It’s Time to #StartSomething!

More than a month later, I’m still feeling the energy from USANA’s 30th Anniversary Global Convention. Thousands of people joined us in person, and tens of thousands more across the globe watched the event unfold virtually.

Inspirational speakers shared motivational messages. Health-focused entrepreneurs connected with others enthusiastically and purposefully. It showcased the best in USANA as we strive to become The Healthiest Family on Earth.

Yet, as I mentioned toward the end of the three-day event, if something hadn’t changed for the attendees, and if they weren’t planning to do something differently when they returned home, the entire event would have been a waste of time.

I pleaded with the audience: Please don’t let this be a waste of time.

After two-plus years filled with heartache and pain for so many, the USANA Family took charge with a Day 1 mindset and accepted the challenge to Start Something.

“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” — Søren Kierkegaard

That quote resonates strongly with me, especially as we look toward the future. We learn from the past and live with an eye on the future.

It all starts now.

Once you start something, you commit to creating change in yourself while inspiring others to do the same. I believe doing so helps you to live a life in harmony.

For me, as you can see by watching the video below, I’m committed to Start Something Again. That means revisiting my gratitude journal. I’ll take time each day to write down what I’m thankful for. Plus, I’m planning to start sharing notes from that journal on my social media to further express my gratitude.

Today is a brand new day. It’s time to start something, commit to daily actions that will move you closer to your goal each day, and share your progress with family, friends, and followers on social media.

I look forward to seeing each of you #StartSomething, and I hope you’ll take this opportunity to live life forward.

Note: A version of this article originally went to e-newsletter subscribers on Sept. 21, 2022. I invite you to subscribe for free.

The Journey Principle: How Do You Define Success?

It seems most of our lives are spent on a journey instead of at some final destination. This is why, in my book All the Right Reasons, I define success by The Journey Principle: Success is about the experiences you have, the relationships you build, and the lessons you learn.

I know success can be defined in many ways. But for me, success comes through the relationships we develop. It’s buoyed by the lessons we learn. And success is connected to our experiences in life that move us forward.

The Journey Principle | Mother TeresaIn the book, I reference extraordinary individuals to illustrate The Journey Principle. I talk about Sister Teresa de Lisieux. In 1946, Sister Teresa — or Saint Teresa of Calcutta or Mother Teresa — received the call to help the poor while living among them.

She set out to establish a community dedicated to serving the poorest of the poor. Daily she visited families in the slums, nursing the sick, the hungry, and the dying. She started an outdoor school for destitute children and focused on giving dignity to those who suffered many indignities.

Her remarkable work touched many lives and helped countless individuals.

Mother Teresa passed away in Calcutta in 1997 without a penny to her name. She never got a college degree, never starred in a movie, never made her fortune in the stock market, and never worked her way up the corporate ladder. Mother Teresa herself admitted she hadn’t done any “great” thing, only small things with great love.

Yet, no one would consider Mother Teresa a failure. We consider her successful in her compassion.

She helped to make the world a better place and, in the process, Mother Teresa discovered the secret to living a life in harmony.

I hope in your journey you’ll find success as you develop strong relationships. Even more, I hope you’ll learn and grow from those relationships and your experiences throughout life.

12 Timeless Principles

All the Right Reasons Book CoverSince its publication in 2018, I’ve shared key points from All the Right Reasons. In written form and through short videos, I’ve gathered elements from each principle and have linked them here.

  1. The Ben Franklin Principle: When you commit to living your core values, you change your destiny.
  2. The Piano Principle: When you really want something, make it happen.
  3. The Turn Up the Volume Principle: Prepare, then fake it till you make it.
  4. The Leap of Faith Principle: You act with faith when you take a courageous step into the unknown.
  5. The Hope Diamond Principle: Good things come to those who are prepared.
  6. The Dorothy Principle: Nothing is more important than relationships.
  7. The Butch O’Hare Principle: You have the power to change.
  8. The Plato Principle: Identify people you admire and learn the valuable lessons they have to teach you.
  9. The Cardboard Keyboard Principle: Choose to use positive self-talk.
  10. The Holland Principle: Find opportunities to serve, then act.
  11. The Currant Bush Principle: Follow your inner voice and divine promptings.
  12. The Journey Principle: Success is about the experiences you have, the relationships you build, and the lessons you learn.

