Rejection Is Protection

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Are you getting caught in the box of “what must be”? Or are you allowing life to deliver unexpected surprises with ease?

Life is full of twists and turns, ups and downs and spiral staircases. Contrary to popular belief, there’s no such thing as a straight and narrow path. And if you take a step back and review your life thus far, you’ll certainly remember moments of unexpected change that created the amazing person you are today.

I like to call these moments of change, “Thank God Moments”. Usually these moments come after a lot of heartache, tears, struggle and fear. One moment it appeared life was going in the exact direction you desired, and then all of a sudden, POW! You didn’t expect that to happen. Maybe it was a layoff, a demotion, a lost promotion or a relationship gone wrong. Regardless the experience, as time moves on you realize how thankful you are that life took a surprising turn and you say, “Thank God I didn’t get that job! Man, I would have been miserable if I married that person. Wow, if I didn’t get laid off I wouldn’t be in a career I love.”

Rejection is almost always how the Universe protects us. It never feels that way at the time. In fact, it usually sucks! Sometimes you feel like you’re not going to make it. Moving forward appears like a pipe dream. And quite frankly, you feel disappointed, damn tired and even unmotivated at the thought of trying to stand back up and keep going. Bottom line, change, let alone unexpected change, is hard, scary and exhausting.

Then there’s that moment when you look back and realize you made it. Not only did you make it, you’re better, stronger and happier than you could have imagined. Life is good. And one day you sit back and say, “Thank God for that…”

If you’re reading this and reflecting on how far you’ve come, congratulations! You made it. If right now you’re in the darkness going through another scary twist and turn, remember this too shall pass. The lesson for us all is that rejection is life’s protection from what could have been, and it’s in these moments of rejection that your life has an opportunity to exceed your dreams.

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.

7-Ways to Live Like Robin Hood; Life Never Felt So Good

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It’s amazing to me how far our world has come, yet how similar our behaviors are to those societies from hundreds of years ago. In fact, in business our behaviors haven’t changed much at all. People with “lesser power” still bow down to “royalty” in fear of consequence or simply because “that’s just how it is”. In many ways, working in some business cultures is comparable to the medieval period–walking into the office at 8:00 a.m. feels like a Game of Thrones realty TV series.

Why is it that people are still okay relinquishing their personal power to those wearing crowns? Why are people okay with sacrificing who and what they are for the benefit of a few people on top who happen to wear purple? In the medieval period, if a peasant didn’t succumb to the powers of the King it was off with their head! Giving up your right to self due to the the physical reality of death was commonplace. That said, the last time I checked the use of a guillotine wasn’t allowed in Corporate America–although you wouldn’t know it from the way some people walk around in fear.

The biggest difference between business cultures today and medieval times is that we are safe–safe from physical harm. Are you walking around in fear of the imaginary guillotine in the CEOs office? Or, are you a modern-day Robin Hood, a maverick and heroic outlaw? It’s time we actually put the medieval period behind us and choose to walk free. A freedom that only comes when you choose to stop relinquishing your self to the powers that be.

Here are 7-Ways to live like Robin Hood and walk forward free:

  1. Start moving:  If someone is treating you poorly and not respecting you as a human being, don’t complain or play the woe is me game; rather, take responsibility and change what you don’t believe is right. This requires action and effort on your part. No one said change was easy, and responsibility always comes in the form of movement. Verbally stand your ground, and take the necessary steps to stop playing the victim and start taking responsibility for your life.
  2. Be a heroic outlaw:  Seize the opportunity to be a modern-day hero. Rather than sitting back and watching someone else being treated with disrespect stand up for them. Defend the stranger sitting next to you on the bus, the friend next door, your team, or your virtual colleague living thousands of miles away who’s not there to defend themselves. Don’t let someone else be thrown under the bus when it’s your voice that can save them.
  3. Know you are safe from physical harm:  Know that if you speak up, stand out and walk forward as a maverick you are safe. The CEO doesn’t have a guillotine in his or her office. You will not be hurt for standing up for yourself. What’s the worse that could happen? Could you get fired? Sure. Who cares? Get another job, go back to school,  or take a much needed break to get yourself into a business culture that’s healthy. That said, the reality is that most people who speak up (respectfully) are respected more, receive more opportunities and have a better chance at creating a work-life that makes them happy.
  4. Get clear on what you want: Sit down and make a list of what you want from your career and your life. It’s amazing to me how many people who have not taken the time to list out what they want. Don’t get hung up on details; you can make it broad. Robin Hood, may have said, “I want to help take care of those who are unable to take care of themselves.” When you get clear on what you want it’s impossible for action not to follow.
  5. Get some merry men: Here’s the deal: everything is always easier when you’re not trying to do it alone. Community is critical for our psyche. You are more courageous, more apt to overcome challenges, and will reach your goals with greater success when you have some merry men supporting you. Start building your team of modern-day mavericks. Remember, like attracts like. Surround yourself with those who want to live like Robin Hood, and watch your personal power grow.
  6. Find the joy in what you do: Stand up for yourself and take your power back, but don’t get too serious. If there’s one thing for sure, Robin Hood had a good time living out his life on his own terms and in his own way, but laughter, play and good friends were always among the adventures and hard work.
  7. Don’t be fooled by fake jewels: The only real jewels are inside you. The only place to find the authenticity you’re looking for is right in the mirror. Throughout your life you will constantly be approached by people holding fake diamonds. They’ll say, “Give me your power and I’ll give you more money, status, and material items. Give up who you are, and who you want to be, and I’ll turn you into exactly what society says you’re suppose to accomplish and become.” Don’t be fooled, no one has ever attained true happiness by wearing fake jewels.

