Alleviating Fear & Anxiety… Just Breathe

The importance of self-care, in my mind, can’t be overstated. It’s become a priority in my life over these past 18 months, and it will continue to be a focus going forward.

Recently, on Oct. 10, we observed World Mental Health Day. As individuals across the globe focused on mental health, I shared six key actions I believe can help to bring balance into our lives.

  1. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
  2. Nourish Your Body
  3. Exercise Regularly
  4. Limit Screen Time
  5. Engage with Others (and the World Around You)
  6. Explore Nature

I invite you to read more about these steps in this blog post.

Just Breathe…

One action not listed, but that’s helped me tremendously, is something I’ve talked about previously (and in the video above): Purposeful Breathing.

As part of the #AskKevinGuest social media series, members of my online community have asked questions and I’ve answered a few on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (please feel free to tag me in your questions).

One question centered on my seemingly relaxed nature on stage and asked how I work to alleviate any fear or anxiety that might naturally occur when presenting or performing in front of large groups.

First, I’m glad to hear my anxieties and self-doubts aren’t readily apparent. It’s something I continue to work on. That said, I’ve definitely experienced my share of panic on stage.

In fact, one story I share in my book All the Right Reasons, discusses an especially uneasy moment backstage ahead of a performance at the Grand Ole Opry.

Here I was about to perform on one of music’s most-hallowed stages and a flood of negative self-talk entered my mind. My heart raced, I questioned my abilities, and I couldn’t enjoy the experience.

Fortunately, at that moment, I leaned on a breathing exercise I’d learned. It’s something I now do regularly — before important presentations or performances and any time I catch myself feeling anxious or stressed.

A Breathing Exercise

I take viewers through the exercise in this video, but if you think about a square, you can picture the exercise (closing your eyes also helps):

  1. Breathe in for four counts
  2. Hold it in for four counts
  3. Exhale slowly for another four counts
  4. And finally, maintain the exhale for four counts before repeating the cycle

I usually do that four times. It’s amazing how it sets my mind right. It allows me to become present and to achieve what I know I’m capable of accomplishing.

If you’ve tried this or similar breathing exercises, I’d love to hear about how they’ve worked for you. Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

And don’t forget… Just Breathe.

version of this article originally went to e-newsletter subscribers on Sept. 21, 2021. I invite you to subscribe.

World Mental Health Day: 6 Actions to Maintain Balance During Pandemic

Recently, on Oct. 10, we observed World Mental Health Day. As you know, self-care became top-of-mind for me over the last several months. As the world focused on mental health, I shared six key actions I believe can help bring balance during the ongoing pandemic.

Some thought the pandemic wouldn’t last this long. Others are predicting it will last until 2025. Regardless, we need even more self-care to make it through, to ascend higher, and to help others.

Six Actions to Benefit Mental Health

  1. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
  2. Nourish Your Body
  3. Exercise Regularly
  4. Limit Screen Time
  5. Engage with Others (and the World Around You)
  6. Explore Nature

Getting 7-9 hours of sleep each day, listening to your body on timing to eat nutritious food, and dedicating yourself to regular exercise are the first areas of focus for self-care. These actions, I believe, will bring a noticeable sense of balance and harmony.

The next three action items place the focus squarely on ourselves. Studies show we spend an average of 4.2 hours per day in apps. The screen time works counter to finding personal balance and calmness.

Nearly everyone is suffering from fatigue with endless virtual meetings that fill our days and devices that pull us into our screens for hours on end. It’s important to unplug, minimize screen time, be more mindful of how long we’re on devices, and look up to engage with other people, nature, and things around us.

If a person feels anxiety over device separation, it’s important to talk to someone. Whether it’s a professional therapist or trusted friends, they can help us see a new perspective and rekindle healthy hobbies, such as a walk outdoors.

I learned firsthand growing up in Montana that spending time in nature is therapeutic. It’s obvious we are natural beings and while in such surroundings, we can almost feel ourselves uniting with nature. Look at this step as an escape, even for an hour, to fields and mountains, which can enrich our soul and quickly bring back balance and harmony.

Simple acts like these get us away from the crowds and allow us to spend solitude time to think and take personal inventory. That level of solitude time will likely become your favorite time of the week.

Learn More

Designed to help others find balance, my book, All the Right Reasons, reveals 12 principles for living a life in harmony. All proceeds benefit The USANA Foundation.

World Mental Health Day, first recognized in 1992, is an international day for global mental health education, awareness, and advocacy against social stigma. It’s led by the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members in more than 150 countries.

I shared these thoughts and more in a news release that went out on Oct. 10, 2021.

Where Do You Find Inspiration?

