Tag Archives: enthusiasm

Fourteen Reasons to be Grateful

iGnite -gratitude changes everything

Point to Ponder:
Do you regularly acknowledge what you are grateful for?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

As you have likely noticed, during the month of November we are celebrating gratitude! Not only are we eager to blast out our gratitude in our social media #ignitegratefulgram contest, but we are fired up to wear our gratitude loud and proud with our NEW ‘Grateful’ fall apparel.

We are not at all suggesting or asking that you post or wear your grateful spirit to be boastful about your “things”. Instead, the motivation behind our Grateful Campaign is to encourage the daily action of giving thanks for our amazing lives and blessings…because when life gets inevitably tough, a grateful spirit can change a bad day into a good day, and a good day into a great day, because gratitude changes everything. I’m hopeful that our Grateful Campaign will inspire and reignite a grateful spirit in everyone.

There is no denying that acknowledging our blessings on a daily basis leads to a physiological reaction that creates a happy and peacful state in the body. To go a step further, based on the findings from a fascinating gratitude experiment conducted by two psychologists, writing down what we are grateful for leads to even greater results. Check this out:

“Two psychologists, Michael McCollough of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis, wrote an article about an experiment they conducted on gratitude and its impact on well-being. The study split several hundred people into three different groups and all of the participants were asked to keep daily diaries. The first group kept a diary of the events that occurred during the day without being told specifically to write about either good or bad things; the second group was told to record their unpleasant experiences; and the last group was instructed to make a daily list of things for which they were grateful. The results of the study indicated that daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher reported levels of 1. alertness, 2. enthusiasm, 3. determination, 4. optimism, and 5. energy. In addition, those in the gratitude group experienced less 6. depression and 7. stress, and 8. were more likely to help others, 9. exercised more regularly, and 10. made greater progress toward achieving personal goals. In addition, Dr. Emmons’ research shows that those who practice gratitude tend to be more 11. creative, 12. bounce back more quickly from adversity, 13. have a stronger immune system, and 14. have stronger social relationships than those who don’t practice gratitude. He further points out that “To say we feel grateful is not to say that everything in our lives is necessarily great. It just means we are aware of our blessings.” – The Change Blog

Something that I am experimenting with in our family is a gratitude jar. The jar sits in the middle of our dining room table and each evening at dinner, we talk about one thing we are grateful for, followed with writing it down on piece of paper and placing it in the jar. Because I have small children who can’t write, I have been writing what they say as as well as including the date. It has become a sweet and focused time which stirs up great conversation (even with a two and a four year old). My personal goal is to revisit the jar of notes during our Thanksgiving meal and to continue writing down what we are grateful for throughout the month of November and the remainder of the year.

Another idea is to print and cut out our Grateful Printables. Then, place your jar, printables and pen in a high-traffic area in your home and anytime you or your family members pass by it, drop a gratitude note in the jar. From a good nights rest, a warm a cup of coffee to the blessing of good health, family and friends, it all counts and taking the time to acknowledging your blessings will make a positive impact in your health, relationships and overall quality of life. And, several months from now or anytime you need a pick-me-up, all you have to do is read what’s in the jar and you are guaranteed a good laugh, happy cry and/or mood booster. Why? Because gratitude changes everything!

Action Item:
Print out our Grateful Printables. Place your jar, printables and pen in a high-traffic area in your home and anytime you or your family members pass by it, drop a gratitude note in the jar. Or, at dinner each evening have each family member write down and discuss what they are grateful for and place in the jar.

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What a Toddlers Gymnastics Class Taught Me about the Confidence-Boosting Power of ‘YES!’

Say Yes More Than No

“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.”  – Joseph Campbell

Point to Ponder:

Do you tend to be more of a “yes” or a “no” person?

Action Item:

Say YES whenever you can. But when you can’t, don’t settle for a “no” — instead, suggest an alternative that you can say YES to!

About Neissa

by Neissa Springmann

Have you ever thought about the power of the words “yes” and “no?” I never had until I co-owned a non-competitive gymnastics business several years ago. Our gymnasts ranged from toddlers to preteens, and after every class we wanted each of them to leave with a positive experience and increased self-esteem. We wanted them to run out to their parents telling them how much fun they had and how great they had done, even if the only skill they performed was to “hop like a bunny” or to kick a coach in the face while doing a cartwheel — which happened a lot.

We also noticed in our parent/tot classes that the toddlers that were told “no” more often than “yes” by mom or dad were the ones who rebelled and misbehaved more often. On the other hand, the children that were corrected in a positive way, without being told “no” had an optimal experience, with both parent and tot leaving bonded and excited, rather than irritated and defeated.

Regardless of the age or skill level of each gymnast, when a skill was performed incorrectly or the coaches caught a foot in the face, we trained ourselves to smile and say “YES, great job! Now lets try it this way…” This response always increased the child’s confidence, and their progression rate would soar. It also made our coaching experience—an adventure, really—exceptional and joyful. We left feeling just as excited and eager to come back as the children did.

I learned so much about life and relationships during that time. The children transformed my mind and spirit in monumental ways. Saying “yes” to the children—and jumping on trampolines and doing donkey kicks while yelling “hee-haw”— changed me. I saw the children as blissfully unaware of the problems of adulthood, so purely passionate for activity, new experiences, and adventure. They motivated me to be more like them: enthusiastic about life. The more I embraced their spirit, the harder I laughed, the more fun I had at work, and the more rich my life became.

