Author: Kelli Richards

A Treasure Trove Series for Beatle Lovers, May 2021. Beatleologist Scott Freiman has archived all manner of photos, video clips, and other rare and unique Beatle memorabilia. Here’s more about it!

Forget Your Troubles, Come On Get Happy

Over the past year, since the pandemic and subsequent shut-downs have up-ended our world, there have been many things to worry about (legitimately). That said worrying is most often a complete waste of time and energy. It doesn’t solve the issues we’re faced with. Clear thinking and focused action solve problems. Worry and anxiety simply mask our thinking (like a Band-Aid) and drain us of vital energy when we could be applying our minds towards tangible solutions. Here are a few tips to support you in reducing your worries and embracing your life.

Take a Closer Look

The next time anxiety strikes and you feel overwhelmed or paralyzed, the best thing to do is to slow down and pause to stop the monkey mind that goes on in your brain. With just a brief break in the action and a deep breath, you can regain your composure, reflect on the situation objectively, and identify possible options to address it. You can reach out for support from trusted others around you as desired to provide you with much-needed perspective and insights.

From there, map out your worry about the situation in detail—and jot down at least three alternate courses of action you could take to address it. Options demonstrate there are several ways you can look at what’s going on, that you have choices, they can support your confidence, and provide you with the realization that you have more control over the situation than you first thought. It’s all about how you react.

By giving yourself a temporary pause, writing down and reflecting on the cause of your anxiety, you gain emotional distance. From there you can more objectively evaluate your options and which one feels like the best course of action in the moment. The more action you take, the more your worries fade away and the better your feel.

Accept the Worst-Case Scenario

When you break down your fears and get to the essence of what’s creating your anxiety, you come to the worst-case scenario around a given situation. At that point, you can see whether you could accept that scenario (the answer is usually yes if you get creative with options), and you can also evaluate objectively the likelihood of that worst-case outcome really taking place. Most often the reality is that it won’t happen, and if it did, that you’d be equipped to handle it.

For example, let’s say that you or your spouse gets laid off from your job unexpectedly. That’s a big fear that many people have! Typically either you have some emergency savings set aside in a rainy day fund and/or you’ll have some form of severance (and unemployment pay) and/or one of you is still bringing in an income.

Reducing your spending while the person out of work seeks a new job is often quite helpful—and you find that you may have been overspending on things that you didn’t really need to, which in itself can lead to better habits moving forward. You probably wouldn’t lose your house, and if you did then what? You may be able to move in with family or friends temporarily (or rent a place) until you got back on your feet financially. Would these be challenging options to have to deal with? Yes, but you would survive what undoubtedly would be a reasonably temporary situation. If you had to start over you could.

Knowing that you could survive your worst-case scenario provides you with a sense of calm, confidence, and peace of mind allowing you to take action and forge ahead.

Contain And Address Your Concerns

The best way to address your concerns (assuming they are valid versus your mind running amok) is to take focused action to move through them. When you can compartmentalize the situation at hand that’s got you in its grip, you can take the actions that are yours to take—and then get on with the rest of your life. Whatever’s causing the anxiety doesn’t need to paralyze you and your whole world as long as you’re taking productive steps toward resolving your concerns.

Again, this is where having a great support system and people in your inner circle that you can talk through options with can be instrumental in helping you get through trying times and unexpected challenges. They can support you emotionally and mentally to re-frame your reality, provide perspective, and often come up with creative options and solutions you may not have thought of in the heat of the moment when you’re too close to the situation at hand.

You’ve Got This

When something shakes up your world, give yourself the gift of a “time out” to pause, reflect and address the situation with calm, objectivity and support. That in itself should provide some much-needed relief. Keep breathing and keep the faith. When you trust yourself and come from a position of agency and composure knowing you can take care of virtually any situation (and manage your anxiety when it arises), you can often right the ship by identifying solutions and specific actions you can take to handle whatever is going on in your life. Remember that when you take care of today, tomorrow takes care of itself. No matter what, you’ve got this!

My SPITR i’view with Lee Abrams, Legend/Visionary/Architect of Media Evolution

The video podcast series “Who Knew – Smartest People in the Room” continues to deliver a range of terrific fireside chats with leaders in music/tech sharing their experiences and insights that have (and continue to) shape the space over time. I’m a guest host for the series, and recently enjoyed a wonderful conversation with Lee Abrams on media evolution.

The Lost Art of Being HONORABLE

Doing Right By Ourselves and Others as a Mindful Practice

Many of us were raised with the edict of “The Golden Rule.” You remember that one, don’t you? Essentially “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It seems to me people used to treat each other with more kindness and respect, with an intent to honor their commitments to one another, and to lift each other up with an eye towards improving and enhancing each other’s lives. Was that some utopian vision of yore? I don’t think so. But in recent times it appears those social mores have gone by the boards to a certain extent – and I’m hoping that as conscious individuals many of us will do what we can to restore them in our daily rounds and interactions with others. Because to do so is a sign of embracing our humanity and empathy and is something we are in control of.