National Day of Encouragement: 3 Ways to Lift Others Higher

As we commemorate National Day of Encouragement, I encourage you to lift another higher by giving a word of encouragement and letting them know you believe in them. Sometimes all a person needs is to know life matters and they can make a difference. Having people who believe in you and your ability to live a successful life is key to that.

As human beings, we need each other. As I write in All the Right Reasons, we need encouragement, empathy, and connections. We need smiles, kind words, good advice, and trusted friends. We need mentors, teachers, and people who make us feel uncomfortable in our comfort zones. Sometimes we even need a kick in the seat of the pants.

Author John Maxwell writes that people quit people, not companies. Therefore, as leaders, giving genuine encouragement can help employees feel better about themselves, their bosses, and their coworkers. And that can result in satisfied employment.

1. Show Up and Listen

Having interacted with thousands of people during my career, I realize the most authentic relationship-building experiences happen when I’m sitting kneecap to kneecap with someone, looking them in the eye and sincerely wanting to understand. Face-to-face meetings lead to solid business partnerships and long-term relationships that help grow a business.

They foster trust, build bridges, and help us manage conflict from a position of mutual understanding. Simply put, technology can’t replace the power of face-to-face communication, so we need to show up.

2. Praise Others Genuinely

National Day of EncouragementTell colleagues you believe in them, and you know they can accomplish their goals. Share something they’ve accomplished, and urge them onward with encouragement such as, “you’re talented” and “keep up the good work!”

To emphasize the power of praise, my mother told me over and over that I was smart and could do anything I put my mind to. Right or wrong, I believed her, and those simple words have carried me through my life to lead a successful company internationally.

Imagine the influence you can have by sharing genuine words of encouragement with others.

3. Start Something New

This is a challenge we gave tens of thousands of USANA Associates in August.

Today is the day to start something positive with others. Commit to focus outside of yourself on National Day of Encouragement and boost another up. Imagine the positive effect you will have.

Take Care of Yourself

Those three steps make up just half the equation, however. Helping others succeed means taking care of your own reservoir of strength.

Four things to stay strong yourself:

  1. Be kind to yourself
  2. Challenge negative thinking about yourself
  3. Remind yourself of your accomplishments
  4. Graciously accept compliments

I’ve learned that to implement those four points, I surround myself with positive people, I celebrate small successes, I’m highly aware of my thought patterns and fill my mind with positive thoughts, and I accept compliments with a verbal thank you.

The Gift of Giving

When you help others achieve career success, you give them a priceless gift.

Most of the successful people I’ve met got there because they were told they had value and others encouraged them. Sometimes all a person needs is to know that her life matters and that she can make a difference. Having people who believe in you and your ability to succeed is very important.

I shared these thoughts and more in a news release that went out on Sept. 12, 2022, National Day of Encouragement.

#USANA30: An Event Unlike Any Other in USANA’s History

Wow… that one word sums up #USANA30 in my mind. What a way to celebrate USANA’s first 30 years! It felt good to see so many smiling faces at a LIVE event for the first time in a while. Of course, it felt phenomenal to welcome tens of thousands of Global Convention attendees virtually as well.

#USANA30 — USANA’s 30th Anniversary Global Convention — proved to be a record-attended event for us. The Aug. 17-20 hybrid event, I believe, lived up to the hype surrounding such an important milestone year. I’m impressed with the many individuals who worked hard to connect the in-person experience with the virtual.

My thanks to everyone who attended. It’s one to build on for the next 30 years and beyond.

#StartSomething!

The big takeaway for me, as I’m sure it is for many attendees, is the importance of simply starting something. Our world threw us for a loop, and now, as we regain our footing, there’s no better time to #StartSomething!