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.

You’re Bloody Brilliant

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In case someone hasn’t already told you, let me just say, “You are brilliant.” In fact, you are the most brilliant person in your life. You are so smart that you have the ability to answer any life question, accomplish anything you put your mind to, and your ideas are so phenomenal they have the ability to inspire and motivate everyone around you to be better and more self-confident. Without a doubt, you are brilliant.

Now here’s the reality, you may not feel brilliant or that your ideas are phenomenal. In fact, you may feel the exact opposite. You see, our society, especially Corporate America, has taught us the art of self-degradation. In fact, most people have become so good at the art form they literally insult and condemn themselves out loud in order to save themselves from public shame and humiliation. People think things like, If I tell everyone how stupid I am right now someone may think it’s funny. They might even respond by telling me how smart I am–that will make me feel better. And then people might not think I’m so stupid. Reverse psychology at its best.

Here’s the deal: most people have been doing this self-degradation thing for years–some, since they were born. What you may not know is that self-degradation is a form of mental programing. The psychology is simple: the human mind will believe what is heard repeatedly as truth. In other words, keep telling yourself you’re stupid and you will believe you’re stupid. Tell a child, or a young adult they’re stupid and they will believe it for life. I don’t know about you, but I want to live in a society where I am surrounded by brilliance not stupidity. Moral to the story: be respectful when you’re talking to yourself, and show compassion when you’re talking to others.

Today, make the choice to acknowledge your brilliance as truth. It doesn’t matter your IQ score, how far up the corporate ladder you’ve climbed, or what anyone else has told you in this life–you are brilliant. It’s now time to put your head up, stand tall and walk forward in this truth. And when you’re walking forward, and someone chooses not to acknowledge your brilliance, simply say, “I’m bloody brilliant”.

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 get someone to say, “I love my job.”

I-love-my-job_employee-engagementI’ve seen my share of employee engagement programs. The best programs are those that show people they are valued, cared for and appreciated by the business and its leaders–programs that have people saying, “I love my job.” These are two of my favorite programs. Hats off to the fearless businesses that choose to put people first!

1.  Internal Humanity Budgets

Internal humanity budgets are funds that provide leaders with the ability to take care of the people on their team during times of need. These are funds that someone in need can receive similar to the way a grant works—no strings attached. Example scenarios include someone finding out he is losing his house due to circumstances out of his control. Another example might be someone needing to put food on the table after finding out her child has terminal cancer. A humanity budget is designed to take care of the basic human needs of the people inside the business.

It’s important not to make this complicated. The minute red tape gets involved, humanity budgets will become tainted with bad energy and complicated to disperse. The perceived hassle will automatically give leaders amnesia—they won’t remember the budgets exist at all. So make it simple. Make it one lump sum per leader. Make the budgets known to everyone in the business. Don’t micromanage it, and step away from the red tape. This is an exercise of trust, compassion, and freedom.

2.  Community Barter Sites

A community barter site is an online program that allows people to confidentially request help in times of need, for themselves or for other people inside the business. The site is barter only, and allows everyone in the business to confidentially respond to the needs of others. Again, no strings attached. Barter items may include groceries, clothing, and school supplies. The intent of the initiative is to give people in the business a vehicle by which to help take care of one another when people need help the most. The confidentiality of the program makes it safe for people to participate without shame or guilt.

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.

3 Fast Ways to “Destress” and Feel Human Again

adt-womanLet’s face it people, life is tough, and trying to remain calm and grounded feels virtually impossible among the day-to-day craziness we call “life”. In fact, life can get so out-of-control that at times you may not even feel human. You don’t know what you feel, but it’s definitely not human.

