Tag Archive for: principles

What Two Beatles Taught Me About Love and Respect

April 2 is national “Love Our Children Day” in the United States. And it’s a perfect reminder to show love and respect to everyone we encounter from adults to children.

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

A few years ago, I was backstage before a Ringo Starr concert with a group of fans waiting to meet the world-famous Beatles drummer.

Other fans were nervous, and the lady next to me was hyperventilating because she was about to meet an idol—one of the Beatles. When Ringo arrived, I was first in line, and he smiled, gave me a big hug, and talked to me while looking directly at me. He focused on me and made me feel loved and respected, like I was important. That is a feeling I will never forget.

Years earlier, I saw Paul McCartney on stage for a pre-concert soundcheck and noticed that Paul approached every band and crew member. He hugged them and asked how they were.

I could tell Paul knew them personally and cared about them. Those acts of love and kindness by two of the world’s most famous musicians give a remarkable lesson for us all. In this day when so much is in turmoil, we need to show love and respect for others around us.

Love, Relationships

In All the Right Reasons, I write about what I call The Dorothy Principle. In essence, it puts relationships at the top of the priority list.

People have told me the Dorothy Principle has made an instant impact on their lives. I learned long ago that treating others with the utmost respect and kindness is a key to success and makes life more harmonious for everyone.

To illustrate the Dorothy Principle:

On a pop quiz, a college professor asked: ‘What is the name of the woman who cleans this building?’ and emphasized that nothing is more important than relationships.

The class was blank but soon learned the cleaning lady’s name was Dorothy. So I have dubbed that value the Dorothy Principle and have tried to put relationships first in everything I do.

I apply the same principle as Chairman and CEO at USANA Health Sciences.

I urge all of our Associates domestically and internationally to treat others politely with kindness. Learn their names, acknowledge them as you pass by, and step outside of your own issues to be genuinely respectful to everyone.

I believe those simple patterns of behavior can make us all more civil and lift each other to higher levels of harmony in life.

I shared these thoughts and more in a news release that went out on March 31, 2022.

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.

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.

The Leap of Faith Principle: Take the First Step

Sometimes when we are faced with difficult tasks or overwhelming obstacles, all that’s required for us to navigate the path toward success is to take the first step. That’s the Leap of Faith Principle, which is Principle No. 4 in my book All the Right Reasons.

All the Right Reasons Book CoverTo help illustrate the principle, I lean on a story from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (apologies for the incorrect Indiana Jones film reference in the video below).

In one particular scene, Indiana needs to get from one side of a massive ravine to the other in his quest to find the Holy Grail. The only problem? It’s far too wide to jump across, and there doesn’t seem to be a bridge.

Indiana fears he will fall to his death if he steps blindly into thin air. But his father is dying and he has run out of time. Professor Henry Jones, Indiana’s father, urges his son to take a leap of faith.

“You must believe, boy. You must believe,” he says.

Ultimately, Indy takes a leap of faith and makes it to the other side.

Take a Leap of Faith

Many times in life, that’s what it takes. We just have to take the first step.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

So often, we’re not willing to take that first step because we’re not sure what’s going to happen. The only thing that will help us do that is to have faith.

The Leap of Faith Principle, to me, is this: You act with faith when you take a courageous step into the unknown.

As I write in my book, faith is not a sure knowledge. It is a firm belief in something for which there is no proof. We have faith when we believe we can find a way and then move into the dark.

Faith is hope put into action.

View additional videos on my YouTube channel

When we embark on a journey, start a project, begin a new relationship, or form a business, we aren’t guaranteed our efforts will prove successful. Like Indiana Jones, we are often taking steps into the unknown. We act, not because we know, but because we hope we can succeed. We believe we can find a way.

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.

The Cardboard Keyboard Principle: Choose to Use Positive Self-Talk

The Cardboard Keyboard Principle. In the video below, I relay a harrowing story about a young woman in Rwanda. A civil war had erupted, devastating her small village and leaving many fighting for their lives.

All the Right Reasons Book CoverImmaculee Ilibagiza hid in a bathroom as killers lurked outside the window. For days, this woman feared for her life. Yet, her thoughts were hopeful and uplifting. She imagined her life once she was rescued — working at the United Nations.

Immaculee read books and taught herself English, all while violence raged just outside her door. She drew a replica of a computer keyboard on a piece of cardboard and spent hours learning how to type.

Immaculee survived by keeping hope in her heart and telling herself she would be okay. She prepared for her future.

It would have been easy — and understandable — for Immaculee’s thoughts to turn dark. For her to consider the situation hopeless and to give up. She could have let negative self-talk overwhelm her spirit.

But she didn’t. She used her inner voice to think positively about her seemingly dire situation. And it helped her escape. It allowed her to ultimately realize the life she visualized herself living.