It’s a global campaign to move forward with a growth mindset. For me, I’m returning to start something important that had taken a backseat recently. I’m committed to writing regularly in a gratitude journal. It’s critical to give thanks for the good that we experience in our lives. I shared a few thoughts on this notion in the following video:

Garden Towers: A Big Goal Reached!

A year ago, we set an ambitious goal. Through The USANA Foundation’s global reach, we aimed to create 30,000 Garden Towers in time for our 30th-anniversary celebration. As the BIG number left my lips, I wondered: Is that a crazy goal?

Turns out, it wasn’t. Thanks to so many individuals around the world, we reached our goal! Thank you so much for your goodness, kindness, and willingness to help those in need. We now have thousands of sustainable Garden Towers growing across the globe. And we’re going to keep going.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Garden Tower concept, please learn more here. And if you’d like to get involved, you can do so here.

#USANA30 Highlights

Here are some highlights from USANA’s 30th Anniversary Global Convention

The Free Radicals

Of course, no USANA celebration would be complete without The Free Radicals. I’m fortunate to perform alongside such talented musicians. During USANA’s Global Convention, we played two gigs and loved every minute of it. I hope you did as well. Please consider subscribing to The Free Radicals Band on YouTube to hear more.

 

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A post shared by Kevin Guest (@kevinguestusana)

The Best Part: Getting Together Again

For me, the best part of #USANA30 centered on the fact that we interacted in person once again. I’m grateful for USANA’s first 30 years (as I wrote about before the event). And I can’t wait to see what the next 30 bring. Thank you for following along for what’s sure to be an incredible — and life-changing — ride.

#USANA30 - An Event 30 Years in the Making

Insights for Success: 3 Strategies to Live a Life Fulfilled

At times I’m asked: What’s your secret for achieving success? For me, it’s not necessarily a secret, but rather a three-part strategic mindset.

  • Overcome fear
  • Live in harmony
  • Believe in yourself

Coming out of the pandemic building momentum, our company leaders have uncovered key insights from exploring backward to boost productivity going forward. In that retrospection, we’ve found a pattern of success borne from a growth mindset that expands our confidence in who we are and what we can become.

I shared these ideas as part of USANA’s 30th Anniversary Global Convention. The event featured thousands of health-minded entrepreneurs. Many independent CEOs, each focused on success, joined us in Salt Lake City. Others watched online, as we streamed portions of the event to attendees around the world.

Success Strategy: Overcome Fear

Over the last two years during the pandemic, some people have talked about their fear of failure, but to fuel success, we must overcome fear, and unleash powerful confidence, creativity, and lasting connections.

Success Strategy: Live in Harmony

What’s more, now is the time to live a harmonious life by first knowing who we are, next understanding our values, and finally by applying true health that balances our body, mind, and spirit. That’s our path to greater heights.

As I write in All the Right Reasons, in music, harmony occurs when notes blend in a way that is pleasing to the ear. Whether someone plays in a band, sings in a choir, or performs in an orchestra, there is nothing quite as exhilarating as achieving perfect harmony with fellow musicians. Harmony in music doesn’t happen without hours of practice and each individual musician’s commitment to getting the music right.

A life in harmony means a consistent and honest arrangement of personal values and a solid commitment to living those values day in and day out, which is one secret to higher fulfillment and confidence in life and at work.

Success Strategy: Believe in Yourself

Because no person is an island, I’ve seen that we accomplish more as we connect with others. In fact, connections are vital in creating future success, and those who do so consistently are miles ahead on the path to success.

To achieve all you can become, be firm in your destination but flexible in your path. As Pablo Picasso said, ‘Whatever you can imagine is real,’ which means if you believe in something strong enough and have passion, motivation, and desire to make it happen, those dreams can come true. I’ve seen it over and over.

3 Strategies for Success | Kevin Guest

Celebrating USANA’s First 30 Years

30 years. Three decades. Since 1992. For USANA, it’s a milestone worth celebrating. Many companies don’t get to celebrate a year in business, let alone 30 of them (and counting!)