If you’re someone like me and the rest of the world, who needs a little assistance reclaiming your calm, here are three of the fastest ways to destress and feel human again. That said, here’s the deal: you need to commit to the process for a month. And the process includes all three steps. If you make the commitment, I personally guarantee you’ll feel better–more grounded, calm and back in the driver’s seat of your life.

Here are 3 Fast Ways to “Destress” and Feel Human Again:

1.  Morning Pages:
Each morning, before you do anything, write three pages of constant-stream-of-thought. The concept behind morning pages is that we subconsciously house damaging thoughts that we carry with us everyday. These thoughts block us from attaining our goals, feeling good, and being our best selves. When we write our thoughts immediately in the morning we allow ourselves to literally dump any and all negativity into the trash where it belongs–allowing us to be free and clear from the potential blocks preventing us from attaining our goals.

Important Note: Do not read your morning pages—at all. Many people choose to burn their pages at the end of 30-days, or simply toss them in the trash as a form of release. You may choose what to do with your morning pages,, but what’s important is that you do not read them during this experience. Think about it…. would you dig through the trash to eat something you threw out days ago? Why would you want to put those thoughts back into your head?

2.  Creativity Outing:
Your mind, body and soul is in need of a weekly dose of solitude and reward. The world is filled with noise that cloud our thoughts with fear and judgment; preventing us from remaining grounded, confident and clear about who we are and where we’re going. During the creativity outing you are literally cleansing yourself from negative outside influences. Humans are meant to create. When we create, we feel free. I don’t care if you go to a pond and line-up sticks, or decide to be a painter–what you do during the outing is your choice. That said, there are 4 rules:

  • You must be alone (no friends, no dates)
  • You must choose to do something creative outside your “normal” existence
  • You must be on your outing for a minimum of 2-hours
  • No technology

3.  Gratitude Reflection:  
The fastest way to get the results you want is by showing gratitude. It’s proven: what you put into the world is exactly what you will get back. Einstein himself, intentionally said thank you 90-times a day because he knew the Universe would reward him in beautiful ways for simply choosing to be grateful for the things already in his life. Every day, you are asked to write down 10 things you are grateful for. It’s amazing. When you actually stop long enough to be grateful for the life you have, your mind is able to find its calm and relax.

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.

Creating Ethical Cultures in Business

Do you have the courage to stand up for what is right? When you’re faced with a situation that you know is wrong, do you speak up? Or, do walk away and allow deceit and manipulation to flourish? The next time you catch yourself thinking, “Someone should do something.” Remember, that someone is you.

Thank you, Brooke Deterline, for sharing this message with the world.

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 Live a Happier Life

Imagine_A_Happier_You_logoIf you’re not happy, there’s a 99% chance your life doesn’t align with your values.

What are values anyway?  Values are how we name what we find important in life and what gives us energy. Like the flour and eggs that help a cake become a cake, aligning your life to your values help you become a happy and balanced person.  Values are the ingredients that make the best you.

What are your values?  Be careful… I didn’t ask you for your parent’s values, the values of the business you work for, or the values of any other influence in your life. Many people fall into the trap of aligning their life to the values of something or somebody else due to their fear of judgement and disappointment–one day turning around and saying, “Why am I not happy?”

Today, make a choice to be happy. Choose to align your life with what YOU value and what gives YOU energy. You most likely won’t be able to align your entire life to your values overnight, but even the most subtle shift can have a profound affect on the state of your happiness.

Here’s how to start living a happier life:

Take a look at this list of values, and choose the top 10 values that jump out at you. These are the values that you instinctually know are important to you. Once you have your list, then narrow it down to your top-five values. To do so, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What moment has been the highlight of your life? Describe it. Why was it a highlight? Who was there? What did the environment look like, feel like, sound like? What words were spoken or written? How did you feel, and why? What value(s) was being respected or honored? 
  2. Describe a moment when you have felt wronged. Who or what wronged you? What did the environment look like, feel like, sound like when it happened? What words were spoken or written? How did you feel, and why? What value(s) was being disrespected or hurt?

It’s the values that were respected and honored, or disrespected and hurt, that are the most important to you. These values should be in your top-five list. Your emotional experiences are always the window to what’s most important to you. 

Lastly, look at your top-five list and ask yourself, “Are my current life choices aligned with my values 100%?” If not, start brainstorming all the different ways you could shift your life in order to honor your values. Skies the limit! This is your happiness we’re talking about. Don’t cheat yourself–shoot for the moon.  Now choose one idea and bring it to life.

Don’t stop there…. everyday make one shift, until one day you turn around and say, “Wow, I’m happy.”

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 Make a Leader Better, Stronger and More Inspiring

argentina_flag_by_chokorettomilkku-d7idrpsIf you want a leader to change; to become more authentic, compassionate and kind, send them on a mission trip. If you want a leader to become better, stronger and more inspiring, send them to a place where the culture is rich in respect for humanity and the Earth. 

