Sometimes things happen in life when you least expect them but turn out to have a profound impact on your future. Mid 2020 was one of those times for me. My name is Rick Ornelas, and I’m the founder of I Spark Change (ISC). We are a global organization whose purpose is to empower and connect humanity to spread positive change and elevate social impact.
You may be thinking, what does this actually mean? And what led me to begin this journey.
It’s actually quite simple. In mid-2020, when the world was in crisis, I was suffering myself. I had just been laid off and was anxious and hopeless, not knowing what the future held. So I decided to stop being a volunteer victim and looked for ways to help others who were far less fortunate than I was. This led me to write a blog article about using the pandemic as an opportunity to be grateful for all that I had and focus on ways to impact others positively.
My first idea was to start writing a book that had been swirling around in my head for nearly twenty years. I decided that the time to act was now, so I began writing what would soon become 12 Hours of Heaven: Lessons for a Better World. I started my writing journey in April 2020, intending to give others hope and inspiration in a time of need.
I started writing very methodically, committing to 500-1000 words per day, and figured I would finish the book in about six months. All of this changed after a couple of months when someone higher up had bigger plans for me. As I wrote, I went through a period of intense spiritual connection where I had dreams and visions of what the future could become if I did far more than only write a book.
It was then that I felt called to create a community to connect and empower those who want to make the world a better place but don’t know where to turn or how to get there. This calling was the birth of the I Spark Change movement. This was when I decided to devote my life to spreading positive change and elevating social impact.
At first, it was just an idea that I couldn’t get out of my head. This idea quickly took over my life for the next couple of months. My writing flourished to where I would write over 2000 words in a couple of hours. This compounded the completion of 12 Hours of Heaven in under three months. I was so focused on the writing process that I didn’t share the transformation inside my head, heart, and soul with anyone. Maybe It felt too private and special to dilute by telling others, or I was afraid of what they would think. Either way, I held it all in until I completed writing the book. Once I finished the writing portion of the journey, I felt this incredible urge to share my experience with anyone I could.
I recorded a short video of me telling this story and posted it on Facebook for the world to see. Others viewed it thousands of times, and the support was highly positive. This support gave me the courage to go from idea to reality and officially launch I Spark Change as a business and movement. We now highlight the good deeds done in the world and encourage others to do the same.
But how? You may be wondering. How are we doing this in a time where humanity and the world we all share are suffering in a time of darkness?
Our solution has three main components that all work together to amplify and grow our work.
I Spark Change Community – A global online community to connect and empower those who want to spread positive change. Many people often feel, as I did, that they are too small to make a difference. The reality is that we all have the power and responsibility to change the world with our daily actions. Suppose each one of us considers positive change during our daily actions. In doing so, we are sure to swing the global pendulum towards a safer, healthier, and more loving world for future generations.
Social Impact Heroes – These are everyday people like you and me. They make a difference in the world, whether through their actions or their impact on others. This impact may be big or small, but the heroes are a beacon of light for everyone they encounter in all instances.
Our stories are what connect us all. You, me, and everyone else are products of our life’s experiences, no matter who we are or where we come from. These unique stories bring us closer to one another because we are all in this together and need to do our part, no matter how tiny it may seem. We ALL make a difference.
By collecting and sharing video stories of those who spark change, we inspire the change needed by all of us. Together, we can set an example for future generations to take individual responsibility for the world we are leaving behind. Through these beautiful connections, we become inspired to all Spark Change!
Business Social Impact Leaders – Effective social impact leaders, blend entrepreneurial skills, strategy, leadership, and innovation to elevate their business and the world. They are focused on helping others, delivering results, and advancing positive change for society – quickly and effectively.
Many leaders who are change agents don’t often seek recognition for their efforts. Their journeys have a greater impact than they often realize, and their stories deserve to be told. The impact of businesses is a way to expand our reach and support those who make a difference.
We are working towards a better future for all of us through the synergy of these three components. It will take a lot of work and time, as a change of this magnitude doesn’t happen overnight. We understand there will be many challenges along the way and have already overcome some to get here.
The Challenges of Growth
One of the first challenges I faced when launching ISC was the naysayers and doubt that comes with change. As I stated earlier, I was a bit hesitant to share my ideas because of their grandiose nature. I first shared things cautiously with family and close friends with the expectation of support. In most cases, that’s exactly what I received, which positively affirmed my actions.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at the situation, the support was not always positive. Some people very close to me reacted in a less than excited manner. It was akin to receiving a meh response when you expect praise and affirmation.
