” and the reality is that I was looking for cutting-edge wisdom — the latest and greatest that would knock my socks off.

Never-the-less, I reluctantly played the encouraging video and as I suspected there was nothing new. I had read and listened to these words hundreds of times, however because it was ageless wisdom and my life is always evolving, it actually blew my socks off, again! The words were relevant and a necessary way of thinking and living. I immediately became re-inspired and humbled, and it dawned on me that my way of thinking is what led Eve down the path of destruction. I was looking for the next best thing, the shiny and juicy red apple that would give me an advantage in life, but the truth is the old and simple stuff was plenty good. It was enough. In addition, good and bad habits are formed upon repetition and because the substance of the following inspiration by Simple Truth is vital to keeping a positive state of mind, I will continue to read, share, and try my best to live it. Here is what they suggest:

Wait to Worry
Only 8% of what we worry about comes true.
“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

Keep an Attitude of Gratitude
Count your blessings and jot them down.
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” ~ William Arthur Ward

Your Health is Your Wealth
If you lose your health you lost everything. Take time to exercise, catch up on your sleep and eat right.
“One of the main qualities it takes to be successful is energy….it may be the only thing.” ~ Katharine Hepburn

Joy Boomerangs
Do something for someone else….the good you do boomerangs back to you!
“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” ~ Booker T. Washington

Learn to Say “No”
We have limits to our time, energy and interests.
“If we always say ‘yes,’ we run a greater danger of severing relationships than if we refuse right away.” ~ Vicki Hitzges

Understand the Power of Discipline
If you discipline yourself today, you’ll enjoy your life tomorrow.
“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Surround Yourself with Positive People
Find people who will challenge you, believe in your and inspire you to improve.
“To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.” ~ David Viscott

All in all, I do think it is important to be open to learning and exploring new things. Knowledge is power and a key component of growth, however I also believe that most humans struggle with contentment (THAT’S ME!) which keeps us chasing the next best thing and in a perpetual state of wanting and needing more. Therefore, as we continue to seek new information, opportunities, and adventure, remember to not over-think it and keep it simple. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel and most often our most sacred treasures are right under our noses, like the bee pollinating the flower in the picture. While the bee is only a tiny little insect, they are the most efficient pollinators whose impact is incredible! Without them, many of the flowers we love would not exist, we would not be able to enjoy the deliciousness of honey as well as a long list of fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. However, because of that simple little critter, life is a whole lot sweeter, just as so many other “little things” in our life.

Action Item:
Practice contentment by taking a moment to stop, breathe and focus on your life: the tumultuous times you have overcome and the wisdom you thankfully gained from them; the struggles and inconveniences that you are currently enduring and the growth opportunities you are receiving from them; and the relationships, blessings and “little things” that you might often look past. In this busy, accomplishment-oriented and task-driven world we live in, take the time to focus on the “small things” and give thanks for the big impact they have had and currently have on your life.

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