Tag Archives: motivation

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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YOU ARE Nature’s Greatest Miracle

Inspiration from the iGnite Archives

April17_2016 Point to Ponder:
Do you live like you are nature’s greatest miracle?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

During the weekend I needed a motivational jolt so I grabbed one of my favorite books by Og Mandino called The Greatest Salesman in the World. I immediately thumbed through the back of the book and began skimming through the ten inspirational and empowering scrolls. When used correctly, each scroll is to be read three times a day for thirty days before moving on to the next one. Also, when reading a scroll for the third time each day, it is to be read out loud. The basis of Og Mandino’s method is to create positive mental and emotional programming which breaks down fear and hesitation and builds self-confidence. This then becomes part of the transformational psyche.

While all of the scrolls are powerful, the scroll that I was drawn to was IV, “I am Nature’s Greatest Miracle”, which also reminds me of another one of my favorite book’s of his called The Great Miracle in the World. Before I go on, just stop and think about the mind-blowing fact that “you-are-nature’s-greatest-miracle”. WOW! Regardless of your current mood or state of mind, believing that you are significant and you are nature’s greatest miracle is not only encouraging but it’s life-changing. But wait, it get’s even better. The scrolls continues with wisdom like, “I am not on this earth by chance. I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth I will apply all my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy. I have been given eyes to see and a mind to think and now I know a great secret of life for I perceive, at last, that all my problems, discouragements, and heartaches are, in truth, great opportunities in disguise. And nature knows not defeat. Eventually, she emerges victorious and so will I, and with each victory the next struggle becomes less difficult.”

The words of this scroll not only set my mind at ease, but it also sent my heart racing with excitement, as it is a reminder that we are all made for greatness, and despite our past, our mishaps, mistakes or struggles, our potential is unlimited. Furthermore, with nature as our guide, we can and will bounce back from adversity and stand taller and more wise, as this becomes our gift to one another and to the world.

Finally, as you begin your week I encourage you to live like YOU ARE nature’s greatest miracle and believe all of the council provided by Og Mandino and “Never demean yourself again! Never settle for the crumbs of life! Never hide your talents, from this day hence! Count your blessings! Proclaim your rarity! Go another mile!”

Action Item:
Believe in and live like YOU ARE nature’s greatest miracle. Remember that you were not put on Earth by chance and you are here for a purpose. Never demean yourself again! Never settle for the crumbs of life! Never hide your talents, from this day hence! Count your blessings! Proclaim your rarity! Go another mile!

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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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Just Do It!

www.igniteyourlifenow.com

“Confidence is like a muscle: The more you use it the stronger it gets..” (Anonymous)

Point to Ponder:
Do you lack confidence?

Action Item:
Get outside your comfort zone this week by trying an exercise or class you wouldn’t usually try.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Well, I did it! Last Monday I flew to Santa Monica for my ‘de-blorfting’ trip— a personal getaway (all by myself and for myself) for the sole purpose of recharging my battery. And just as the wise and wonderful iGnite member Louise Pincoffs warned me I would, the day before I left I began questioning if I indeed needed the trip and if it was worth the hassle of organizing myself and the family for my departure. I won’t lie, there was tension in the household, which made it even more uncomfortable for me to leave. Then, of course, I had multiple conversations with ‘Lady Guilt.’ She tried, almost successfully, to convince me that I was being a bad and selfish wife and mother by doing something completely for me. But I had prepared for her pathetic attempts and for no other reason than to defeat her, I was going on this trip!

Upon arriving and for about the first eight to twelve hours, it was rough. I didn’t know what to do with myself. As much as I wanted to completely remove my ’wife,’ ‘mom’ and ‘business owner’ hats and instantly make the trip about me, it was impossible because I had not practiced it since pre-marriage! I’m a giver and a do-er, and as good as it sounds to completely relax, have a glass of wine and empty my brain, this was waaayyyyy out of my comfort zone and much more difficult than I anticipated. In fact, I even considered catching an early flight back. However, I continued to remind myself that good things always come from discomfort and I would be cheating myself and my husband Russell’s confidence in keeping the children if I didn’t stay the course.

Long story short, after a five-mile walk along the beach, a glass of wine, a few phone calls with two veteran wife and mom friends reminding me why it was so important to be on this trip, the guilt, discomfort and fear was completely gone, and I found my groove. In fact, by sunrise on day two I was ready to add another day!