At first, this was a blow to the heart. I instantly became saddened that those I loved were unable to see my vision or didn’t care. It got me down for a short time until I received a boost from my friend and mentor, Danny. I shared what had happened with him, and he gave me some great advice. He first asked me if I was doing what I felt I was called to do.
I responded with an enthusiastic yes! He then said that If I was doing the work I was called to do and living with purpose, then any negative response of others didn’t matter. He explained that it didn’t matter because I wasn’t doing everything for the individuals who didn’t care. I was doing it for all the people I would positively impact and the lives I would change for the better. He finished by saying that even if I worked for years and years and only positively impacted one life, it would all be worth it in the end.
His wisdom and guidance gave me a new resolve to continue on and not worry about the opinions of others. This lesson continues to fuel me regularly. Trust me. We have had many challenges in the past year and a half, getting things rolling. Whether having to rebuild our website, start a new social media profile from scratch, or train a new intern, we continue to move forward a little at a time. It is never really easy, and we know that we have a long way to go, but we take it one day and a time. And when I get down because things haven’t gone as planned, I pause and remember Danny’s great advice.
Regardless of the challenges we face, we know our future is very bright. We know this because we have faith in both history and humanity.
We all know that history repeats itself, and humanity rises up in times of adversity. It’s easy to look at the last few years and see that humanity and the world we all share are suffering in a time of darkness. Society has become filled with far too many things such as abuse, poverty, anxiety, suffering, greed, pessimism, negativity, violence, racism, and hatred, among others. 2020 was an example of all that is wrong with the world. Still, there were many examples of people coming together when the world was in crisis as people rose to help their neighbors and unite.
History has shown that when the pendulum swings too far over in the direction of negativity and evil, it rebounds and swings toward positivity and love. The renaissance was born out of the dark ages, as an example. At ISC, we believe that we have reached a tipping point where the pendulum will soon swing back in the right direction.
We are focused on building a better future for humanity and are just getting started. We are in the early stages of building the world’s first social media platform geared 100% towards spreading positive change and empowering others to do the same. Our goal is to connect and empower 1 billion people in the next five years through our efforts at ISC, and we know we will get there.
Starting any business and practicing work of significance requires great sacrifice. It involves the investment of three of the most valuable things in the world, time, energy, and money. You will have to devote all three to get things going and keep the train moving. Once you begin, it’s essential to keep working with the same intensity daily. Build as much momentum as possible, and don’t stop! There will be times when things will get tough, and you will want to quit, but don’t give in to the temptation.
Taking your foot off of the accelerator will only slow you down, and you will have to put in significant effort to get the train rolling again. Keep plugging away, take comfort in the small wins along the way, and don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is the greatest teacher you will ever have in life and business. So, make mistakes, fail grand, and fail often. Just make sure you learn from those mistakes so you can progress forward and grow. Someday, you’ll be able to look back and bask in the glow of your success. Remember, that day is a long, long way from here, so enjoy the journey!
Connect with thousands from across the globe who support one another’s missions to better humanity at www.isparkchange.com
Rick wasn’t always interested in helping others globally, despite being pushed repeatedly in that direction by a near-death experience, family tragedies, and deaths. It wasn’t until the ever-worsening times of 2020 when he was anxious, isolated, and desperate that he finally got the wake-up call. His awakening came in the form of divine inspiration and an awe-inspiring spiritual connection when it was least expected. He went from fearful and hopeless to writing a best-selling book, 12 Hours of Heaven; Lessons for a Better World, in under three months while envisioning and creating an incredible future.
Rick is also extremely passionate about coaching individuals and teams. For the past 25 years, he’s grown organizations, including start-ups and Fortune 100’s on various levels. He’s helped both small businesses and multi-million-dollar enterprises flourish and achieve massive success in record-setting time.
He’s trained over ten-thousand hours in organizational strategy, communication, interpersonal relationships, leadership, and human behavior. His proven techniques help others level up in all areas while expanding social impact and spreading positive change around the world.
Rick has been featured as an expert in multiple media outlets, including national/international television and radio. He’s a regular writer for Lifehack, a guest contributor for various websites, and has inspired listeners across the globe as a guest on over 50 podcasts!
His next book, 12 Hours of Heaven; Time on Earth, is in the works.