When the curtain rises this week on our 30th Anniversary Global Convention, don’t be surprised if you see me get a little emotional. As I wrote previously, I couldn’t be more thankful for Dr. Myron Wentz and this incredible company.

From the start (and I’m grateful to say I’ve been here since the start), USANA promoted a crystal clear mission: To create The Healthiest Family on Earth is our commitment.

I’m convinced the employees, Associates, Preferred Customers, and other stakeholders strive to achieve that vision daily. In 24 markets around the world, health is top of mind for everyone connected with USANA.

And for the first time in three years, we’ll be celebrating in person the individuals who make such a difference each day. As I mentioned in a recent video, that’s perhaps what I’m most looking forward to.

The 2022 Global Convention is positioned as a hybrid event, which means there are in-person and virtual elements. It’s a first for USANA. Imagine that, even after 30 years, we’re still innovating.

Let me be among the first to welcome the thousands who are joining us in Salt Lake City. And to the thousands more who are joining us online. I hope the convention provides you with the inspiration and motivation needed to reach great heights.

30 Years: A Celebration

Here are just a few aspects of this week’s celebration to keep in mind.

Garden Towers

As you may know, last year we set an ambitious goal to create 30,000 Garden Towers by this year’s convention. We are so close to achieving that goal! Thank you to everyone who’s supported The USANA Foundation‘s initiative. If you’re unfamiliar with Garden Towers, I invite you to learn more here (and here).

And now, I’m excited to announce that in-person convention attendees can purchase their very own Personal Garden Tower bundles. These are perfect for small spaces such as balconies, porches, or windowsills. Each purchase also gets us closer to our goal of 30,000 Garden Towers.

A World-Class Event

The quality of USANA’s live events always impresses me. For past attendees, I’m sure you’ll agree that they’ve been missed. Well, I’m certain this year’s event will blow your socks off. Here’s a small preview (check out full details):

Plus, you’re in for a real treat when The Free Radicals take the stage on Friday night (Aug. 19). It will be a 90s-themed party to remember (with special guest drummer Mark Schulman)! The website description tells the story:

Booyah! We’re stepping back into the ’90s, and it’s not a party without you! Whether you moshed through the decade or cringe at your parents’ photo album, we’re heading back to 1992 to celebrate 30 years of USANA. Rock out with Kevin Guest and the Free Radicals as they play the hits of the day—you’ll want to brush up on your line dancing, the running man, and the sprinkler. Don’t forget to dress to impress. *Scrunchies not included.

A Little Throwback

What’s a milestone event without some reflection? The folks at USANA dug out some vintage photos and created a timeline of important happenings in the company’s history. And, of course, we started our First 30 Years celebration with this teaser video that features a little nostalgia:

The Next 30

As we begin USANA’s next 30 years, I want to express my thanks and gratitude. I’ve often said, nothing is more important than relationships. And the relationships we’ve built since 1992 are unmatched. Thank you for helping to make USANA the company it is today, and for your dedication to creating The Healthiest Family on Earth.

Kindness Counts: 5 Ways to be Kind During National Civility Month

National Civility Month, held each August, provides an opportunity to treat others with kindness, empathy, and respect.

As human beings, we need each other. We need encouragement, empathy, and connections. We need smiles, kind words, good advice, and trusted friends. National Civility Month is the perfect time to share kindness and expand our circle of influence with those around us.

Recently, I offered five ways to help leaders and employees strengthen company culture through the power of civility to others.