As I had hoped, this trip did wonders for my body, my mind, my spirit and for mine and Russell’s relationship. Oddly, we had better conversations on the phone than we have had in years. They weren’t rushed or interrupted, they were brutally honest, and there were no arguments. Because our roles were reversed for the first time ever, it was an incredible opportunity for us to see things from each other’s perspective. We shared compassion and gained a greater appreciation for each other and the roles we typically play.

I also finished reading The Confidence Code (our suggested summer read) which continues to get more fascinating with each page. In it, the authors interview a range of confidence scientists and experts. I was completely unprepared for one piece of research: that between 25% and 50% of our confidence is in our DNA, meaning we are genetically predisposed to have less or more confidence (regardless of our environment, experiences, etc). Another finding proved that while we are genetically predisposed to have less or more confidence, much like being born with the certain skill sets and talents, the more we practice confidence, the more comfortable we get at using it. So, to translate this finding into muscular physiology, most of us are born with more slow-twitch muscle fibers, which are the endurance type muscle fibers, however by performing and practicing quick and explosive movements, we can actually recruit fast-twitch muscle fibers, which will inevitably increase our speed and quickness. And so, the notion to ‘JUST DO IT’ (which the authors and of course Nike suggest), by practicing doing the uncomfortable things that we really want and need to do but avoid because we fear failure or the unknown outcome, is absolutely necessary in building confidence.

Lucky for us, summer is within an arm’s reach. I don’t know why, but the summer season has always felt like we can color outside of the lines and tip toe beyond our margins more than we would typically allow ourselves during any other season. With this liberty comes the opportunity to practice stretching our confidence zones. You can actually start in a safe place, like iGnite, and then take a class you have feared you can’t do or practice an exercise or pose you didn’t think you were strong enough to perform. Then you take that confidence/momentum and apply it when trying something else you’ve been hesitant or reluctant to try, do, or talk about.

When you practice enough, your confidence builds like a fast growing snow ball rolling down a mountain. Soon enough it becomes a massive avalanche and you become unstoppable! The bottom line is, you have to say ‘yes’ to yourself and JUST DO IT! Without a doubt, you can count on iGnite to be your never-ending source of encouragement and cheerleaders. We all have one shot at this life and we want to knock it out of the park with you. So let’s JUST DO IT!

 

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Got Impact? Darn Right You Do!

“If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito”
African Proverb

POINT TO PONDER:
What impact do you hope to have in life?

ACTION ITEM:
No matter the size or scale, write down the impact you would like to have with your life and place it somewhere you will see on a regular basis.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

In early February during iGnite’s Wellness Retreat, one of our speakers challenged us to talk to each other about the impact we were hoping to have in life. I can only speak for myself, but that question freaked me out! I found myself very uncomfortable and feeling the need to say something profound and on a Miss America, global scale like, “solve world peace and hunger.” I sat in my chair and contemplated this extremely thought provoking question and didn’t speak up until I determined why this particular word had me sweating and wanting to leave the room. Comparison!

Yep, it’s that nasty word again which always holds us back from confidently doing ‘our thing’. And, when asked how I wanted to impact, I immediately began comparing all of the massive organizations (like Tom’s for example) and everything everyone else is doing, which instantly made me feel like a failure. But, the truth is that my heart has no desire to solve global issues like the ones that get attention on the internet and television. With that said, do I want to iGnite the world? Absolutely! So I guess that’s global. And do I want to impact my children, family and community? Darn right, and I am very ok and comfortable with that!

I suppose the issue of comparison is more present than ever because the world is now so small and we can constantly see what everyone else is doing. To me, this is both bitter and sweet, but it’s the bitter that can keep us intimidated and potentially insecure about impacting in our unique way, regardless of its perceived magnitude. Most of us are very impressionable and easily influenced (in both good and bad ways). We can also suggest that it’s “society” that makes us think and feel the way we do… but don’t we make up society? We may not be publishing the magazines or creating the television shows, movies and music, but we are definitely choosing to be consumers, and we are choosing to let someone else impact our efforts, desires, hearts.

