Reflecting on 2021: Be Firm in Your Destination, Flexible in Your Path

“Be firm in your destination, but flexible in your path.” — Erik Qualman

Throughout 2021, one topic that’s been top of mind has been resilience. How do we create a resilient culture? For me, it’s embracing these four steps:

  1. Develop the ability to bounce back after failure
  2. Act on problems effectively
  3. Emphasize relevance
  4. Have fun!

ResilieResiliencence is something the USANA Family’s shown time and again as we continue to navigate the pandemic together. As I think about resilience, I believe the above quote fits this notion perfectly.

Each of you sets an example for me about adapting to change. You routinely overcome challenges and obstacles in your path. Being teachable is so important, and in being teachable you’re also embracing the need to be flexible.

The past two years, to borrow from the Beatles, has been a long and winding road. But our destination has remained firm. We’re committed to helping create The Healthiest Family on Earth.

As I wrote last year at this time, the past 12 months have proven to be challenging and unkind for so many. Yet, I truly believe unique opportunities await us in 2022 as USANA embarks on its 30th anniversary (for more on that, I invite you to watch my full holiday message).

In the meantime, please accept my heartfelt thanks and gratitude for your dedication, determination, and resilience. I wish you peace and joy during this special time of year.

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

Yin Yang You: A Collaboration 5,000 Years in the Making

Those who know me know that I’m always trying to better understand the world around me. It’s not uncommon for me to be flipping among three or four books at a time. Yin Yang You: Biohacking with Ancient Codes is one book that’s caught my attention recently.

Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Rob Sinnott on the set of The Dr. Oz Show to discuss Yin Yang You.

The breakthrough book, a collaboration between health experts in the U.S. and China, is a fascinating look at the centuries-old practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The art and science of TCM center on Qi (pronounced “chee”) — the life force that flows through your body.

“For much of the West, TCM remains a mystery,” says Dr. Mehmet Oz, the book’s co-author. “Thinking about health from a different approach feels more intimidating and unsettling than it does exciting and titillating.”

A primary mission for Yin Yang You is to “demystify the world of TCM. Not to replace Western thinking, treatments, and approaches, but to learn how East and West can work together,” Dr. Oz continues.

Dr. Oz collaborated with Dr. Anlong Xu, the president of Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, on the book. Researchers and scientists across two continents — including USANA scientists — worked to better understand how TCM can optimize our health for today’s world.

“Our whole goal at USANA is to help people better their lives and teach the importance of health,” says Dr. Rob Sinnott, USANA’s chief scientific officer. “With our contribution to the book, our hope is to help practitioners in Eastern and Western methods work better together. Page after page, readers will discover ways holistic medicine can support health, strength, wellness, and longevity.”

East Meets West

Yin Yang You brings readers a unique and powerful literary and scientific collaboration. Nowhere before have such forces joined to build the bridge between Eastern and Western medicine in this way. Through humorous stories, down-to-earth examples, and unique recipes, this book guides you through traditional Chinese practices that open minds to true, global holistic medicine.

Yin Yang You: More Information

You’re able to purchase Yin Yang You: Biohacking with Ancient Codes online. And follow Yin Yang You on social media (FacebookInstagram, and Twitter) to learn more.

The Currant Bush Principle: Follow Your Inner Voice

Divine impressions, intuition, and instincts guide us. They help us avoid unnecessary pain… if we’re paying attention. But because we’re often busy, unaware, or inattentive, we miss many of them. It’s important to slow down and listen to our inner voice. That’s the Currant Bush Principle, which is Principle No. 11 in my book All the Right Reasons.

I believe there are things greater than us that influence our lives and influence the world around us. As you’re listening to your inner voice, the first thing you hear is usually what’s right. We should follow the first impression rather than talk ourselves out of heading in a different direction.

The Currant Bush

All the Right Reasons Book Cover

I relay a story in All the Right Reasons about a currant bush.

Hugh B. Brown tells the story of a farmer who purchased an unkempt farm where he found a currant bush that was at least six feet high, all going to wood. The overgrown tree couldn’t produce any fruit, so the farmer got his pruning shears and went to work clipping and cutting until there was nothing left of the bush but a little clump of stumps.

When the farmer gazed at the whittled-down tree, there seemed to be tears coming from the sheared branches and he could almost hear the currant bush weep.

“How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. I was almost as large as the fruit tree and the shade tree, and now you have cut me down. All the other trees in the garden will look upon me with contempt and pity. How could you do it? I thought you were the gardener here. I thought you were my friend.”

