Penguin Power

Walk the Talk Penguins Motivational Poster

Walk the Talk Penguins Motivational Poster

Motivational Quote:

Take the initiative and lead the way. You can make the difference.

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Penguin Power

Penguins are pretty interesting creatures. They come in at least 17 different “varieties” from the largest Emperor penguins (up to 44 inches and 90 pounds!) of March of the Penguins movie fame to the smallest Little Blue penguins (adults can be 8 inches tall and 2.5 pounds!). Think of a Chihuahua standing next to a Great Dane for comparison. They’re both dogs, but, bow wow, what a difference.

Many penguins have learned to adapt to extreme weather conditions, partially through teamwork. Living in the frigid Antarctic, colonies of Emperor penguins huddle together to conserve heat and protect each other from the harsh wind. Individual penguins choose to move from the protected, toasty interior to the chilly perimeter so that each bird can enjoy some measure of warmth.

Male and female Emperor penguins share responsibility for the young, both making huge sacrifices in the process. After laying a single egg, the mother leaves it with her mate, then spends the next two months foraging for food – up to 50 miles away. The father keeps the egg warm by balancing it on his feet and tucking it under his “brooding pouch” as he stands erect. He does this for the entire time the mother is gone! He doesn’t eat a thing and loses a good portion of his body weight. When the mother returns, he must struggle to find food in his weakened state.

What can we learn from penguins? Even though we vary in size, shape and skin tone, we’re all part of the human race, and as such, we can work together to make sure everyone has their fair share – that everyone has their time in the “toasty center.” We can share the work and the responsibility in our jobs, our families and our communities, perhaps even making sacrifices for those yet to come. After all, each of us CAN make a difference.

See a movie clip from March of the Penguins.

See a Yellow-Eyed penguin video clip of adults taking care of their young.

Did you know there are Macaroni penguins? See one!

Every Monday Matters is a book that guides you – step by step – how to make a difference in the world.

Like penguins? See all of our penguin products.

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9% Happier

The Power of Knowledge Library Framed Motivational Poster

The Power of Knowledge Library Framed Motivational Poster

Motivational Quote:

Every story that captures our imagination, every statistic that illuminates an idea, every viewpoint that enlightens the debate forces us to question our understanding of the world. Whether it ultimately changes our thinking or not is immaterial…the real value of knowledge lies in its ability to make us more complete.

9% Happier

I recently read a statistic that said for every happy, positive friend you have, your chances at happiness are 9% greater. Interesting thought.

Naturally, I began to run through my list of friends. We tend to attract people like ourselves into our circles, and even though I knew I came from heavily negative-thinking stock, I was sure I had changed enough to attract at least 50% of positive friends. No so. Just getting to 27% was harder than I thought – three people!

What did these people have in common? It wasn’t their physical stature. They were all shapes and sizes. It wasn’t their income. All incomes were modest at best. Was it their jobs? Each one of them enjoyed their job, so that might have something to do with it. However, they all had a positive view of the world in common. As I’ve noticed so many times before, it came down to attitude.

But how do you change your attitude? First, you might want to find one of your positive friends (if you don’t have any, making one would be your first step) and get together with them to specifically talk about their viewpoint, their core values, their dreams and their goals. Really listen to what they have to say without judgement (your negative self is very quick to make judgements). Think about what they’ve said and whether or not you can apply any of it to your life.

Then spend a day trying to be aware of negative thoughts. Each time one pops into your head, counteract it with a positive thought. For example: “It’s raining – now I can’t work in the yard today!” can be changed to “It’s raining – since I can’t work in the yard, I can start that book I’ve been wanting to read.” This is a small change, but once you start reinforcing the positive thought, you will naturally begin to change your attitude.

Try doing something nice for someone else – no strings attached. You can make this into a little game. Practice bestowing at least one kindness per day to a family member, coworker, neighbor, stranger – anyone! When you get better at this, try two per day and so on. When this becomes second nature, try being nice to a person who is NOT nice to you. You’ll be surprised how disarming and helpful this can be to both of you.

Practice might not make perfect in this case, but it will help you on the road to becoming a happier person. Then friends might be seeking you out to up their 9% happiness quotient.