I know you probably think that all I do is watch Disney flicks with my children, though I promise I don’t. But, over Easter weekend we stumbled across The Lorax – another great Dr. Seuss book turned movie. Like most Dr. Seuss books, it’s impressively creative and a bit weird, and like some Disney movies it’s layered with controversial themes. But, the one controversial theme which made the greatest impact on me was based upon this quote: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Now that’s big time! I guess what I am getting at is to never underestimate your ability to impact.

Impact is not a results-oriented game. Everyday we make a choice to care enough and feel signifiant enough to impact a life, and a lot of times, even though we’d love nothing more than to be told “thank you” for our impact, a thank you does not solidify what we’ve done. I actually think this is part of our life test: to be persistently compassionate, passionate and determined, even without being able to see or measure our impact or results. I also think we must remain confidently focused on how we feel we’ve been created to impact, and also accept when it changes. We flow from one life season to another, just like our impact needs and desires. When this happens, don’t judge yourself or feel guilty. You are designed to change. It would be strange, but not wrong, if your impact desires today were identical as they were in high school, college or even a few years ago. As long as you go with what has been planted in your heart, you can’t go wrong. The world needs impact on all levels and sizes, which starts at home, at work, and at the grocery store. As long as we each choose to impact on some level, we will all be part of the impact circle that is an essential piece of our significance, our livelihood and of course the lives of others.

Spring Cleaning the Mental Garbage

“Tell yourself everything will work out, things will get better, you are important, you are worthy of great things, you are loveable, the time is now, this too shall pass, you can be who you really are, the best is yet to come, you are strong, you can do this!” – Doe Zantamata

Point to Ponder:
What stories have you bought?
What stories have you created and clung to as a way of excusing yourself from having the family, relationships, health, career, self- confidence, life you want, etc?

Action Item:
Decide what the new story is you’re going to tell yourself
about who you are and what you are capable of.

If you are like me, I really want a couple of days to completely dedicate to spring cleaning. The idea of clearing out the clutter and non-essentials that I have collected over the past year (or ten…) would be liberating and feel so good!  But, of course the ability to dedicate several days to this task (which I would need) is almost impossible. Instead, I’ve made it a goal to clean a little each week. With that said, I also feel like I have collected negative and useless thoughts over time that aren’t true and don’t serve me, my family, my relationships, or my life.  In other words, I’ve collected mental garbage that I need to purge and be done with!

Darren Hardy, the author and publisher of my favorite magazine Success, recently wrote an excellent article titled “The Stories We Tell Ourselves.”  The article is heavy on physicality, but it can of course be related to everything we tell ourselves we can’t do — our excuses and even the lies we tell ourselves.  So while we are spring cleaning our homes, what better time to focus on mental spring cleaning too. I actually think it’s equally as important, if not more important that the physical act of cleaning our homes.

THE STORIES WE TELL OURSELVES
by Darren Hardy

We are all excellent storytellers. We have a story for everything.  We have a story for why we can’t lose weight, stick to our diets, jog, do pushups, get up early, eat healthy, exercise regularly and stay disciplined. Examples are:

“I’m big-boned.”
“It’s bad for my knees.”
“I don’t have time.”
“I’m too old.”
“It’s impossible when I travel.”
“I deserve a reward.”
“I have PMS.”
“It’s fat-free.”

Recently my friend Kerri told me a story she heard when she was six months into her pregnancy. She had gained a significant amount of weight (she was, after all, pregnant) and started to worry whether she could ever regain her previous figure. She called a mom-friend and asked, “What really happens with this baby weight after my son is born? Will it all go away?” Her friend replied, “Well, a woman once told me you keep 10 pounds per child.” Kerri nearly dropped the phone. The friend’s pronouncement deflated her hopes of returning to her pre-baby weight and shape.

Later that week, Kerri was at the spin studio where she takes fitness classes. Kerri related the 10-pounds-per-child story to Wendy, who also was there to work out. “That’s ridiculous!” Wendy exclaimed. “I’ve had seven children, so I should be 70 pounds overweight. That’s just an excuse—don’t buy that story.” Then Wendy added that “it won’t be easy or automatic, but with hard work and time, you can get your body back… and better.” This mother of seven was indeed in terrific shape, better than most who have never given birth. My friend decided to buy Wendy’s story instead of her other friend’s.

You know that the only thing keeping you from the body you want—the energy and vitality you want—are the stories you buy and retell yourself (and others).

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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!

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