Spring Growth

The Essence of Renewal Flowering Bud Motivational Poster
The Essence of Renewal Flowering Bud Motivational Poster

Quote:

The desire to grow is powerful and natural. Find the courage to sacrifice what you are for what you could become.

Spring Growth

If you’ve ever seen a redbud tree, you know that the small, delicate flowers burst forth before the leaves come out. Seen from afar, they look like dizzying clouds of pinkish lavender that stand out from the other drab, gray, leafless trees at the beginning of spring. Up close, each tiny flower is a complex array of shapes and folds, similar to a sweet pea or a snap bean blossom.

I’m shamelessly anthropomorphizing here, but what if the redbud flowers decided they didn’t want to risk budding before the leaves? What if they just waited for the leaves to open first, and once they were protected and shaded, then decided to bloom?

First of all, the tree would look just like most of the other trees. There would be very little to distinguish it from the rest except that it might be a little more spindly and a bit shorter. Secondly, the blooms would be lost among the large leaves. Pollinators like honeybees might find them, but no one else would notice them. No risk involved, but no brilliant show, either. They would never live up to their glorious potential.

What if you grew beyond the parameters you’ve set for yourself? Or grew beyond others’ expectations? It would be scary because of the unknown factor. You could become anyone – someone you’re not familiar with – or never thought you could be.

But wouldn’t it also be exciting? Imagine being one iota happier, one step further in your career, one smidgen healthier. Why wouldn’t you sacrifice the you you are now to be a better you? Because you’re unprotected? Because everyone could see your true colors? Because you’re afraid of failing? Because you don’t want everyone to look at your brilliance?

Perhaps you’re even afraid of succeeding, because if you did, what then? Where might you go next? How would success affect your relationships, your job, your life?

There’s only one way to find out. Risk. Bloom. Spring forth.

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Attitude: Your Pot of Gold

Attitude Rainbow Motivational Poster
Attitude Rainbow Motivational Poster

Motivational Quote:

“The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.” – William James

Attitude: Your Pot of Gold

Rainbows. They are a part of the mythology of many cultures (tribes in Siberia believe it is the tongue of the sun!), and are seen in a positive light by many people. But most of us think of Ireland, leprechauns and the mysterious pot of gold at the rainbow’s end. Many states in the U.S.A. even have lotteries named Pot O’ Gold with “rainbows of riches” as their prizes.

Irish folklore suggests leprechauns are part of a fairy group known as “little people,” but the whole myth that they are cobblers was just a mix-up with the Irish word that means shoemaker. Cobbler or not, most people are more interested in their gold treasure, which can only be bartered for the wee one’s freedom – after you catch him (we think of leprechauns as men, even though there is no evidence of that – of course, evidence is relative in this case). And good luck with that, because they’re tiny, reclusive, tricky and well, imaginary.

If you’ve ever tried to look for the end of the rainbow, it keeps moving off further in the distance, and your potential pot of gold seems very elusive. However, Jason Erdkamp wasn’t even looking for the end of the rainbow when he found it – on Orange County’s 341 toll road in February of this year.

Guess what? No pot of gold, no leprechaun – just light hitting asphalt.

But what if the real pot of gold is the quote by William James? What if your attitude, and the way you view life, can be altered by just thinking differently? Thinking positively. Thinking of obstacles as opportunities. Seeing each challenge as a learning experience.

I don’t think Jason Erdkamp was disappointed by finding the end of the rainbow – I think he was excited, delighted and fascinated. He wanted to capture the phenomenon and share the magic. Did his attitude play any part in his winning a few dollars that night in the lottery? Maybe. Maybe not. But our attitudes can direct us toward better lives.

The next time you’re tempted to react negatively to exterior circumstances consider adjusting your attitude a few notches toward the positive side and see what happens. It’s easier than catching a leprechaun.

Click here to see Jason’s iPod picture of the rainbow’s end.

Do you like all things rainbow? We’ve got all sorts of Attitude Rainbow Products, from note cubes and greeting cards to desktop prints and mugs.

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The Meow of Courage

Believe & Succeed Framed Motivational Print
Believe & Succeed Framed Motivational Print

Motivational Quote:

“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.'” – Mary Anne Radmacher

The Meow of Courage

The lion is the king of the jungle. And if you know anything about kings, there can only be one per territorial boundary or trouble is soon to follow. So if you do the math, chances are, you’re not a king (and if you are, you should probably be doing something a wee bit more important right now).

Welcome to the world of non-kings. We’re a pretty big crowd – you’re in good company. But just because you’re not a lion doesn’t mean you can’t be a courageous cat.

Did you know there are over 35 species of wild cats besides lions? The kodkod, the tiniest wild cat in the western hemisphere and weighing in at as little as four pounds, has had to adapt its life to its surroundings, in some instances becoming nocturnal to avoid human contact. It’s timid but tenacious. The jaguarundi, though built for living on the ground, can travel on a forest canopy to evade predators. It’s sleek and smart.

From heavily patterned kodkods to plain jaguarundis whose coats are absolutely solid with no markings whatsoever, every cat needs to survive by performing its day to day activities. And these cats can be considered courageous for doing just that.

So whether you spend half your day in meetings, or rolling on your office chair from the computer screen to the file cabinet, or making phone calls, or listening to complaints – you display courage for getting through to the next sunset.

More of a kodkod? Make a subtle statement with our Believe and Succeed mug - it has the same quote as our motivational poster, but rests discreetly on your desk when not in hand.

If you do happen to be a lion, we’ve got a motivational poster for you called The Essence of Survival.

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