Recently, I’ve shared a couple of videos that got me thinking about inspiration. The videos came about after I asked my social media followers to ask questions, let me know what’s on their minds, etc. I received several excellent questions, so thank you!

In case you missed the clips, take a look below…

Sir Paul McCartney

Where do you find inspiration?

The first one describes my all-time favorite musician — Sir Paul McCartney. Those who know me, know I’m a huge Beatles fan. Sometimes, it’s scary to meet your heroes for fear that they’ll let you down. What if they’re not the same person they portray on stage or in interviews? In other words, what if they’re a jerk?

Well, Paul McCartney lived up to my expectations, and he continues to be a source of inspiration for me.

Years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a Paul McCartney soundcheck. His crew was setting up for one of his big stadium concerts. It was closed to the public, and there were only a couple of us there who weren’t part of the band or production crew.

Soon, Paul McCartney came out. I watched him hug and greet members of his crew by name. He asked them how they were doing and how their families were doing. He went around to everybody and personally had a moment with them.

It demonstrated the importance of personal interaction and truly caring about others. Here we have one of the biggest stars of all time. It’s his concert, he’s the boss. But he took time to recognize people by name, greet them, give them a hug, and sincerely ask them how they were doing.

It’s an example to me that no matter how famous you are, personal relationships and communication matter. Taking time to acknowledge others is so very, very important. Sir Paul McCartney’s always been a musical hero of mine. But after witnessing that soundcheck, he became an even more impressive figure in my mind.

Abraham Lincoln

Another question I received: Who do I turn to when I need inspiration or guidance? Well, there are many from the religious side, which I’ll leave for another time. From the non-religious side, somebody who’s inspired me is Abraham Lincoln.

He’s someone who came from a meager upbringing and had to find his own way in the world. Throughout his life he stood for things he truly believed in — even if they weren’t popular opinions.

Basically, risked everything because he felt so strongly about certain things. Now, looking back on history, his steadfastness had a positive effect on millions of lives. Abraham Lincoln was insightful.

One story I appreciate… One of Lincoln’s relatives sent a letter asking to borrow money. Lincoln declined because he felt that if he gave the money, it would do them more harm than them having to earn the money themselves.

Many instances from Abraham Lincoln’s life inspire me to want to be a better leader and a better person.

How About You?

Who do you turn to for inspiration? I’d love to hear. In All the Right Reasons, I go into greater detail about who inspires me and where I find my inspiration.

Garden Towers Project: A Big & Important Initiative

Garden Towers Project - Kevin Guest

Where Hope is Grown. It’s a powerfully optimistic statement that at once brings a smile to my face and a tear to my eye.

“In our world, nearly a billion people go to bed hungry each night,” says Brian Paul, president of The USANA Foundation. “Instead of going to school, countless children are in the daily fight for their lives just to get something to eat.”

And, Paul continues, impoverished or remote spots aren’t the only problem areas. Food insecurity is real within our own communities.

That’s why, thanks to your support, USANA and its partners have delivered more than 50 million nutritious meals and completed hundreds of life-sustaining projects at home and in nearly 40 countries around the globe.

The Healthiest Family on Earth — that’s USANA’s goal. Often, it starts with our own communities and extends outward.

Garden Towers: A Big Goal

The USANA Foundation, through its latest worldwide humanitarian effort, is offering hope to many by building low-cost, self-sustaining garden towers.

If you’re unfamiliar with garden towers, I encourage you to watch this explanatory video. It’s such an innovative, yet simple, way to help alleviate hunger. Already, the towers are helping so many in places such as Kenya and Mexico.

And with your help, we’ll achieve an ambitious goal: to raise enough money to fund 30,000 garden towers by August 2022.

It’s a big number, for sure. But to break it down, a donation of just $20 covers the entire cost of a tower—the fabric, the soil, the seeds, and the training on how to use the garden towers.

Where Hope is Grown.

Thank you, as always, for your support of The USANA Foundation. I hope I can count on you to help us to provide hope to those in need in our own communities and beyond.

Here’s where you can learn more and donate.

A version of this article originally went to e-newsletter subscribers on Sept. 21, 2021. I invite you to subscribe.

Change is Necessary. Adapting to Change is Critical

Adapting to Change

As I’ve written before, self-care became a priority for me over the last 18 months. I learned how important it is that we are kind to ourselves. It can be difficult, especially in times of change and uncertainty.

As I work to navigate through the pandemic, I continue to realize that change is necessary. And adapting to a changing world is critical.

Understanding and accepting these two concepts, while perhaps slightly uncomfortable at times, is so valuable. As we think about change, I reflect on a book I recently read. The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger, the former CEO of The Walt Disney Company, deals with change at a high-stakes level.

