Melt Away Your Worry and Anxiety

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On this Friday evening I’m being reminded about the importance of taking care of our self. The often neglected part of our week. Even when the weekend hits we all seem to be off and running in different directions trying to attend functions, see family and friends or get the unfinished yard work complete. Exhausted, we find refuge in front of our favorite TV program or just any program that helps numb our mind from the crazy activity that seems to be nonstop. And let’s not forget the bottle of beer, glass of wine or cocktail that washes away our stress–at least for a brief moment.

Tonight I’m reminded to stop. Be silent. Leave the noise behind so I can give my self an opportunity to heal. I’m reminded that we all have permission to let our self just be. Even if just for 5 minutes, the short refuge has the power to melt away our anxieties and the worry that snuck inside our psyche over the past week, month or even year. I’m reminded that we all deserve the gift of stillness so we can revive our self and feel good again. Just the thought of it allows us to breathe.

This weekend take a moment to stop. Even for 5 minutes. Just stop, breathe, and give your self the gift of being still. Watch the sunset, the sunrise, the grass or the trees. Find a shape in the clouds, or simply close your eyes and just breathe. In that moment be grateful for your beautiful life, and choose to release what you cannot control so you can walk forward Monday feeling free.

Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.

Unlearn How to Be an Adult

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This little thing happens when we grow up; we forget how to play. We forget what it felt like to wake up in the morning ready to discover a brand new world. To be curious. To be light. To laugh uncontrollably at nothing. And for nothing but the wind to sweep us into some sort of adventure filled with trees, dirt and friends. Friends, that were either visible to the human eye or just part of a brief moment that we created with our imagination. At some point, we grew up and we stopped asking our friends to play.

We grew up, got “educated”, put on a suit, and headed into the “real world”. In the process we left our friends behind. And those endless days of adventure became nothing more than nostalgic memories. Getting dirty was replaced with being refined. Being politically correct and rising to the top became more important than truth, kindness and imagination. And rather than showing love to someone who at one time would have been invited into our adventure as our best friend, we learned how to show snobbery and pass judgement to those who appear “lesser” than the “in crowd”. Or worse, we limit rights and take away freedom gifted at birth from those who appear “lesser” based on our beliefs and how we choose to see the world.

It’s time to unlearn what it means to be an adult. Hell, let’s throw the word adult right out of the dictionary. Let’s bring imagination back. Let’s love everyone for who and what they are inside and out. Let’s lead with kindness and truth. And tomorrow morning, let’s wake up and play. Let’s wake up and allow nothing but the wind to sweep us into some sort of adventure filled with trees, dirt and friends–even if those friends are just part of a brief moment that we create with our imagination.

Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.

It’s Time to Break the Rules

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The happiest people break through the idea of “normal” and write their own rules. What rules are stopping you from getting what you want? It’s time to break the rules and live your life.

Most people have become master complainers. I can’t do this because of this… I can’t do that because of that… All statements that are driven by some type of rule that’s been opposed upon you. A rule that you’ve accepted as “normal”.

The rules that do the most harm are those that fall into the bucket of, “That’s just how it is.” I’m not talking about the rules of morality or traffic laws. I’m talking about the silent cultural rules that play havoc on your life. The rules that silently infiltrate your thoughts and imprison you to a way of life that your soul desperately wants to break free from. The rules you unhappily follow out of fear. The fear of…what will people think? Who will I be to the rest of the world if I…? How will I fit in if I jump? Most people’s greatest fear is the judgement of others. The fear that their character, credibility and sanity will be questioned and challenged.

It’s time to break free. To be free. To fly through this life on your own terms and in your own way. Today, break a rule! I don’t care what rule, just break it. Step right outside “normal” and do something that makes you feel free.

Here’s the reality. When you actually live life on your own terms. When you choose to honor yourself. That big giant fear of judgement completely disappears. Poof! It’s gone. It’s gone because when you break the rules and follow your heart people respect you for it. In fact, they become inspired by you.

It’s time to break the rules and live your life.

Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.

Surprise! You Can Now Buy Employee Engagement at Target

24266506_BG1You just need a mirror and an open mind.

