Sept. Self-Improvement Month: CEO Emphasizes Positive Self-Talk with Cardboard Keyboard Principle

In September’s Self-Improvement Month, CEO Emphasizes Positive Self-Talk with Cardboard Keyboard Principle

SALT LAKE CITY / ACCESSWIRE / September 3, 2019 / With September as national self-improvement month, USANA Health Sciences CEO Kevin Guest is urging everyone to choose positive self-talk when facing challenges. Drawing from his bestselling book, All the Right Reasons: 12 Timeless Principles for Living a Life in Harmony, Guest has learned first-hand the detrimental effects of negative self-talk.

“Most of what we worry about never happens and is beyond our control, but I’ve had experiences with negative self-talk that hampers creativity, increases anxiety and destroys harmony,” said Guest, who leads USANA Health Sciences (NYSE: USNA) globally. “One personal example is when country music star Collin Raye invited me to play with his band at the Grand Ole Opry. Despite accepting this invitation to a lifelong dream, I was flooded with negative self-talk just before stepping out on the world-famous stage in Nashville.

“My mind raced with comments such as, ‘Who do you think you are? You’re a part-time, amateur bass player who doesn’t belong on this stage. Are you going to mess up Collin’s most important performance? You aren’t good enough to be here.’”

Guest snapped out of the negative talk trap, collected himself, walked on-stage and performed great with Collin Raye’s band. But the incident caused him to delve deeper into how to overcome such negative influences.

“Our ‘inner voice’ is constantly talking to us, providing a running monologue every second we’re awake. This self-talk can be useful because it helps us process and interpret experiences. Unfortunately, almost all of us are prone to negative self-talk, which is destructive.”

For inspiration, Guest cites Rwandan Immaculee Ilibagiza in what he calls the “Cardboard Keyboard” principle. After Rwanda’s genocide in 1994, Hutu fighters hunted Ilibagiza, who fled for protection. Even with killers outside her window calling her name, she stayed positive, was rescued, traveled to Rwanda’s capital and applied for a United Nations job for weeks with no luck.

Telling herself she could master English, which would increase employment opportunities, Ilibagiza drew a computer keyboard on cardboard and spent hours learning how to type. With determination to learn English, countless attempts to get that job and positive self-talk, she was eventually hired.

“It’s that level of persistence and positive self-talk that can carry us to higher ground and plow through any obstacle,” said Guest. “Not once did Immaculee tell herself she couldn’t do it, even though everything she had to learn was new and difficult.”

At USANA Health Sciences, where Guest leads a nutritional supplement company spread over 24 markets worldwide, he applies the Cardboard Keyboard principle and draws from examples he’s learned from associates around the world.

“We could not grow a billion-dollar company unless we applied positive self-talk every day with every challenge,” said Guest. “As we focus on self-improvement during September, I urge all to choose positive self-talk, which will make our lives better.”

In his bestselling book, which is directing 100 percent of proceeds to feed one million meals to hungry children, Guest writes, “The good news is positive self-talk is even more powerful than negative self-talk, and learning how to channel and elevate the voice in your head can change your life.”

All the Right Reasons: 12 Timeless Principles for Living a Life in Harmony is available on Amazon. All proceeds feed hungry children, with each book purchase providing 40 meals.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: For a PDF or hard copy version of All the Right Reasons, contact Tim Brown at [email protected].



Kevin Guest strives to live a life in crescendo. Success for the small-town boy with rock star aspirations didn’t come overnight. Nor did the CEO of a billion-dollar company find success by straying from his deep-rooted principles. Each experience in Kevin’s life – in music, business, and now as an author – has built upon another, all contributing to a life lived in harmony.

Kevin is Chief Executive Officer of USANA Health Sciences, a global health and nutritional supplements company. He is a Direct Selling Association board member and a member of the CEO Council for the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations. Before USANA, Kevin served as a managing partner at FMG, a video and events production company in Salt Lake City.

Throughout his life, Kevin’s musical talents have helped him realize his childhood rock-n-roll dreams. Highlights include sharing the stage with greats such as Kenny Loggins, Tommy Shaw, Eddie Money, and Belinda Carlisle, and performing at the Grand Ole Opry. He continues to perform part-time with country music superstar Collin Raye.

Newest Project: All the Right Reasons: 12 Timeless Principles for Living a Life in Harmony

Kevin’s most-recent project is also his most personal. In All the Right Reasons, Kevin shares entertaining anecdotes and inspiring stories, collected from years of meeting fascinating people and learning valuable life lessons. The result is a book featuring 12 foundational principles by which he lives and that he believes will lead others on their own path to success.

Kevin earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Brigham Young University. He and his wife, Lori, have four children and six grandchildren.

SOURCE: USANA Health Sciences

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