What it Means to be Honorable and Why it Matters

Another timeless saying in our society is “your word is your bond.” The implication is that we act with honor and integrity and that when we make a commitment to someone or something, we follow-through and do what we say we’re going to. People can count on us; we are accountable. And again, that seems to be something that is more the exception than the norm. We need to be able to count on each other in life and in business; it’s how we make our decisions about who to be in a relationship with – in our choices of partners, friends, and in our business colleagues, bosses and the businesses and organizations we choose to engage with.

When people behave honorably and honor their word, that’s when trust develops. Without it, at best we become cynical and operate at arm’s length with others – and life can become a long slow trod through enemy territory where we have to be on our guard at every corner.

By contrast, when we engage with people who are honorable (and we are ourselves), we can relax and be our authentic selves, do our best work, and have an impact in creating the type of society and communities we choose to live in, a world where we have each others’ backs, and where we can count on each others’ support. That’s the type of role model we seek to create as an influence on our children and future generations. In this orientation, we can truly thrive.

How Being Honorable Makes a Difference for Ourselves and Others

There are many facets of how this looks and plays out – many examples beyond what we can cover in this brief article. One is transparency in business. Are we authentic and straightforward with our partners, colleagues, clients and shareholders in good times and bad, even when things have gone awry? Another is practicing kindness to others. Instead of bemoaning that a homeless person comes into an outdoor dining area with their shopping cart and sits among you and your fellow diners – do you chastise them and wish they would leave, or do you pick up the tab for their meal realizing one act of kindness can have a ripple effect to relieve someone’s misery and an otherwise challenging existence? And of course, there is being honorable to yourself. When you make a commitment to improve your own health and well-being, do you do what you said you were going to do in terms of regular exercise, eating healthy food, and practicing other self-care habits that can get you there, or do you succumb to self-sabotaging habits that contributed to the state you’re in that you’re seeking to shift out of? These are all things that can not only improve our own condition and that of our society (one act and mindful commitment at a time) – but that have a ripple effect on those we engage with. And the best news is that we’re in full control of behaving honorably many times in a given day.

Ideas to Improve Being Honorable as Part of a Mindful Practice

*When you make a commitment to yourself and others, show up and take action, and do what you said you would do (simple as that). If you can’t or you’ve changed your mind, choose again, recommit to your new direction, and let others know what they CAN count on you for.

*Be authentic and transparent – that’s honoring in and of itself. If a mistake gets made or circumstances change and you can’t honor your original intention – let those around you know, take ownership and responsibility, and share what you are willing to do from here forward. Don’t disappear, “ghost” others, and retreat – that’s cowardly and makes problems worse.

*Adopt a mindset of kindness and do what you can to support the well- being and success of others when you can. It can be simple gestures like smiling and waving at others, lending an ear or a shoulder to someone who’s having a challenging time, or something more complex like making a referral or writing a check when you can that has the potential to make a real difference in someone’s life. You’re literally investing in someone else’s success and paying it forward. What would life be like if more of us chose to behave this way on an ongoing basis?

We don’t have control of a lot in this complex world – especially in times of challenge and chaos as we’ve been enduring with the pandemic and other global circumstances of late, but we DO have control over how we treat ourselves, and how we interact with others – which with daily practice and intent can have a ripple effect in creating the type of society and world we choose to inhabit. What are you doing to practice being honorable? I’d really be interested to know.

A Tale of Two Rockers Embracing Soul Roots, March 2021. How Paul Stanley and Todd Rundgren are stepping out of their best-known “lanes” to showcase their musical talents cross-genre. Here’s a look at each of their soul-infused projects, and why you may want to tune in.

My SPITR interview with Jacquelle Horton, CEO of Fave

In this podcast interview, Kelli chats with Jacquelle Horton, a former Product Manager at Google and YouTube, who is currently Founder/CEO of Fave (which was the 2020 ‘Startup of the Year’ in music tech), and was also named to the Forbes 30 Under 30.

The Magic of Asking for What You Want

Do you believe you can have virtually anything you want? I do.

We all have a magic wand that can help us achieve our desires, but we forget that we do and overlook the power at our disposal to dramatically increase the odds of having what we say we most want in our lives. We simply need to make requests of others and ASK for what we want. That’s the big secret and the big opportunity.

I’m often asked about my experience in having Steve Jobs as a mentor for many years — and how that came about. We both grew up in the same town (Cupertino, CA) in what would become known as Silicon Valley; Steve was seven years older than I. When I was in high school, I was a member of a group called Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), and we were challenged with approaching someone in business who we admired to ask if they’d be open to mentoring us. I chose Steve because I saw his genius early on (even at my young age) and was fascinated by Apple as the Wonka factory in my own backyard. I approached him at one of a couple of favorite healthy restaurants in town that I’d see him at periodically when I went out with my Mom.

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Nine Steps to Making Change Easier

Los Altos Hills Living, February 2021.

Change doesn’t have to be hard; here are some tips to make it a smoother process.

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