The farmer looked on the little bush with compassion and replied, “Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. If I let you go the way you want to go, you will not be happy. But someday, when you are laden with fruit, you are going to think back and say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for cutting me down, for loving me enough to hurt me.'”

Listen to Your Inner Voice

Years ago, listening to an inner voice and following through on it — no matter how hard it was — changed the course of my life.

After making the decision to stop pursuing a professional music career, I focused on my video production business, which grew to the point where USANA bought it. I’m now the Chairman & CEO of a billion-dollar enterprise.

As a teenager, I never would have suspected anything could have made me give up a professional music career. Life is full of unexpected turns and crossroads. If we pay attention, we’ll always choose the right road.

View additional videos on my YouTube channel

Even though I chose to focus on business instead of music, my musical dreams have come full circle. I’ve had more experiences with some of the biggest music celebrities than most musicians in the business.

The second time I played at the Grand Ole Opry with Collin Raye’s band, I had the distinct impression I was being rewarded for that choice I had made years earlier.

“I am the gardener here,” a divine or inner voice seemed to say. “I know what I wanted you to be even if you didn’t. If I had let you grow the way you wanted, you wouldn’t have borne any fruit. But because you followed the path I laid out for you and did your part, this is my gift to you.”

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.

Use Power of Gratitude to Overcome Challenges

November is National Gratitude Month. As we prepare for Thanksgiving in the United States, here are five ways to express gratitude to turn negative situations into more fulfillment, greater success, and brighter results.

Implementing these five steps gets a person out of a rut and provides practical tools to use no matter what comes at them.

5 Ways to Express Gratitude

From the 12 key principles in my book, All the Right Reasons, one that continues to resonate is showing gratitude for everything around you,

5 Ways to Express Gratitude1. Find the Positives

Don’t stop seeing the positive things even in trying times. Recent Harvard research shows gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude energizes people to feel more positive emotions, savor good experiences, improve health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships, according to Harvard Medical School.

2. Understand the Power of Change

Remind yourself that changes occur all the time in life, that you have the power to change, and that change leads to gratitude.

In my book, I talk about musician Eric Clapton’s struggle with addiction where, in a treatment facility Clapton said, “From that day until this, I have never failed to pray in the morning on my knees, asking for help and at night to express gratitude for my life, and most of all, for my sobriety. If you’re asking why I do all this, I will tell you. . . because it works, as simple as that.”

3. Treasure the Small Details

Some make lists of everything that needs their love, which is powerfully effective. Finding happiness in small things will welcome feelings of gratitude back into your life. Adding joy into your daily schedule is a fourth key step to increasing the benefits of gratitude.

4. Embrace Joy

Include regular doses of doing whatever brings you joy. For some, it’s watching a comedy. For others, it’s reading a book or sharing jokes, laughter, and conversation. Joy can help you better appreciate your family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors. Embrace joy.

5. Keep Negative Emotions in Check

When we put pain in perspective, we realize many others have even more hardships than we do. That helps us realize we can get through our challenges, and we’re not alone. That viewpoint helps us understand that everyone faces trials, that we can do hard things, and that feeling grateful will lift us to higher levels.

The Power of Gratitude

I’ve found that the power of gratitude embodies respect, kindness, and warmth. Those are qualities that can change everything for the better, even for global icon Ringo Starr.

One of my lifelong idols, Ringo Starr, is one of the most gracious global celebrities I have ever met.

I have met numerous famous people. Many were aloof to adoring fans. But when I met Ringo Starr before one of his concerts, he was remarkably different. Ringo has spent a lifetime making people happy with his music and has immense power to make people happy just by showing them kindness and regard.

I saw firsthand that Ringo chooses to treat people with respect and warmth. He laughed and joked as if he had plenty of time to spend with us. He seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself.

When I stepped up for a picture, he put his arm around me, chatted for a bit, and displayed the peace and love signs he’s famous for. He was gracious and genuine to each person in the room. Because of how Ringo treated us, everyone in his meet-and-greet that day went away feeling good about themselves and loving Ringo even more.

I shared these thoughts and more in a news release that went out on Nov. 22, 2021.

Designed to help others find keys to successful careers and life, All the Right Reasons reveals 12 principles for living a life in harmony. All proceeds from sales of the bestseller are aimed at feeding two million meals to hungry children. Available on Amazon, each book sold provides 40 meals through The USANA Foundation.