Part of Iger’s governing principles as a leader centered on curiosity. For me, as I think about adapting to the so-called “new normal,” I want to do so with a curious mind. Ask “what if?” questions. Approach change from an optimistic vantage point. Don’t make it bigger, scarier, or more ominous than it needs to be.

Change is not a negative thing. Very often, it’s the catalyst that helps us grow in ways that we couldn’t have otherwise.

Succeeding Through Change

For USANA as a company, this last year tested us — as it did many organizations around the world. But I don’t believe USANA would have grown in the ways it did had we not faced the challenges of the past 18 months.

It allowed us to take a closer look at who we are and how we’re positioned for the future. The company is nearing its 30th anniversary. Yet, USANA continues to innovate and excel. We’re able to do that, I believe, by embracing change. Surviving and thriving require an innate curiosity.

 

10 Ways to Build Resilience

September is National Self-Improvement Month. For me, improving on oneself requires resilience.

Therefore, I’d like to offer 10 ways to build resilience.

Resilience is a topic that’s been top of mind for me. Throughout the year, as I’ve spoken to entrepreneurs and employees across the globe, I’ve aimed to make it a focus. I define resilience as the ability to bend in the face of a challenge. To bounce back and to continue moving no matter what life throws at you.

Resilience

Research shows more than 55% of employers see resilience as a key skill for workers. Most successful people are those with the most resilience. At USANA, we’ve seen that a resilient team of employees is more motivated, and they deal with change better.

Resilience: 6 Necessary Skills

Here are six skills that focus on the individual.

  1. Strengthen your relationship with yourself
  2. Exercise to reduce anxiety and stress
  3. Lean on adversity you’ve faced—and be reminded how strong you are
  4. Regularly give yourself mental breaks to recharge (watch a movie, read a book, take a walk)
  5. Get comfortable making mistakes, learn from them, and carry on
  6. Take excellent care of yourself.

4 Practices to Employ

  1. Socialize with resilient people and learn from them
  2. Stay in contact with others
  3. Build your community of colleagues
  4. Live in the present and do things you enjoy

All the Right Reasons Book CoverThroughout 2021, I’ve been speaking on the value of cultivating resiliency in your everyday life as we grapple with the ongoing pandemic.

In my book, All the Right Reasons, I speak to equivalent qualities of star athletes, such as Michael Jordan and Michael Phelps.

Even though Jordan and Phelps have innate talent, their achievements are a result of their unrelenting hard work and perseverance. No matter the countless obstacles they faced, they were resilient in facing and overcoming them. We can apply that same pattern.

Resilience allows us to build something stronger and long-lasting in the future. We are determined as teams, and we are resilient as individuals.

I shared these thoughts and more in a news release that went out on Aug. 31, 2021.

New Podcast: Let’s Go! with USANA

When USANA launched its Active Nutrition line of products in 2021, we knew it would generate buzz. It’s a series of products that helps us in our mission to create The Healthiest Family on Earth. And, in striving toward that goal, we knew an accompanying podcast could drive home the importance of living an active lifestyle.

Thus, the Let’s Go! with USANA podcast began. So far, it’s a six-episode series hosted by Ben Raskin. Each episode features a special guest to discuss nutrition, self-care, fitness, and more. I invite you to download and listen to each casual conversation.

And after you do, please leave a comment or review on your platform of choice. That will help others find this valuable podcast series.

Below are a few notes about each episode currently available. You might have seen this information if you follow me on Instagram.

Episode 1: Be Your Own Bestie with Tessa Romero

Episode 1: Let's Go! with USANA

Episode 2: Fiber and Starting a New Diet with Shelli Baxter

Episode 2: Let's Go! with USANA

Episode 3: How Gut Health Helps an Active Life with Dr. Rachel Brewer

Episode 3: Let's Go! with USANA

Episode 4: Mindfulness and the Importance of Self-Reflection with Amy Zirneklis

Episode 4: Let's Go! with USANA

Episode 5: Eating for Success — Diet Tips to Support an Active Life with Shelli Baxter

Episode 5: Let's Go! with USANA

Episode 6: Overcoming Setbacks: The Strength to Pursue Your Dreams with Priscilla Loomis

Episode 6: Let's Go! with USANA

Listen on Apple Podcasts, and read full transcripts (opens a PDF) for each show.

AEVC21: Resilience, Mental Strength, & More

Jay Shetty on Resilience & Mental Strength

On ongoing theme for 2021: Resilience. It’s reflected in the way I live my life personally and professionally. I believe it’s a critical factor in helping each of us to continue moving forward.