View additional videos on my YouTube channel

The Power of Self-Talk

Managing self-talk is a significant personal difficulty for me. I constantly struggle to eliminate the negative voice in my mind.

At my first Grand Ole Opry performance with Collin Raye.

Many have heard me tell the story, which is also included in my book, All the Right Reasons, of standing off stage at the Grand Ole Opry. I’m about to perform with country music superstar Collin Raye—a phenomenal opportunity on one of music’s biggest stages—and my inner voice is filling my mind with doubt.

What are you doing? You’re not a professional musician. You don’t deserve to be here. What if you make a mistake and ruin the whole show?

Fortunately, I’ve developed strategies and techniques to quiet the negativity and amplify the positive self-talk.

I’ve worked hard to learn the music. I’ve trained and practiced for years for this opportunity. It’s going to be an awesome show!

As individuals, we tend to be harder on ourselves than anyone else is. But the good news is positive self-talk is even more powerful than negative self-talk. Learning how to channel and elevate the voice in your head can change your life.

I encourage each of you to take note of the chatter happening inside your head. With practice, we can consciously choose positive self-talk (and limit negative self-talk) to help make our lives better.

A version of this article went to email subscribers on April 21, 2021. I invite you to subscribe here. 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.

Kevin Guest: 3 Keys to a Fresh Start in 2021

I’d like to share the following article that went out to news organizations in late 2020.

Getting a Fresh Start in 2021

Making a fresh start toward success in 2021 requires three key decisions to forge forward no matter the past. The following strategies are based on principles in All the Right Reasons, a bestselling book by Kevin Guest.

“Few people dispute that 2020 has been one of the most difficult years in history,” Guest said. “But 2021 can become one of the best, especially when we apply solid principles that can move us forward.”

First Key: Learn From the Past

The Butch O'Hare Principle - Butch O'Hare - All the Right Reasons“The first principle is to learn from the past and move forward,” said Guest, who’s also chairman and CEO of USANA Health Sciences. “It’s something I was inspired to do from the life of World War II fighter pilot Butch O’Hare.”

O’Hare became the Navy’s first Ace of WWII and the first Naval aviator to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Guest wrote in his bestselling book, All the Right Reasons: 12 Timeless Principles for Living a Life in Harmony.

“Butch O’Hare, for whom the Chicago O’Hare Airport is named, was the son of Easy Eddie, the famed attorney for Al Capone in the 1920s and ’30s, who was notorious for racketeering, bootlegged alcohol, gambling rings and prostitution in the Windy City,” Guest wrote.

“But Easy Eddie wanted a better life for his son, and his son, Butch, looked to the future instead of dwelling on the past and made contributions that saved countless American lives in the war. Believing in fresh starts is the key, and there is no better time for us all to do that than Jan. 1, 2021.”

Second Key: Help Others Who Are in Need

The second principle is to help others who are in need.

“Losing yourself in the service of others is therapeutic beyond measure,” Guest said. “That’s something that will bring untold benefits because it helps the giver and the receiver, who may be a coworker, friend, or even a stranger. The rewards of simple acts of service are immeasurable and something we need as we enter a new year and detach from the pandemic.”

Third Key: Never Give Up

Guest’s third principle comes from his grandfather, who taught his grandson confidence, courage, and commitment.

Kevin Guest Speaking“My grandpa was a strong influence in my life in Montana,” Guest said. “He loved to make things happen, not only in business but in life. He was full of enthusiasm and optimism, a real dealmaker.

“His favorite mottos were on a plaque on his desk: ‘You Gotta Fake It Till You Make It’ and ‘Go, Baby, Go.’ Those sayings have stuck with me and taught me that you have to give it your all for as long as you can. You have to be committed and see things through to the end. That’s when the magic happens.”

Leading a billion-dollar company in 24 markets worldwide, Guest applies the principles globally and expects to see a 2021 work environment bring successes for all who apply lessons from the pandemic, help lift others higher and energize their talents to make a difference for the better.

“Persistently implementing these patterns into our personal work habits can carry us to higher levels of personal success — especially as we enter a new year of opportunities like no other time in our lives,” he said.

All the Right Reasons: 12 Timeless Principles for Living a Life in Harmony, written by Kevin Guest, is available on Amazon. All proceeds benefit The USANA Foundation, which works to feed hungry children. Each book purchase provides 40 meals. A version of the above article was distributed as a news release on Dec. 29, 2020.

The Holland Principle: Find Opportunities to Serve, Then Act

This time of year is always special for me. It’s a time to reflect on what’s truly important in our lives, to give thanks and to express our gratitude. It’s also a time to serve others. I’ve been thinking recently about The Holland Principle, one of 12 principles included in All the Right Reasons.

All the Right Reasons | Kevin GuestEach of us has a great capacity to help others, to make someone’s life better. That, in a nutshell, is The Holland Principle.

