Inspiring people to Challenge the Norm

Bonney Brown – Creating a No Kill Community

Leave a comment

Bonney Brown

Bonney Brown, the Executive Director for The Nevada Humane Society, is showing the world just how possible creating a No Kill Animal Shelter is.  The No Kill movement seeks to unite private shelters and animal control agencies in a partnership to end the killing of savable homeless pets through spay/neuter, adoption, foster care, working with rescue groups and the use of volunteers. Since Bonney took the reins at the animal shelter in 2007, she has hit the ground running.  Through creative adoptions, community outreach and education, and hard work, Bonney’s first year produced an increase in adoptions of 50 percent.  But the growth hasn’t leveled off, adoption rates have continued to grow at a steady 5 to 6 percent per year since.

What I’ve found to be the most inspiring about Bonney, is not only her success rate, but her passion for the cause.  She is changing the way animal shelters operate and how they are perceived among the community.  In addition to her creative adoptions, she has designed a shelter that is inviting and fosters a loving environment for the homeless pets awaiting their adoption. The shelter is designed to look more like a home than a concrete building with rows of animal crates.  The dog pins have beds and blankets, with an play pin which allows them to go outside when the weather is nice.  The cats have “cat colonies” which resemble a living room; couch an all! The hours of operation has even been lengthened  to allow for the possible adopters who work the typical 8-5 job.  So the shelter now stays open till 6:30 pm and has extended hours on weekends.  They’re even open on holidays!

Bonney Brown has done an incredible job, not only creating a no kill shelter but also challenging the community iRedemptionn her efforts.  The Nevada Humane Society has partnered with the Washoe County Animal Services, SPCA, Wyllie Animal Rescue Foundation, and Pet Network to ensure a a safe community for homeless pets.  In fact, the book Redemption – The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and The No Kill Revolution In America, has recently printed a newer edition that recognizes the success Bonney Brown and the Nevada Humane Society has achieved.  Providing with hard work and dedication to the cause, a no kill community is possible regardless what others may say.

Bonney Brown has challenged the norm and is setting the No Kill standard across the States.  Have you adopted from an Animal Shelter in your community?

Photo Credit – Bonney Brown
Photo Credit – Redemption

Leave a comment

The Importance of Failure

“Failure does not mean defeat; to succeed you must fail first”

You may look at this quote and write it off with all the other quotes you’ve heard.  But the individuals, who truly appreciate it, are the ones who know the harsh reality behind its meaning. Challenging the norm is about greatness, the ones who are putting 110% effort into their passion. The people who are achieving success know failure is part of the equation.  In reality, if you haven’t failed and had struggles along the way, you probably haven’t achieved your optimum success.  These failures allow you to appreciate success when you achieve it.  If success was easy, everyone would be doing it.

But success isn’t easy.  It takes people who are passionate, hardworking and unwilling to give up.  They defy the odds and challenge the norm when others believe it can’t be done. Along with success, comes this indescribable phenomenon.  When someone achieves greatness they often feel a sense of accomplishment, but what is underestimated is the rippling affect this accomplishment creates.  In essence, the achievement becomes a tool for inspiration.

Furthermore, creating this competitiveness within oneself, the concept of if “he can do it, I can do it”.  Peoples achievements may inspire one or millions.  But without a doubt, it will inspire people to achieve greatness.  I can’t tell you why, but it does.  I’ve seen it time and time again.

The ones who are successful will tell you there was something along the way that kept them going.  Whether it was a mentor, quote or a story they’ve heard, something inspired them to not give up when times got tough.  When times get tough and you consider giving up, remember you’re not just doing it for yourself.  You’re doing it for all the people you will inspire along the way.  You may not realize the impact you are having on friends, family, and coworkers, but you are inspiring them to challenge the norm, also.

What tools have you used to keep the fire going? Please share them with us in a comment below.

Leave a comment

Beyond your Comfort Zone

The more I talk about Challenging the Norm the more I am understanding why so many just settle for the “norm”.  It’s not simply laziness, rather, it seems to be because people don’t know what they want out of life.  People know what they like, but they don’t have a true understanding of what they love. So they continue to live their lives, trotting along because it’s what is normal.

My suggestion.  Start learning from those around you.  There is greatness in everyone, you just have to embrace it.  You can learn a lot about yourself from others.  So next time you are out for coffee, waiting in line at the grocery store, or out with friends, strike up a conversation.  Pick their brains.  Find out what they love.  What their doing to be great.  There are so many everyday leaders out there.  You may be surprised what you learn.  In fact, one of these individuals may inspire you to Challenge the Norm in something you never knew you were passionate about.

Look at Colin Kaepernick. He was good at both baseball and football, but he knew he wanted to play football.  So, he decided to focus on football because that was his dream.  He could have settled for his norm but instead he challenged it.  Now look at the success he has achieved.

I absolutely love Neale Walsch’s outlook on life.  “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.  So if you’re feeling uncomfortable right now, know that the change taking place in your life is a beginning, not an ending”.  Don’t just settle for a normal life.   Challenge it.  Become a leader in your life by doing what you are passionate about.  It may be scary, but just like Walsch says, life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Take the time to find out what you are passionate about and what you want out of life and dedicate your time to achieving greatness by Challenging the Norm.

Want to hear inspiring stores about individuals who have stepped out of their comfort zone, Challenged the Norm, and become great leaders?  If you answered yes, follow this blog to hear more.


Leave a comment

The Power of One

The concept of Challenging the Norm is derived from the power of one.  When you look at the great leaders of the past, it was one person, dedicated to their idea that made them great.  All it takes is one person to Challenge the Norm, inspiring others to make significant changes in the world which reflects what they believe needs to be accomplished.  Their sheer passion for an idea, inspires others to join in the movement.  These leaders Challenge the Norm in a way that makes others have no choice but to notice them.

I’m not saying you need to be the next Martin Luther King Jr. or Oprah, but your understanding of Challenging the Norm is pertinent to your success.  Want greatness out of your life?  All it takes is the power of one.  For you to stand up for an idea and no matter how many times you fail, you get back up.  Great leaders aren’t made over night.  Rather, it is the decisions they make everyday which mold them into the leaders they have become.

Although there is always an exception to the rule, most leaders have failed numerous times before they attained success.  In fact, some may argue it is these failures in which has created such great success. I believe the difference between the people who fail and the ones who succeed isn’t how many times they fail, but more, their dedication to what they want.  Its the mindset that no matter what happens along the way, they will not give up.  These great leaders have wholeheartedly committed their lives to what they want to accomplish.

I’ve found this tremendous passion for an idea, becomes contagious.  You may not have the same desires as another person who has achieved great success but their accomplishments inspire you to achieve greatness. This mindset of if he can do it, I can do it.

So I challenge you, whatever your passions in life may be, to embrace them, to become a leader in that area, to achieve greatness.  Don’t settle for a mediocre life.  But rather, make a mediocre life, GREAT.  Do you have what it takes to Challenge the Norm? Remember, it only takes one.