Mental strength is key to being resilient. Bending in the face of a challenge—and then bouncing back—requires a strong, focused mindset.

Perhaps no one is better suited to discuss mental strength than is Jay Shetty, a keynote presenter at the recent USANA Americas & Europe Virtual Convention. Jay is a best-selling author, a purpose coach, and a former monk. He is “on a mission to make wisdom go viral.”

The foundation for building mental strength, Jay says, is “realizing the tools that got us here may not be the tools that will get us there.” In other words, just because a strategy or a tactical approach worked in the past, it doesn’t mean the same approach will work in the future.

Put simply, new challenges require new habits.

Fortunately, Jay provided us with a four-step roadmap to build our mental strength. It’s all about T.I.M.E., and I’d like to share it with you here.

Here are four habits Jay says we need to invite into our lives to build mental strength:

  1. Thankfulness: When you’re present in gratitude, you can’t be anywhere else
  2. Inspiration: Start each day with a dose of inspiring content—an uplifting song, a favorite quote, a well-read passage from a book. Whatever it is, ensure it boosts your spirit.
  3. Meditation: Make time for yourself, eliminate distractions, and ask yourself “what do I need to do for myself today to make today a great day?”
  4. Exercise: Add movement into your life

In the end, Jay asks: What are you going to let go of in order to make space in your life for these habits?

Resilience: A Theme

The USANA Foundation team meeting planting garden towers in Mexico.

The above message went out earlier this week to subscribers to my monthly e-newsletter. If you’re not on the list, I invite you to join. The keynote from Jay Shetty proved to be only one of many outstanding presentations at the 2021 USANA Americas & Europe Virtual Convention.

Also during the event, I set an ambitious goal. I challenged the USANA Family to raise enough money to fund 30,000 garden towers around the world. And let’s do it by USANA’s 3oth-anniversary convention in 2022!

Garden towers are a low-cost, self-sustaining method of planting multiple food crops in a single source, suited for all areas of the world.

I’ve always been proud of the difference USANA makes when it comes to fighting food insecurity. These garden towers are the next step in eradicating world hunger.

A donation of $20 covers the entire cost of the fabric for the tower, the soil, the seeds, and the training on how to use them. $20 is all it takes to provide three to five years of sustainably sourced, nutritious food and a source of income for people who need it most.

To donate toward the garden tower project, and to learn more about USANA’s charitable efforts, please visit: usanafoundation.org.

Behind-the-Scenes

And finally, here are some behind-the-scenes moments from #AEVC21. Thank you to everyone who joined us for the virtual event!

Music is Medicine for My Soul

Music is Medicine For My Soul Email

If it’s up to me, I’m never far from my bass guitar. It’s a constant, comforting presence that helps me find peace and harmony in my life. Music is medicine for my soul!

Recently, I had the opportunity to pick up that guitar and play music with country music superstar and close friend Collin Raye. It was a thrill to perform for 30,000 people at one of the nation’s premier Independence Day concerts!

As I’ve said many times, music is medicine for my soul. And that night, music gave me a healthy dose of happiness.

What is it in your life that provides you that burst of feel-goodness or a jolt of enthusiasm to live life to its fullest? I’d love to hear in the comments.

Performing on stage with Collin Raye as part of the Stadium of Fire concert on July 3, 2021.

Performing on stage with Collin Raye as part of the Stadium of Fire concert on July 3, 2021.

Collecting Memories

You might have seen this video on my social media recently. In it, I walk through a few items of music memorabilia that mean a lot to me.

Achieving Harmony Through Music

For the most-recent World Music Day, which falls on June 21 each year, I shared a few thoughts on how music has the power to bring people together, transcend borders, and break barriers. In a workplace environment, I believe music can lift moods and unify teams.

There’s nothing like live music to lift spirits, and when you are part of making music, it can boost your positive temperament even more. When you’re doing that with team members, I’ve seen it help people find common ground and form instant bonds.

Email subscribers received early access to a version of this article. 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.

Learn First, Then Teach — Kevin Guest in the Scotsman Guide

Kevin Guest, USANA Chairman & CEO, wrote an article for the August issue of Scotsman Guide — Commercial Edition.

In the piece titled “Learn First, Then Teach,” Guest explains how mentorship can pay dividends for mortgage companies. He advises that employees who seek out mentors often become the company’s next generation of leaders.

Read the Full Article

Seeking out at least one mentor, Guest says, should be the first step for mortgage brokers looking to advance their careers. “All industries — and especially the real estate finance business — are relationship-based,” he says.

About Scotsman Guide

Scotsman Guide has provided commercial mortgage originators with invaluable resources that help them grow their financing networks and stay informed about market news, trends and data for more than 25 years.