One of the greatest life-changing experiences I’ve had to date was when I went on a two-week mission trip to Argentina, from Buenos Aires to Patagonia to Iguazu Falls. Argentina is not a wealthy country. It was at one time, but the country has suffered great economic hardship, and many people are still living in poverty. And yet, as a visitor, you would never know that was the case. Every person with whom I came in contact had a sense of life inside him or her that I had never seen before. I could look into people’s eyes and instantly see and feel how much gratitude, appreciation, and love they had inside them. The people I talked with listened, asked questions, and cared enough to keep the conversation going, even though we didn’t even understand the words that were coming out of our mouths. In fact, many conversations ended up with both of us just laughing, because we had no clue what was going on.

When the trip ended, we cried. In two weeks amazing friendships had formed and no one wanted to leave each other. But we said our goodbyes, and in that moment I realized I was actually saying goodbye to who I was and hello to someone new. You see, here’s what happened on that trip: When I looked into the eyes of these people who had nothing, I saw people who had everything. I saw life. And I realized that they were no different from anyone else I knew; I was the person who was different. For two weeks I was immersed in a life without materialistic items, status, or money—those distractions were gone. I lived simply, because I didn’t have a choice to live otherwise. And with everything stripped away I actually noticed life, and I noticed it inside another human being. I stopped long enough to see, feel, and experience what it meant to actually connect with another human being—and change happened.

I came back to the States a different person; a better person. I started to look at life differently. The experience was an igniter, and it put me on a path where I started to align my life with my values and my purpose, and it helped me begin to understand what it meant when someone said “authentic relationship.” And I realized, once I was home, that if I stop long enough to look into someone’s eyes, life always looks back into mine.

Mission trips are important, but not for the reason everyone thinks they’re important. Sure, you physically help other people who need your help, and you have a significant impact on the world in amazing, tangible ways, but the real point of a mission trip, and the real change, is that you come back a different person—a person who begins to understand life. It’s that understanding that has the power to open eyes, and it’s that understanding that has the power to improve the well-being of humanity and change our world.

So before you jump into your next leadership course, or send one of your leaders off to another leadership course, consider this… Real change—in people, communities, and the world—only occurs through experience. If you truly want a leader to change; to become better, more authentic, compassionate, and kind, you need to immerse them in a culture where authenticity, compassion and kindness thrive. So rather than attending another leadership course consider going out into the world to literally be the change.

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 the Lion and Mouse Have in Common

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Who do you identify with? Are you the lion, or are you the mouse? From the outside, how do others see you?

Most people can identify with both the lion and the mouse. It depends on the day, hour, year or even decade. Sometimes you’re the king of the jungle and can conquer the world. Other times you wonder if anyone even knows you’re still breathing–feeling small and under appreciated.

The lion appears untouchable and invincible. Lions are perceived has having courage and bravery. They are regal by nature, and reach the top with grace and ease. In business, these are the leaders (regardless of title) that we want to follow. These are the people who make us feel safe and protected. They inspire us to be better. We trust and respect them for their unwavering strength; and we are in awe with their ability to dodge the common day hardships and suffering. For some, to become a lion is a long awaited for honor.

Now here’s the reality. Lions cry. And they fight battles most people know nothing about. Not because their battles are unique, but because most lions feel alone and void of another who will listen compassionately to their story when it’s needed most. Lions are lonely, and most suffer in silence. In fact, most lions envy the nest of mice beneath their feet. For the mice have community, support and a place to share their suffering safely.

The truth is, lions get tired. When the going gets tough they persevere and appear resilient. When the pressure grows they unintentionally distance themselves further away from the mice as a form of coping. And because of the distance, the mice tell each other stories of why the lion should be feared. When all along the lion only wants a friend that can show them they care.

You see, the lion and the mouse have a great deal in common. At times they both wonder if anyone knows they’re still breathing. Being part of a community is equally important to the lion as it is to the mouse–having others who show them compassion, support and encouragement. Like the mouse, it saddens the lion to be alone. The difference is that the lion doesn’t always know how to tell the mouse that it wants to be part of the home. In fact, in many ways the mouse is actually stronger than the lion.

The moral to the story is this…. If in this moment you have a lion in your work life or personal life, show kindness. They most likely need you to reach out, but they have no idea how to ask. In fact, their roar may actually be a cry for help. Have compassion rather than rage. Use the power of community to strengthen and build a positive culture rather than breeding a river full of toxic gossip. And if the lion in your life is on top of his or her world, still reach out–a celebration is nothing unless you’re among friends who want to be part of your journey.

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.