5 Ways to Express Kindness

  1. Focus on Kindness First Thing in the Morning: Really think about how you’ll treat others that day. Maybe you’ll call your grandmother to let her know you’re thinking about her. Perhaps you’ll help your neighbor carry in her groceries — anything from the heart will do.
  2. Notice Others Around Us Who May be Struggling: If you know someone who’s experiencing a particular challenge, ask yourself what you would want from others if you were in their position. Socializing with friends or being a quiet listener — you have an opportunity to make a difference.
  3. Use Technology to be Kind: Think of how wonderful it is to get a text from someone who tells you how much you helped them or matter to them. Texting and emailing are quick and easy. Yet, those tools can send a powerful and kind message to someone. So follow your impressions when you feel inclined to reach out.
  4. Take the Higher Road When Talking About Others: When you avoid office gossip and don’t join negative talk about another person, that is a true demonstration of kindness and respect. Keep yourself from listening to unpleasant statements about others and don’t add anything negative to the conversation.
  5. Think of Yourself as an Instrument of Kindness: It’s a wild concept to some, but have you considered that maybe you were put on this earth to be kind to others? If you believe it’s your job, role, or destiny to be good to others, you’ll begin to behave with kindness all the time. When you believe you can greatly affect the feelings of others through simple acts of kindness, you’ll act differently and see remarkable things happen to them and to yourself.

Be Kind

As we commemorate National Civility Month, please take extra care to demonstrate kindness toward others. And toward yourself.

5 Ways to Be Kind | National Civility Month | Kevin Guest

I shared these thoughts and more in a news release that went out on Aug. 1, 2022.

The Power of Music: My Ultimate Playlist

Music, as you know, is medicine for my soul. I’m not sure where I would be without it. In honor of USANA’s 30th anniversary, which we’re celebrating in 2022, I provided a Top 30 list of many of my favorite songs.

Rich Shosted, part of USANA’s internal communications team, wrote the following article. It was originally published on USANAverse, USANA’s employee news source, and I’m delighted to share it here.

Music is Medicine For My Soul Email

Kevin Guest’s Ultimate Playlist

by Rich Shosted

Kevin Guest is up to his ears in music.

Though in all fairness, he always has been. The future USANA CEO grew up the youngest of five in Kalispell, an idyllic small town nestled in northwest Montana. His dad played in the local symphony, his mom was a pianist—and both nurtured a passion for melody in all their kids. “Music was always ringing throughout our house,” he says.

Over the years, Kevin picked up experience with multiple instruments—piano, drums, guitar—but ultimately, he gravitated toward his true love, the bass guitar. “The bass is the entire heartbeat of the musical experience,” he says.

And his fondness for harmony and plucking the low-pitched string instrument has led to a wealth of opportunity.

Kevin leveraged his passion to support his higher education and budding family. Throughout college—six nights a week—he made a living playing for a country band in venues across Wyoming, Idaho, and up and down the Salt Lake Valley. “I’ve played every bar on State Street [Salt Lake City],” he says.

In the early ’90s, Kevin landed a producer gig on Turn Up the Volume, a show that followed rock stars around documentary style. The madcap production gave Kevin the chance to tour with Poison, Bon Jovi, The Scorpions, and a slew of other notable rock bands.

He’s an unabashed fan of rock and roll, especially a certain history-making quartet. “My love for the Beatles goes as far back as I can remember,” Kevin says. And the superfan has been lucky enough to have met both Ringo Starr and Sir Paul McCartney. He’s seen the latter in concert on three separate occasions, too.

Subscribe to The Free Radicals channel on YouTube.

Music as Medicine for the Soul

These days our tireless leader plays the bass and provides vocals for The Free Radicals, a 12-strong musical ensemble that includes a few members connected to USANA—including Chief Sales Officer David Mulham, USANA Studios Project Manager Michael Rytting, and retired VP of Studios Shawn McLelland. The world-class band recently started a popular YouTube channel—their cover of Toto’s Rosanna has more than 500,000 views.

Kevin’s life—so far—is packed with an untold number of musical experiences he wouldn’t trade for the world. He’s had the pleasure of sharing the stage with the likes of Collin Raye, Kenny Loggins, Eddie Money, REO Speedwagon, and Belinda Carlisle. His talent and hard work even led to two performances at the Grand Ole Opry. “I’ve been so fortunate to either meet, work with, or play with almost every one of my music heroes,” he says.