Whenever I’m facilitating an engagement or culture strategy the business leaders usually want to spend a great deal of time telling me all the reasons why they’re frustrated with the lack of results they’ve experienced thus far. Most clients have done their due diligence and spent countless amount of hours assessing the problem and coming up with possible solutions. I always enjoy listening, and I always wait until they’re completely done telling me the whole story before I respond. I wait, because the story always ends with the same statement and question: “Here’s where you come in. What do we do next?”

My response is always the same. Sometimes it’s more colorful and elaborate, but regardless of the leadership team my response is always, “I know exactly why your business isn’t getting the results you want in the timeframe you want. And I have the solution. It’s guaranteed to work. It’s low cost. And you’ll get the immediate results you’re looking for—again, guaranteed.” At this point I have their attention. Some people laugh. Most people grab their pens and get ready to take notes. I tell them what they need to do:

“Tonight, on your way home from the office, each of you needs to stop at the store and buy one thing: a mirror.” At that point the room always becomes silent. I usually wait at least 30 seconds, and let everyone sit in silence before I start talking again. Then I keep going. “You see, you are a direct reflection of your business and all of the people within it, and the business and all if the people within it are a direct reflection of you. If your business isn’t “working,” or your people aren’t responding, you’re the problem—bottom line. Now you have a choice. You can either own the reality that you’re the problem, or you can avoid it. It’s your choice, but I will tell you that owning it costs a hell of a lot less, and it’s a hell of a lot more successful than avoidance.”

I always end with one question, and I don’t talk again until everyone in the room answers it: “Which is it, ownership or avoidance?” Every once in a while I’ll have a leader actually stand up and walk out—a direct indication that he or she is suffering from dysfunctional leadership disease, and he or she is at the core of why engagement is suffering, and why unhealthy energy is running rampant. Most often, the room answers the question with another question: “What does ‘owning it’ mean, exactly?” That’s when I know it’s game time and the culture has a chance at becoming healthy.

There is one other scenario that sometimes plays out: denial. Some businesses have what I call a numb heart. The heart of the business is toxic, and the business is circulating enough unhealthy energy to take down a city, yet the leaders of the business, collectively, are convinced there is nothing wrong. They’re still asking for help with engagement, and they still want a healthy internal brand, but they refuse to admit, or face the fact, that they as the leadership team will never get the results they want until they figure out how to get functional, and walk in the way of trust, compassion, and freedom. If this is your business, I recommend you have your leaders take the leadership health quiz. After I have leaders take the quiz, most leaders begin to acknowledge the fact that an issue exists, and from there we can begin to have a more serious discussion.

Bottom line: you’ll never be able to move forward and build a healthy business culture unless you have a leadership team (at all levels) willing to “own it.” You see, the heart of a business is just like the heart of a human: it only becomes strong when surrounded by people who are willing to live in a way of high-character and show acts of love to those around them. When business leaders are finally willing to face their fear and “own it,” engagement increases, the culture turns healthy, and the business becomes a place where everything good is possible.

Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.

A Parable to Live By

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A Man, a Walk, and a Bucket

A man went for a walk in the early morning to gather water. Step-by-step his bare feet took him on a journey through the dewy grass and rich dirt that smelled of earthworms and life. He walked forward.

Only thinking of the water, he traveled across a bridge above a gravel road. He walked across a field covered in wild flowers and cocktails. He received a greeting from a turkey, a blue bird, and a pheasant. He walked forward.

The sunrise filled the sky with hues of yellow, orange and red. The air was still. He walked forward.

An hour later he approached the stream. While filling his large wooden bucket full of water the handle broke beyond repair. In that moment, a young man was approaching the stream. He looked at the man with the broken bucket handle. Smiled. Filled his bucket full. And silently gave his bucket filled with water to the man in exchange for the bucket without the handle. With a look of gratitude, the man asked, “How far is your walk?” The young man pointed toward the horizon, picked up the bucket without the handle, balanced it on his shoulder and responded, “Three days time.”

And with that, both men walked forward each a better man.

— Gina Soleil, American Author  

There are many lessons in the parable. Selflessness. Gratitude. Being present. Receiving. Awareness that someone else is always suffering a greater hardship than the one you’re experiencing. Patience. Compassion. The list goes on and on.

As you’re starting off your busy week take a moment to reflect on the message this parable has for you. And then walk forward a better man, woman, mother, father, sister, brother, friend, colleague or leader. In both word and action, today choose to walk forward in a better way.

Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.