Find opportunities to serve, then act.

When we serve others, we are ultimately working to improve ourselves. I speak a lot about the notion of “giving vs. getting.” Often, we’re so wrapped up in our own busy lives, that we forget the importance of helping others. If we can focus more on serving others, I think we’ll live a life of abundance.

Speaking of helping others, in less than two weeks we’ll be opening the doors on the brand new USANA Kids Eat food packing center. I wrote about the program in my e-newsletter last month (you’re welcome to subscribe).

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

As we put a bow on another year, I thank you for commitment to helping make the world a better place. I’m grateful for the many blessings in my life and I wish you a healthy and prosperous 2020.

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.

The Hope Diamond Principle: Preparation is Key

The Hope Diamond Principle

Kevin Guest Holding the Hope DiamondWe’re one day away from the start of the 2019 USANA Live Global Convention. It’s an event I look forward to every year. As we prepare to welcome thousands of our friends and family from all over the world, I’d like to share with you a principle from my book, All the Right Reasons.

Many years ago, I found myself on a private jet heading to a meeting with the curator of the Smithsonian Institute.

Once there, I somehow found myself in the center vaults of the Smithsonian with the Hope Diamond in my hand.

I remember standing there looking at this priceless jewel and thinking to myself: “How did I get here?”

Here I am, a kid from Montana standing in Washington, D.C., holding one of the most famous jewels ever in the history of the world.

The answer? I prepared myself for that moment.

Good Things Come to Those Who Are Prepared

Early in my professional career, a good friend of mine, Ray Albrechtsen, came up with the idea to partner with the Smithsonian Institute on educational video projects. After many letters, proposals, and countless phone calls, we were about to give up.

Yet, we stuck with it. And — this is key — we continued to develop our production plan should we ever get a callback from the Smithsonian.

Sure enough, Smithsonian representatives invited us to meet with them.

After we spent an afternoon in the vaults, handling the world’s most valuable gem, we struck a deal. We ended up making the Smithsonian gemstone video and a few others.

Sure, luck could have played a part. Luck alone didn’t put the Hope Diamond in my hands. We put in hours of work to get there. Luck, after all, tends to favor the prepared.

I encourage you to read the full story in chapter five of All the Right Reasons.

USANA Global Convention

For my USANA Family, Global Convention is this week. Perhaps you’ve heard that we will be announcing a special promotion only available to those who are at the event.

By simply joining us, you’ll get the opportunity to participate in something to help you grow your business significantly.

You’ve prepared yourself. You’ve made sacrifices, taken time off work, or whatever it may be. No matter what, you got yourself here. Why? Because you recognize attending Global Convention is an important investment in you and your business.

Good things come to those who are prepared. I challenge you to think about that principle as you work toward achieving your goals in life.

All the Right Reasons: 12 Timeless Principles for Living a Life in Harmony is available on Amazon. All proceeds benefit the USANA True Health Foundation and its mission to feed hungry children. Each book purchase helps to provide 40 meals.

The Butch O’Hare Principle: You Have the Power to Change

You’ve heard me talk a lot about priorities and how to determine what matters most to you. At USANA, we prioritize our core values — Community, Excellence, Health, and Integrity. In my book, All the Right Reasons, the Butch O’Hare Principle demonstrates a commitment to doing the right thing.

No matter which road you’ve traveled in life, you’re always able to change. You have the power to be a force for good. You can work to improve not only your life but the lives of those around you.

Below is a news release that went out on July 1. It explains more about the Butch O’Hare Principle.

—————–

The Butch O'Hare Principle - Butch O'Hare - All the Right ReasonsDeclaring July the “Butch O’Hare Principle” month, USANA CEO Kevin Guest is drawing from his bestselling book, All the Right Reasons: 12 Timeless Principles for Living a Life in Harmony, to emphasize that every person has the right to change no matter their past.

“Butch O’Hare was a World War II hero who flew his fighter plane into a formation of Japanese planes over the Pacific Ocean to protect a U.S. fleet of ships,” said Guest, who leads USANA Health Sciences (NYSE: USNA) globally. “In his daring attempt to protect his fleet, he destroyed five enemy bombers in less than four minutes. He became the Navy’s first Ace of WWII and the first Naval aviator to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by U.S. Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt.”

Butch O’Hare: The Ability to Change

The backstory is equally compelling.

“Butch was the son of Easy Eddie, the gifted lawyer who kept Al Capone out of jail during the 1920s and ’30s during Prohibition in Chicago,” Guest said. “While he made millions and lived lavishly in a mansion, Easy Eddie wanted to right his wrongs and give his son a life without a tarnished name.

“With that, Eddie publicly testified against Capone, which sent the crime boss to prison and resulted in Eddie being killed 10 months after Capone’s release.”

