April 30, 2014

SPARKS: Moments Of Creation Vol. 1

HOLD ON TO DREAMS, FOR WHEN DREAMS DIE, LIFE IS A BROKEN WINGED BIRD THAT CANNOT FLY.
-Langston Hughes

I am a notoriously curious individual and over the years there has been one thing that continues to fascinate me: 


      Where do dreams come from? What SPARKS them?


I've often wanted to be a fly on the wall at any number of moments in time when a great idea occurred just to see the SPARKS fly as "a thought" begins to gather steam and turns itself into something that just moments before, didn't exist - A DREAM


So, I had a SPARK!  I'm going to find a least one fascinating person with a fascinating idea and sneak a peek at how it all started. I'm dragging you along on this adventure because:


YOU MAY BE JUST ONE SPARK AWAY FROM CHANGING THE WORLD IN A MEANINGFUL WAY.
MY DREAM IS TO HELP PEOPLE DREAM AGAIN.



For the very first article, I've chosen to interview a woman I've just recently met as a result of a comment I made on a blog. The comment had to do with appreciation given with ulterior motives instead of out of genuine recognition or gratitude. Margy, a long time student of the positive effects of appreciation, was intrigued and reached out to me to clarify my point of view. That's when I came to learn of her mission to help people understand the many benefits of genuine appreciation. I admire Margy for stepping out and giving voice to something that has the power to make such a powerful impact. The answers to her questions will give you more insight into how she's going about living her mission. I hope it will light a SPARK for you as well.


            Margy Bresslour

Margy Bresslour is the Founder of Moving Messages, a company dedicated to encouraging the expression of appreciation. Moving Messages works with organizations to create a positive and productive culture where employees feel valued and are fully engaged, and where customers and clients love doing business. Margy offers consultation, coaching, and mentoring that develop individuals who thrive, cohesive teams that enjoy working together, and organizations that get rave reviews and improved outcomes.


             What inspired your dream?

I worked for 30+ years in the non-profit field primarily in mentoring programs with at-risk youth.  Many of these youth had low self-esteem and held some self-limiting beliefs like “I’m not good enough,” “I’m not loveable,” or “I don’t matter”.  I believe we form our self-image in part based on what we hear from other people and our assumptions or interpretations of others’ behavior.  When we hear primarily negative messages or get little positive feedback, those factors may reinforce a tendency to see ourselves in a negative light.  In contrast, when we hear positive messages or receive validation for positive characteristics, we may be able to build on those elements to develop a positive self-image.

A part of one of the mentoring programs I directed encouraged acknowledgements.  I witnessed first hand the impact that messages of appreciation had on these young people.  When they were acknowledged, they began to see themselves differently and appreciate their own strengths and talents.  I began to think about how each of us would feel if more people shared messages of appreciation with those in our lives who make a difference to us or who have influence on us.

Shortly after starting my Moving Messages in 2008, I read the research on appreciation.  It turns out that being appreciated affects our health, stress levels, sense of well-being, marriages, and relationships.  Lack of appreciation negatively impacts our willingness to stay in a work place.  I would like to make a difference and help bring about those positive outcomes by encouraging the sincere expression of appreciation. 

       What is your mission..your core objective?


My mission is to encourage sincere expressions of appreciation.


                 How does it feel to be working from your passion?


I feel fortunate that throughout my career, I’ve done work that I feel passionate about.  Whether working with youth through mentoring programs or adults through my private counseling practice and now with my own business, I’ve always believed wholeheartedly in what I do.  I love working to make a positive difference in the world. I believe that by hearing messages of appreciation, we recognize the impact we have on others.  I love watching people change to become the person they want to be and have the lives they want. 

     What obstacles have you had to overcome?

Having my own business is a new experience for me.  Throughout my career, I’ve been with organizations where I collaboratively worked with teams.  In my business, I’m on my own.  It’s been an adjustment.  I miss the camaraderie, but I’m enjoying the freedom, too.  I wouldn’t necessarily call it an obstacle, but I’m on a steep learning curve.  I didn’t grow up with social media so I’m learning.  I don’t have a background in marketing, advertising, accounting, etc. etc., but I’m gaining new skills.  I’m enjoying the journey. 

             Where would you like to see this go ultimately?

My ultimate goal is to encourage sincere expressions of appreciation so that all people feel heard and valued, and know that they belong.  I started by making customized pop-up appreciation cards for organizations to give to their employees, customers and clients – and for non-profits to give to their staff, volunteers and donors.  While I still create cards, I am moving more towards consulting with companies to help create a culture where people love to work and clients and customers enjoy doing business.  I believe I can reach more people by consulting, mentoring, and coaching.  I write a blog about the impact and importance of appreciation.  I am beginning to do some speaking engagements.  I hope to touch more people to encourage them to take action and appreciate those in their lives who have influenced or made a difference to them.  My belief is that if more people felt better about themselves, we’d live in a safer, healthier, happier world.  Each one of us can make a difference through expressions of appreciation.  I love this thought from Margaret Cousins, “Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.”

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT MARGE AND HER MISSION
YOU CAN VISIT HER AT



2 comments:

  1. What an inspiration this story about Margy is. In her work, she is promoting good and helping people help others. What an inspiration for us all. Anita, I love your SPARKS idea. Reading these inspiring stories would surely lead others to find their own spark, just as reading this has inspired me. Keep up the good work.

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  2. Thanks Monica. Same to you! Loved your last post.

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