We carry some wonderful gift books that speak to positive thinking:

The Dash

Dreams are Whispers from the Soul

Every Monday Matters

Finding Joy

May You Be Blessed

The Power of Attitude

The Richest Man in Town

The Simple Truths of Appreciation

The Strangest Secret

We also have an entire Attitude-themed section of motivational products.

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Breaking Through

Essence of Success Birches Framed Motivational Poster
Essence of Success Birches Framed Motivational Poster

Motivational Quote:

Successful is the person who has lived well, laughed often and loved much, who has gained the respect of children, who leaves the world better than they found it, who has never lacked appreciation for the earth’s beauty, who never fails to look for the best in others or give the best of themselves.

Breaking Through

Look around. What do you see? If you’re inside, you might see walls, doorways, a computer, furniture. But if you’re outside, do you see nature? Even in the most concrete jungles, plants find their way through crevices.

When I was growing up, I had an advertisement for Oneida flatware cut out from a magazine and pinned to the corkboard wall of my bedroom. The ad showed a photograph of a small pink flower blooming from a crack in a vast, gray asphalt surface. To my childhood self, this bloom represented the very essence of hope.

I once read a story about a teacher who had her elementary school class plant daffodil bulbs – which looked like brown, papery teardrops – in the fall to experience the magic of transformation. She wanted them to see that these strange lifeless shapes would become sunny yellow flowers in the spring.

Imagine her dismay when the school expanded their parking lot and paved over the “garden” that the students had planted. She was concerned that the students would be severely disappointed.

Months later on a warm spring day, a student came to her to tell her about a strange green pointed plant coming out of the parking lot. The class went outside to look, and sure enough, the daffodils were pushing up through the asphalt. The dismay was now transferred to the pavers, but the children were beside themselves with glee. The administration allowed the daffodils to bloom before fixing the parking lot’s surface and the children got to experience transformation and hope, against all odds.

Look around. Every blade of grass, every dazzling flower, every intricately detailed leaf is a proclamation of hope. What a great lesson for us!

See our effort-themed motivational products including posters, awards, cards, books and more.

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Find Inspiration on Twitter

Successories has joined the social networking site twitter in hopes to spread our message of inspiration further, wider, and more frequent. Follow us!

With the ability to give our followers a daily dose of inspiration that only Successories can, as well as directly communicating with those seeking inspiration, motivation, and recognition to help them succeed in every aspect of life, Successories has found a new avenue to spread inspiration, the fuel that let’s ordinary people achieve extraordinary results.

You are already part of the Successories’ family, now be part of the inspirational movement on twitter. Follow us.

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The What If Game

Believe and Succeed Sunset Framed Motivational Poster

Believe and Succeed Sunset Framed Motivational Poster

Motivational Quote:
We cannot change yesterday. We can only make the most of today, and look with hope toward tomorrow.

The What If Game

Have you ever played the “What If” game? You know, the one where you ask yourself, “What if I married that person I dated in high school? What would my life be like now?” Or, “What if I had gone on to get my Ph.D.? Would I be more successful?” Or, “What if I was chosen for an extreme makeover? Would I be drop-dead gorgeous/handsome?”

I’ll let you in on a little secret. The quote is right. We can’t change yesterday. Well, not until they create that time machine everybody’s always yakking about.

The only guy I dated when I was in high school was a twenty-one-year-old foreign exchange student from Thailand. If you can call eating cold cucumber and rat tail soup for two weeks dating. (I do.) So, I’d have to say I made the right decision in that What If game. I don’t even like cucumbers.

Getting my Ph.D. Even though that almost made me laugh out loud, right here in the office, there was a time I considered it. I mean, having a Ph.D. would let people know I was smart, right? Frankly, I’m not sure if it’s that intelligent to spend serious wads of money and giant chunks of time getting a degree that gets you a job where you can barely eke out a living. Isn’t it smarter to just look in the mirror every day and say, “I’m smart enough, good enough and doggone it, people like me.” (Thank you, Stuart Smalley, for your timeless wisdom.)

I’m also pretty sure my extreme makeover would not cause any untimely deaths by onlookers. When a person is happy with who they are – that’s when they’re most attractive. (And as an aside, don’t you ever wonder about all these young people with fake body parts getting married and producing ugly offspring? Sure, you may look great now, but your kids are going to look like the pre-surgery you.)