The Best Health Advice You’ll Ever Receive

01wellness-it-is-not-just-about-health--article-4730I was in a workshop one evening when I shared with the facilitator that I felt so damn tired. Falling-asleep-in-the-middle-of-the-workshop kind of tired. She said to me, “Did you give yourself fresh food and water today? Did you take yourself out for a walk?” I just looked at her and said, “I’m not a pet. I’m a person.” We both started laughing, and she said, “I’m serious. What would happen if you just left your pet cooped up without any fresh food or water, and then you decided that you didn’t want to take it for a walk.” I just looked at her again and said, “You’re right. That would be horrible. And no, I haven’t done any of those things.” Then I started laughing again, and said, “Oh my God, I’m my own pet. I have to give myself fresh food and water, and take myself out for walks. That’s the problem, I’m doing none of that.” She was a genius. So I started treating myself like my own pet, and it worked. Amazing. Fresh food, water, and daily walks are magic.

The advice is not rock science, but we have made health and wellness so complicated that most of the time we forget that to stay healthy and awake all we need is fresh food, water, and a walk. An easy way for a business to help people feel energized and happy is to make sure that fresh healthy food and water are available to everyone, and that everyone finds time to take a walk. Make it fun, and start asking people if they’ve taken their number-one pet out for a walk that day. I guarantee they’ll laugh, and laughter in and of itself fuels businesses with healthy energy.

Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.

The Secret to Making Change Stick

Puppets-123_lS-1024x819It’s not about turning people into puppets. Change happens when you respect people for their individual brilliance and value their input along the journey.

One thing most people can agree on is that change is hard, uncomfortable and many businesses do it very wrong. A large percentage of change efforts fail even before the business tries to launch the new initiative; leaving people disengaged, disgruntled and looking for a better opportunity to sweep them off their feet and bring them to greener pastures.

Here’s how to make change stick and keep people energized, feeling good and happy through the process.

  1. Get crystal clear about behaviors.
    Define the exact change you’re looking for and map it to a specific behavior. Every change no matter how small is linked directly to a behavior. What specifically do you want people to say or do? Every element of communication should be around the behavior change and the benefit to the employee. If you make it just about the business no one will care and change will be a constant struggle.
  2. Shop it around.
    Most businesses skip this step because it’s scary. You would never launch a new product or service without first consulting your customers, so why would you launch a change effort inside the business without first consulting employees. This is critical. Let me be clear, I understand there are changes that must happen regardless of input. That said, people are brilliant (that’s why you hired them) and they can help you figure out how best to roll out the message and gain support from the masses. Yes, this even includes massive change like a company reorganization. If you choose to create a change plan behind closed doors you are literally asking for it to fail.
  3. Ditch the email.
    When it comes to change email is your worst enemy–at least when it comes to the initial communication. Have a one-to-one conversation with everyone in the business letting them know about the change that’s coming. Don’t stop there. Then ask them what they think, how they feel about the change, and what the business and/or leader can do to help make the change easier? During this conversation give people the opportunity to surface questions, comments and concerns. Use this conversation to address any potential “derailers” in a constructive way. Most importantly, this conversation is about listening to people and giving them an opportunity to vent on the front-end so they can support the change in the long run. If you have thousands of employees, this step will require you to leverage the leaders throughout the business to facilitate the conversations with their teams.
  4. Be transparent.
    When you have the initial one-to-one conversation with people be transparent. Don’t hide uncomfortable details and try to avoid certain topics–the truth always comes out. If you’re transparent on the front end you’ll lesson the resistance to the change. If you lie people will turn into angry birds and your business will turn into a breeding ground for toxic energy. Remember, if it’s not the whole story it’s a lie. When it comes to change don’t leave out details or try to spin the truth. If the business is transparent people may not like the change but they’ll respect the approach.
  5. Send an email and follow-up.
    Once you’ve clearly defined the change and behaviors you’re looking for, had transparent one-to-one conversations with everyone, and made adjustments to the change plan based on employee feedback, you can then send out a company wide email. Be careful… no surprises. This is not the time to make last minute changes. If you try to sneak in new or different information people will feel deceived and your change effort will fail. Once the email is sent follow-up (3, 4, or 5 times if need be) with everyone and check in with how their feeling. They may have additional suggestions. Great! Take note, and incorporate those suggestions during the next change roll out.