The Butch O'Hare Principle - O'Hare AirportIn 1947, the Chicago Tribune publisher proposed that Chicago’s new airport be named for Butch O’Hare to honor his heroism during the war.

“We don’t know what Easy Eddie shared with his son during his heart-to-heart talks, but Butch developed character traits of loyalty, courage, and humor, which became pillars for future decisions to nobly face enemies to protect hundreds of lives at war.”

At USANA Health Sciences, where Guest is CEO of the billion-dollar company, he applies the Butch O’Hare principle.

“Our values, character, yearnings, aspirations, and goals define us,” Guest said. “The better we understand who we are and who we want to be, the more centered and steady our lives become. We become sure and steadfast, unmoved by swirling forces around us.”

“I urge us all to choose who you will be moving forward no matter your past,” he said. “That’s when you can best make a difference for yourself and those around you.”

All the Right Reasons: 12 Timeless Principles for Living a Life in Harmony is available on Amazon. All proceeds benefit the USANA True Health Foundation and its mission to feed hungry children. Each book purchase helps to provide 40 meals.

The Piano Principle: What Sacrifices Are You Willing to Make?

Early in All the Right Reasons (the second principle, in fact), I tell a story about my mom and dad.

When they were younger and didn’t have a lot of money — like a lot of us at that age, just starting out with a family — my parents needed to prioritize purchases.

Kevin GuestOne thing I’ll always remember: My parents bought a piano before they purchased a car.

It’s not like they didn’t need a car. Life likely would have been easier had they had one. Yet my dad would ride my mom around on his bicycle to the grocery store and other places.

Why did they do this? Because music was so important to them. And they were willing to sacrifice everything to see that we had music in the home.

They couldn’t afford both a piano and a car.

The Piano Principle speaks to that mindset.

You should do whatever it takes for the things that are most important to you.

Here’s something I’ve told a few people as I’ve thought about The Piano Principle. My wife, Lori, and I did pretty much the same thing. We were talking about this the other day. We bought a piano in the early days of our marriage.

We weren’t exactly like my parents — we did have a car. But we bought it used and made payments (like a lot of folks). We knew we needed a piano in our home to make sure our kids grew up with music in their lives.

Some of my greatest memories are sitting around the piano singing church hymns and other songs as a family.

The Piano Principle in Your Life

What do these stories mean for you? I encourage you to think about what’s most important to you and then what are you willing to sacrifice to make sure that it becomes a reality in your life.

It comes down to prioritizing.

The Piano Principle is simply that:

What is most important and then what are you willing to sacrifice to make sure it becomes a reality in your life?

If you do that, I believe you’ll look back years later and be so thankful that you did what it took to make sure that priority became a reality in your life.

How About You?

What’s most important in your life? Is it planning for a dream vacation? A new car? Saving to start your own business? I’d love to hear what you’re willing to sacrifice in order to make it a reality.

For more of my thoughts on principles included in All the Right Reasons, please take a look at this link.

The Plato Principle: Surround Yourself with People Who Will Help You Grow


I recently returned from USANA Live — our annual Asia Pacific Convention. It’s an event I look forward to each year. The energy is off the charts and the enthusiasm is invigorating.

I intentionally surrounded myself with thousands of people — Associates and Employees — who are dedicated to making a difference in the world.

It reminded me of The Plato Principle, which I discuss in depth in All the Right Reasons.

In essence, The Plato Principle involves being open to those around you and having people around you who can be a positive influence. Surround yourself with good people that will help you grow.

I think it’s so important, especially in today’s world, to have an open mind and to be teachable.

Seek Advice From Others

It’s not a secret that one of my idols is Paul McCartney of the Beatles. Not long ago, I had the opportunity to sit in on a sound check with McCartney. There were only a few of us in a large stadium.

He walked out and I was off to the side. It was interesting to watch his interaction. He actually walked up to the crew, to his band members, and he hugged them. Then he sat down to sound check his piano. He asked for input on different settings. He was asking for advice and interacting.

Here you have arguably one of the biggest celebrities in the world. He walked out, engaged his crew and his other band members with hugs, with a warm friendly interaction.

But then he was asking questions through the process. I was learning from him, one of my idols and icons, someone who’s been a mentor from afar.

No matter what level you’re at or where you’re at in life, consider these two things:

  1. Respect people. Respect who they are and be open to their advice and interaction.
  2. Surround yourself with good people. Learn from them. Have an open mind. And most importantly, be teachable.

Thank you to all my friends in Singapore and from around the world who made last week so memorable. I’m re-energized and excited about the future!

Photos From Singapore

Here are a few photos from the USANA Live event in Singapore. Click or swipe to see my interaction with someone I’ve looked to for advice for a long time. I bet many of you have as well.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Kevin Guest (@kevinguestusana) on