But it’s much more than a hobby or a chance to meet his favorite artists. For Kevin, nothing is more important than relationships—and music plays a massive role. “Music is a universal language and a way to connect,” he says.

Music provides comfort, creates bonds, and builds comradery—and Kevin is sharing a piece (or 30 pieces rather) of his devotion with us.

In honor of USANA’s 30th anniversary, our CEO/resident rock and roller provided a list of his 30 favorite songs (below, in no particular order). “If you were to sit in my car with me, this is the music you’d hear,” he says.

Odds are one or two of these tracks will strike a chord with you. If they do, let us know which ones in the comments.

30 Songs to Honor 30 Years

“Let it Be”—The Beatles

“Let it Be” is really about being present—that there will be an answer and things will work themselves out. One of the things I struggle with is being present. I’m always worried about what might happen or what did happen versus just being in the moment—and this song helps me.

“The Dance”—Garth Brooks
“Don’t Stop Believin'”—Journey
“Love Remains”—Collin Raye
“Make This Day”—Zac Brown Band
“Take it Easy”—Eagles

When I think of the Eagles, I think of “team”—the group of people being stronger than the individuals. There are very talented individuals on the Eagles, but as a group they’ve achieved greater success. Applying that to our lives—working together versus trying to do it by ourselves—makes life much more beautiful and meaningful.

“Listen to the Music”—The Doobie Brothers
“Keep Pushin'”—REO Speedwagon
“Brand New Man”—Brooks & Dunn
“No End to This Road”—Restless Heart
“Your Song”—Elton John

Music is medicine for the soul, and this song is the perfect example.

“Ain’t No Time to be Afraid”—Little Texas
“Feelin’ Stronger Everyday”—Chicago
“Takin’ Care of Business”—Bachman-Turner Overdrive (BTO)
“Here Comes the Sun”—The Beatles
“Every Drop of Water”—Ricky Skaggs

The message in the song really resonates with me. It reminds me that everybody has value and worth and—like every drop of water shapes a stone—our experiences shape who we are, the good and the bad. And we need to take all those experiences as a blessing.

“Live This Life”—Big & Rich
“Ships of Heaven”—BlackHawk
“Teach Your Children”—Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
“Momma Don’t Forget to Pray for Me”—Diamond Rio
“Wind of Change”—The Scorpions

I sat in a room with Klaus Meine, the lead singer of the Scorpions, as he talked about this song. He said that at the time, he was inspired by the fall of communism in eastern Germany and the Soviet Union. For me, it’s about how we need peace in the world.

“Shower the People”—James Taylor
“Long Hard Road”—Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
“Show Me the Way”—Peter Frampton
“Something to Believe In”—Poison

One of the problems with the world today is that people don’t stand for anything and don’t believe in anything. They’re just kind of letting the tides of the world swallow them up. You need something to believe in. I’m not telling you what to believe—just believe in something.

“Dream Big”—Ryan Shupe & the RubberBand
“Live Like You Were Dying”—Tim McGraw
“Shooting Star”—Bad Company
“Hole In the World”—Eagles
“You’ve Got a Friend”—James Taylor

This one was written by Carole King, who in my opinion is probably one of the greatest American songwriters…ever. Just look at the diversity of hits she has and all the different artists who have recorded her music. I love the James Taylor version of this one and the message.

Top 30 from Kevin Guest

The Turn Up the Volume Principle: Prepare, and Then Go, Baby, Go!

In life, we may be presented with opportunities that intimidate or scare us. Often, the fear stems from the unknown or an unfamiliarity. The Turn Up the Volume Principle, which is Principle No. 3 in my book All the Right Reasons, addresses this.

Prepare, and then Go, Baby, Go!

I’m reminded of a golf tournament I helped organize as a college student. Though I hadn’t any experience organizing such an event, I knew it would be a good experience, so I accepted the challenge.

I’m so glad I took the leap! It provided me with invaluable experience. And the opportunity to connect with many individuals who would help me in business for years to come (notably, Dr. Myron Wentz, the founder of USANA Health Sciences).

Turn Up the Volume!