Kevin Guest on The Daily Flash

Kevin Guest, the author of All the Right Reasons, appeared on The Daily Flash show on Nov. 11, 2021. In the interview, he outlined principles from the book, including The Dorothy Principle and The Cardboard Keyboard Principle.

Watch the full episode of The Daily Flash

Learn more about the principles mentioned in the segment.

USANA Kids Eat Holiday Bag Project

The USANA Kids Eat Holiday Bag Project kicked off Nov. 1. Now in its 11th year, the program helps to provide food for students during the extended Winter Break.

USANA Kids Eat 2021 Holiday Bag ProjectLast year, volunteers filled more than 3,600 bags and delivered them to nearly 40 schools. The 2020 Holiday Bag Project benefited thousands of students in our community. And it grows every year. Families, corporate teams, church groups, and more take part in the annual volunteer opportunity.

For families who participate in the project to pack bags, they tend to return year after year, according to USANA Kids Eat Director Michelle Benedict. These families are making incredible memories together, while also making a big impact.

How to Get Involved

Starting now, you can participate in the Holiday Bag Project. Visit USANA Kids Eat on Instagram to watch a quick overview of the program. Then, head over to usanakidseat.org to learn more and to sign up. You can also watch this clip from The Daily Dish on ABC4-Utah.

Once you’ve signed up (and selected your school and the number of bags you’d like to fill), you’ll receive a set of instructions, a grocery list, and details on when/where to deliver the filled bags. The items required to fill each bag total about $25. You’ll then deliver your bags to your selected school the week of Dec. 6-10.

Generally, throughout the school year, USANA Kids Eat volunteers fill packs for students to take home on weekends. For the Holiday Bag Project, the bags are bigger and contain enough food to last two weeks.

Job Action Day: 5 Points to Help Improve Your Career

Today we celebrate Job Action Day. Established in 2008, the day is intended to empower and inspire hard workers who dream of achieving more.

Out of sight does not have to mean out of mind, yet that’s exactly what can happen with employees working remotely during the pandemic. I regularly engage with leaders in 24 countries around the world, and those who have stayed top-of-mind implement five key practices to stay relevant and connected.

Job Action Day is a day of empowerment. It’s an opportunity to examine your career and discover your passion.

Job Action Day: 5 Ways to Stay Relevant at Work

Job Action Day 1080x1920 (Instagram Story)Here are five key steps you can take to stay relevant and improve during the pandemic.

1. Take an Ownership Mindset

In reality, you are the owner of your career, which means you have to look out for your own advancements, growth, and opportunities. Because no one is more interested in your job than you, acting with an ownership mindset means you’ll be “all in” when facing projects.

2. Develop Strong Opinions & Know How to Share Them

Bosses are looking for would-be leaders who have solid opinions and who know how to share them.

As a boss, I surround myself with those who will bring perspective to the conversation — something the rest of us may not even consider. It’s imperative for today’s workers to make themselves informed, to weigh options, form opinions, and share them with bosses. That’s part of what helps us rise to higher levels.

3. Adapt Virtually & Master Technology

When COVID hit, the world shut down. But those who adapted virtually and mastered technology didn’t skip a beat.

You have to know your tech tools, implement the best ones and connect with the right people to get the job done. When you master the tools, you will be in conversations that matter and meetings that forward key issues.

4. Use Your Voice to Increase Visibility

Using one’s voice allows employees to increase their visibility and influence others with impressive perspectives.

Early on in my career, I learned to use my voice. Research shows that our tech-savvy generation has come at a cost: many people would rather communicate through devices than have human-to-human interaction. That will limit your influence, so you have to use your voice in-person and virtually at the right opportunities. Speak up. Share. Listen, and provide perspective to stay visible.

5. Expand Your Personal Development

Many employees now have more discretional time that was spent commuting or in non-productive meetings. Use that newfound time to improve skills and to learn new ones. Then train coworkers through mini-workshops. That instantly sets you apart as a leader, as one who is improving, and as an executive who is getting noticed by those around you, especially by your bosses.

These timely steps can help employees stay relevant to bosses and secure a solid standing for future growth.

I shared these thoughts and more in a news release that went out on Nov. 1, 2021.

Designed to help others find keys to successful careers and life, All the Right Reasons reveals 12 principles for living a life in harmony. All proceeds from sales of the bestseller are aimed at feeding two million meals to hungry children. Available on Amazon, each book sold provides 40 meals through The USANA Foundation.

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.