Bottom-line: if people feel respected, valued and taken care of by the business, it’s easy to make change stick because people want to support the things in life that make them feel good.

Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.

Continue reading “The Secret to Making Change Stick”

End of Day Inspiration: Start Walking Forward

6430981_origI was driving down the road and I got an overwhelming feeling that I needed to pull over and start blogging. So here I am. Pulled over on the side of the road. Drinking my hot coffee. And together we’re going to see where this moment takes us.

A short message. I’m writing to those of you who are in question about your life, your career or any other circumstance that’s in front of you at the moment. I don’t know what your question is, but I do know there are always three answers to every question in life. Personal or professional, it makes no difference. So here are the answers to the question you may have stirring inside.

1. Everything in this life is purposeful. The darkest moments create the strongest parts of our self. The moment we welcome the darkness into our life like a good friend, is the moment the light starts shining in and we realize we’ve become stronger and more whole. It’s when we accept this truth that our fear goes away and we begin to realize there is no “right answer”. There’s only experience that we choose to create. And each experience holds a purpose for where we are right now in life.

2. You always have choice, and the greatest choice we have is our thoughts. If you don’t want your current situation choose to change it. And remember the greatest physical change is often not physical at all. How is this possible? Well, that leads us to number three.

3. The only control you have in this life is your breath and your thoughts–period. If you think you can physically control anything outside these two elements it’s time to get out of the mirage. The physical is simply an outcome of thought. So take a moment today. Breathe. And choose to think about what you really want in this life–your intentions. Shoot for the stars Sweetheart, because life is too short to waste your time obsessing about what you don’t want. And remember, your physical reality follows the thoughts you choose. Get your thoughts pointing in the direction of what you want, and you’ll be amazed on what transforms before your eyes.

Now start walking forward and go out into the world as your authentic self. Every change starts with one step–even if no one else sees you take it.

Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.

What Life is About

LifetitleI went to a visitation last night. It was beautiful. Hundreds of people showed up to pay their respects to the family, and to say farewell to an amazing soul who touched countless lives with her presence. The experience, like so many visitations and funerals do, reminded me of what’s actually important in life.

We live our busy lives going from one activity to the next. We get caught up in the “he said, she said” drama. And rather than love, we allow the materialism of our world to drive our decisions and carve out our life path. We chase and we honor the perceptions of others rather than honoring our hearts. We live life according to made up rules that someone somewhere once told us were more important than allowing our soul to sing–and we believed them rather than believing in ourselves.

Then an event happens to us or around us that peels back the veil. In that moment we wake up. Our eyes become wide open, allowing us to see that believing, honoring and loving ourselves and others is what actually matters in life. The ultimate marathon in life is to forever remain in that moment. The moment of truth.

Today as you’re rushing from one meeting to the next, one email to the next, and one conversation to the next, hold something in your hand that keeps you in the moment of truth. A rock, pen or coin; it doesn’t matter just hold something. And when you feel it in your hand remind yourself to breathe, to be kind to the person receiving your words, and to honor your heart and the relationships in your life above all else.

When we all live in the moment of truth what a beautiful world it will be.

Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.

How to Beat the Monday Blues

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There’s one surefire way to beat the Monday Blues.… dance.

So how often do you dance like no one is watching? No really. When’s the last you cracked out your best moves to the music you love? In your car? In your kitchen? Or maybe you’re still jammin’ in the dance clubs. If the dance club is your place of choice more power to you my friend. I’m more of a kitchen girl.

Now think back to that feeling you have when you’re dancing. And remember how damn good it feels after you’re done. The smile on your face. The energy flowing through every part of your body. The breath that comes with complete ease. Even if it’s just for a moment. Even if no one is watching. In that moment think about how good you feel. Free.

What would happen if we danced through our days? If everyday at the office people were dancing throughout grey cubicle land and jamming out to the tunes that made their heart sing. Dancing to meetings, during phone conversations and while typing away at their computers. Imagine how much positive energy would fill the four walls of suits and conference rooms. People would walk around smiling, looking each other in the eyes with warmth and love. Moments of conference room conflict would feel like a friendly debate with good friends over a beer. You might even wake up in the morning wanting to head to the office because it fed your soul.

If you woke up with this morning feeling the Monday Blues just start dancing. Go hide out by the copy machine, find a huddle room, book a conference room or just start busting out your moves right where you are.

Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.