Another illustration of the principle involved a show I produced many years ago called Turn Up the Volume! I worked as a producer and frequently filmed the segments. As I discuss in my book, the concept involved going behind the scenes with famous rock musicians.

Kevin Guest - Turn Up the Volume PrincipleThe series catered to die-hard fans who wanted to know everything about a rock star’s life.

  • What it was like when they were on the road or backstage before a big concert
  • Who or what was their inspiration for writing music
  • How did they put an album together?

Those were the stories I wanted to hear, the ones I knew other fans would also be interested in.

Well, I developed a business plan and pitched the idea. We got the green light to begin production. One night, I got a call that we had an interview set up with Gene Simmons of KISS…in two days. Equal parts of excitement and fear enveloped me. I couldn’t believe I’d be interviewing a legend. Yet, I didn’t have the appropriate camera equipment ($80,000 at the time) to film the interview.

Long story short, I rented a camera, spent a long night learning how to use it, and filmed the interview the next morning. It proved to be a success.

These notions of “fake it ’till you make it” and then “go, baby, go!” are courtesy of my grandfather. The words were written on a plaque in his office. Of course, you need to be careful with the “fake it” part. Preparation is key, and putting in the effort is critical. So when opportunities come, you’re ready to seize them.

My grandfather believed if he were prepared and took action, good things would come to him. I have consistently found this to be true. When in doubt, act.

In Addition…

I invite you to subscribe here to receive monthly emails from me on a range of topics. Please consider contributing to the USANA Foundation. Its mission is to ensure that impoverished children and families reach their fullest potential by providing food and nutrition.

7 Ways to Find Peace & Lower Stress

Recently, the world celebrated International Peace and Love Day. People across the globe commemorate the day each July 7.

Introduced by Ringo Starr, born July 7, 1940, the famed Beatles drummer said he wanted peace and love for his birthday and he encouraged people worldwide to spread peace and love.

Research shows that as we seek peace and show kindness, we reduce stress and become more productive. Committing to a calm personal approach is important not only on International Peace and Love Day but also every other day of the year.

I was fortunate to meet Ringo Starr backstage before a concert and saw firsthand that he was an exceptionally nice person. Ringo laughed and joked as if he had plenty of time to spend with us in the waiting room. He seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself.

When we took a picture, Ringo put his arm around me, chatted for a bit, and showed the peace and love signs he’s famous for. He was gracious and genuine to each person in the room because he chooses to treat people with respect and warmth. He chooses the kind of person he wants to be. Everyone there went away feeling good about themselves and loving Ringo even more.

7 Steps to Find Peace, Lower Stress

1. Genuinely share peace and love to reduce stress

This brings more accomplishment and a sense of ease that is contagious.

2. Choose to treat others with respect and kindness

Listen and validate others’ emotions and experiences. Letting them know their happiness and well-being matter to you is key to cultivating a personality of peace.

3. Slow down and focus on their own breathing

Being mindful of your breathing brings you into the present moment, sharpening clarity and concentration. I like to breathe in for four counts, hold my breath for four counts, exhale for four and hold that for four counts. Doing that six times brings more oxygen and clear thinking.

4. Simplify your task list and devote efforts to top priorities

Don’t spread yourself too thin and be conscious of what matters most.

5. Walk outside and soak up nature

My boyhood home was near Flathead Lake, Montana, so growing up surrounded by water, trees, and mountains is second nature. Living that deeply in nature calms you and reminds you of the bigger perspective when facing life’s challenges.

6. Get massages for relaxation and muscle relief

Mayo Clinic findings cite massages reduce pain and muscle tension, improve blood circulation, lower heart rates and blood pressure, and improve immune function.

7. Make a list of things you are grateful for

These should be things that make you feel happier and calmer. Keep that list on your device and at low points during the day, review it and see your life in a more positive, realistic light. As I do that, I have found things are not as bad as I thought, and life is moving along better than I imagined.

I shared these thoughts and more in a news release that went out on July 7, 2022, International Peace and Love Day.