May I make a few suggestions? Look past yesterday and pin your hopes on tomorrow, but live today. Be aware of the moments you have now and enjoy them. You are a gem upon this earth (perhaps in need of polishing, but that’s easy with a soft cloth). And thank your lucky stars you made the choices that put you where you stand today. What if you were someone else?

Like sunsets? Don’t be embarrassed, we do to. See some of our sunset-themed motivational items.

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A Dog Named Sadie

Enthusiasm Dogs Motivational Poster

Enthusiasm Dogs Motivational Poster

Motivational Quote:

Passion creates energy. Strike out with joy and exhilaration and others are sure to join you.

A Dog Named Sadie

Every dog has a story, as does every dog owner. Owner isn’t really the right word as most dogs seem to be the ones in charge. As it has been said many times before, we’re the ones feeding them, buying them toys, picking up their “deposits” and whatnot. They’ve got us eating out of their hands – wait a minute – that’s reversed, too.

Our dog Sadie is a quintessential mutt. My husband always says that she’s the dog you see running around in the background of any natural disaster area, in any country – the dog all dogs eventually revert to in a feral state, similar to a coyote. Upright ears to deter ear mites, curled tail for cleanliness, medium-length hair for insulation against heat or cold and beige coloring for camouflage in most environments.

Lean at fifty pounds, Sadie was only twenty-five pounds when she first showed up in our yard (due to parasites, not hunting prowess). Bribed by leftover pizza, she seemed all too happy to enter the fenced portion of our yard.

After we tried to find her owner, then realized she was probably dumped along a nearby highway (neighbors had seen her wandering our neighborhood for months), we adopted her. Our vet told us she was about a year old.

Talk about passion and energy! This dog was greyhound-fast, an adept jumper, relentless licker and stealthy predator. She could rush down three flights of stairs, through two doggie doors and be at the far end of our yard in what seemed like seconds. She not only chased the typical fare of rabbits and squirrels, but nimble birds and zigzagging bumblebees as well.

Couch potato that I used to be, she lured me from my contented laziness with the utmost enthusiasm and glee. How could I resist? She would push her nose under my arm and physically make my hand pet her. She would look at me with excitement and jump in the air trying to lure me outside. It worked. Sadie’s strategy of striking out with joy and exhilaration ensured that I joined her outdoors.

If you think you have to resort to force, rules or intimidation to get employees, coworkers, teammates or friends to follow you, try unbridled enthusiasm. You may get more volunteer converts than you expect – and in the end, they’ll be happy they joined you.

Check out our motivational products related to passion and leadership.

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Putting It All Into Perspective

Spiral Stairway Framed Motivational Poster

Spiral Stairway Framed Motivational Poster

Motivational Quote:

Look within for strength. Look beyond for perspective.

Putting It All Into Perspective

When Dr. Suess introduced Horton Hears a Who in 1954, the idea of seeing the world from a different perspective became commonplace. After all, Horton the elephant discovered an entire world in what he considered to be a speck of dust.

The 1997 movie Men in Black has a similar theme in which a tiny universe is contained in a small marble-sized object, and our universe is likewise contained in a similar way.

Behind both of these stories is the concept of perspective. When you look at things from someone else’s point of view, or see objects from a new angle, you are able to gain insight.

When the first pictures of earth were taken from space, people were shocked at how small our planet appeared. Every human being, each with his or her own joys and woes, each living out an entire lifetime, could not even be seen. Besides the Great Wall of China, all of our architectural feats, including skyscrapers and stadiums, were invisible from space.

But just because we can’t be seen from that perspective doesn’t mean our lives aren’t important and meaningful. Horton pointed that out when he finally convinced his fellow animals that Whos really did exist, and that everyone who lived in Who-ville was important. And when the Men in Black realized the world they were looking for didn’t have to be out in space, but could be right under their noses, they were able to save the day.

When you feel overwhelmed by life’s troubles, take a step back – physically move to a different spot – and try to see your situation from a different angle. This simple exercise might help put things into perspective. It’s worth a try!

Our motivational gift books can add perspective to your life.

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