This week, I encourage you to practice saying “YES” to your children, spouse, significant other, friends, etc. and to consider carefully the times you say “no.” When you do have to say “no” to a request, I urge you to follow it with an enthusiastic alternative—something you can smile about, something you can say “YES” to. I have no doubt this will take you on a wonderful adventure, and leave you and those around you more satisfied and exhilarated.

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The Power of Now

Lady Bird Lake- Grace and inspiration in our back yard. Wow! We are blessed. This week we celebrate the life birthdays of Leslie P, Kelly G, and JoAnn H. Happy Birthday to each of you and we wish you a week filled with all things wonderful!

Doing just a little bit during the time we have available puts you that much further ahead than if you took no action at all.     — Byron Pulsifer

Action Item:
Consider your goals and dreams, or something you have most recently wanted to accomplish, and take action now. Cut out a picture that inspires you, buy a book on the topic or tell a friend who will hold you accountable… But most importantly use your enthusiasm today to get you to tomorrow.

Use the Weekly Intention Guide (PDF) of the week is the perfect tool to do just that…build enthusiasm to focus in on what you can accomplish this week!

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

I am confident you’ve figured out that I’m a sucker for inspirational stories, quotes and moments. I love to be wowed by words, pictures and courageous people, as they always set my mind into a tailspin of can-do thoughts and ideas. From inspirational leaders like Abraham Lincoln who overcame extreme and adverse life situations yet persevered and never lost faith in his dream and hearts calling, to a regular person such as Jesse. Jesse is a janitor at the University of Texas, who despite his house burning down and living a not-so-easy life, he is never without a smile and or a positive and grateful attitude.

I have decided that I am attracted to these kind of people and stories because despite circumstance, they are enthusiastic! They go about their daily tasks with continuous vigor and despite abundant hard knocks, they never give up and live life enthusiastically.

Don't walk toward your dreams...Run!!!

Don’t walk toward your dreams…Run!!!

Inspiration feeds my mind and spirit, and without it I am easily distracted. Therefore I have filled my office with inspirational pictures, quotes and books, and filled my life with inspirational and uplifting people. I subscribe to multiple inspirational emails and receive daily newsletters, Bible verses and quotes. I unfortunately do not get a chance to read them every day, but when I do I am re-energized to live life enthusiastically and motivated…and then to take action on one or more of my goals or dreams. A recent newsletter by Jim Rohn, a motivational speaker, did just that!

Engaging in genuine discipline requires that you develop the ability to take action. You don’t need to be hasty if it isn’t required, but you don’t want to lose much time either. Here’s the time to act: when the idea is hot and the emotion is strong.

Let’s say you would like to build your library. If that is a strong desire for you, what you’ve got to do is get the first book. Then get the second book. Take action as soon as possible, before the feeling passes and before the idea dims. If you don’t, here’s what happens…You fall prey to the law of diminishing intent.

We intend to take action when the idea strikes us. We intend to do something when the emotion is high. But if we don’t translate that intention into action fairly soon, the urgency starts to diminish. A month from now the passion is cold. A year from now it can’t be found.

So take action. Set up a discipline when the emotions are high and the idea is strong, clear, and powerful. If somebody talks about good health and you’re motivated by it, you need to get a book on nutrition. Get the book before the idea passes, before the emotion gets cold. Begin the process. Fall on the floor and do some push-ups. You’ve got to take action; otherwise the wisdom is wasted. The emotion soon passes unless you apply it to a disciplined activity. Discipline enables you to capture the emotion and the wisdom and translate them into action. The key is to increase your motivation by quickly setting up the discipline. By doing so, you’ve started a whole new life process.

Working out in classes can help keep members like stay motivated to act...NOW!

Working out in classes can help keep members like Jenni T. stay motivated to act…NOW!

Here is the greatest value of discipline: self-worth, also known as self-esteem. Many people who are teaching self-esteem these days don’t connect it to discipline. But once we sense the least lack of discipline within ourselves, it starts to erode our psyche. One of the greatest temptations is to just ease up a little bit. Instead of doing your best, you allow yourself to do just a little less than your best. Sure enough, you’ve started in the slightest way to decrease your sense of self-worth.

There is a problem with even a little bit of neglect. Neglect starts as an infection. If you don’t take care of it, it becomes a disease. And one neglect leads to another. Worst of all, when neglect starts, it diminishes our self-worth.

Once this has happened, how can you regain your self-respect? All you have to do is act now! Start with the smallest discipline that corresponds to your own philosophy. Make the commitment: “I will discipline myself to achieve my goals so that in the years ahead I can celebrate my successes.

Last week during class we passed out new note cards for you to begin writing your short term goals and dreams (August 22-Dec 17). One of the reasons I believe having goals and dreams is important is because of the enthusiasm that is generated from taking action. As we enter week two of our 17-week Journey, I encourage you to take action now. From adding to your goal/dream card in class, to cutting out inspirational pictures, do it now and enjoy a week of enthusiastic living! And while accomplishing our goals and dreams can sometimes feel difficult, there are so many wonderful inspiration tools like this video of the week, “Never Give Up!” to keep us on track when we inevitably fall off!

JOIN THE DISCUSSION- What successes do you want to look back on? 

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