Development, Innovation, Leadership, Mindset, Power of Yes, Well-Being, wellness

Find Your Purpose Today! The Narrative Of Self-Care Being Selfish Is Over!

The Story…

Imagine with me, you enter a restaurant for the first time in a city you have never been. You come from behind the fire place and there are nine men sitting at a table; the table you are getting ready to sit at yourself. You sit down and introduce yourself to each of them. All are very personable and you have great conversation throughout the meal; but there is that time when you all look at each other thinking, “Who is that man? What does he do? Where is he from? Why is he here?”  

All of these guys are from different walks of life.

A Realtor.

A Restauranteur.

A Life Coach.

A Bio-Hacker.

A Wine Maker… just to name a few.

They are all entrepreneurs. Passionate about life. Passionate about family. Passionate about learning from each other. Each one of them are on a journey. All in different spots, but a journey to be a better person! 

Well, that experience is real. It is real to me! I had the honor to travel to Vancouver and stay on Bowen Island for the weekend.  I was introduced to these incredible men through an organization called ManTalks. Connor Beaton is the founder and the one I hold responsible for wrecking my life (in a good way). We spent the whole weekend digging deep into who we are called to be as men, husbands, partners, friends, and most of all; how to be true to ourselves. I had the opportunity to connect in honesty, integrity, transparency, and loyalty, in a way that I had never done before. What’s amazing is this; they are all now brothers in my life, and I get to spend the next year on an amazing journey with them.

Over the weekend, we focused a great deal of time on PURPOSE. What does purpose mean? It’s simple…

Purpose Definition

I think all of us have thought about this at one time or another, and many of us have struggled through it; possibly even lying to ourselves on why we exist or why we were created.

What I Learned And What You Can Learn…

Where do I begin? I learned that it is OK to focus on me. To focus on what I want as a man, as a husband, as a father, as a friend. I learned that for me to be my best in each of those roles, I need to take care of my emotional, physical, and mental well-being.

One of the exercises we did through the weekend was to create a purpose documentI am still working on my SFD (those of you who have worked with me, know what this means.) It is coming along and will be a work in progress. What it HAS done is allowed me to bring focus in the right areas in my life.

There are two things I believe that you can learn from my journey. First, stay true to yourself. Be the best you and then you can be the best for all of those around you. Second, take time to breathe. Breathe in all around you. We learned a wonderful new breathing technique. If you are interested you can go here: Wim Hof Method.

What I Will Do And What You Can Do…

I have taken time already on this journey to write out goals and objectives that will allow me to live out my purpose statement. In these goals and objectives, I will focus on things that will make me better in each area of purpose. It may not always be easy, but it is what is right.

What can you do? You can take time to slow down. Write your purpose statement. Focus on the best you and begin to live it out. Take 30 minutes today to do that.

P.S.:  Take 5 minutes today and go put your feet in the grass! It’s amazing! (Adam Hart this is for you Brother!)

Feet In The Grass

Consumer Experience, Healthcare, Human-Centered Design, Well-Being, wellness

To He** With Traditional Healthcare! Move Over, There Is Something Better!

The Story…

Well, YES, I did say it! To Hell With Traditional Healthcare! This week I am going to diverge from The Power of Yes In Innovation, to a project that I have witnessed come to life over the past couple of years.

As many of you know, I spent some time as Chief Innovation Officer at Xavier Dr.Amy&Dr.ElenorUniversity. I helped to create and start up the Xavier Center for Innovation. During this time I met one of the most innovative and amazing doctors, Dr. Amy Mechley, MD.

Dr. Amy has a passion and desire to see things done differently in patient care. If you read my blog, It Never Ends…The Journey To The Consumer,  I spoke about “humanizing” health care again. This is a passion for Dr. Amy and her partner, Dr. Eleanor Glass.  I am excited to say the time has come –  they are launching their practice here in Cincinnati – Integrative Family Care.

For the past couple of years, I have spent time talking, ideating, and learning so much about this concept known as Direct Primary Care or DPC.  I will get into this more in a bit – but here is a quick definition from their website:

Direct Primary Care is a simpler way of delivering primary care. It’s an old-fashioned model with a twist. You pay your doctor a monthly fee and that’s it. All your visits are included. And best of all you have quick access with no more three week wait for an appointment.  You have a quick question? Just text me. Not sure if you really need to come in? We can videochat.

Yes! It really is that simple! All of that is included and more. Just go see for yourself! 

What I Learned And What You Can Learn…

WOW! I have learned so much about this concept – it is almost impossible to share it all. Here is a new info-graph our team help put together to explain exactly what Direct Primary Care is and how it works:

Screenshot 2017-07-06 06.48.55

Five Key Elements:

  • My Doc, Right Away – In the DPC model you see, talk to, or video chat with your doctor within 24 – 48 hours. There are many times that it is even faster. Imagine that! A model focused on the patient and not on the system.
  • Saves Me Money – This is a fee-based model. You pay a single monthly fee. No more hidden costs! Full transparency! Yes, you really do take the middle man out.
  • My Choice: Text, Video, Email – Care the way I as a patient desire it. Imagine a parent with a sick child. You no longer have to take the child into the office to expose them to more germs. You can have your visit over video, and best of all, it is HIPAA secured.
  • Longer Appointments – I don’t know about you, but I am sick of having to rush through appointments with my doctor that starts an hour late. Imagine being able to sit and discuss not only my issues for today but my overall well-being. Or, what if the whole family could come in one visit! Consumer-patient friendly care!
  • Family Docs – Isn’t this what care was supposed to be? My whole family is covered and our well-being is at the center of the healthcare experience – not a financially motivated system trying to get their money. Real authentic care! I’m in for this!

What You And I Can Do…

Try it. See if it is for you and your family. Research to see if you have any Direct Primary Care physicians in your area. For so long we have been asking for transparency, authenticity, and humanization of health care. I believe this is the way.

Is it perfect? Probably not. But, is it better than anything I have seen out there? Absolutely! If you have questions, send me a note to Dr. AmyDr. Eleanor, or myself. We believe in this and we are ready to see the face of health care change!

Screenshot 2017-07-06 11.39.08

Engagement, Well-Being, wellness

2016 Shifts in Wellness: From Workplace Wellness “Programs” to Total Cultures of Wellness at Work

Workplace wellness is at last approaching adulthood, and there is exciting, transformative change ahead for both organizations and employees.

87% of employers are actively committed to workplace wellness and 73% offer programs – 2015 Health and Well-being Touchstone Survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers

Wellness programs in the workplace are not new. For decades HR departments, to lower health insurance costs and worker’s compensation claims, have offered and Managing Employee Healthincentivized employees to participate in program based lifestyle changes, and encouraging participation in wellness activities outside of the workplace. The idea was that if a person improved their physical well-being, they will improve in all areas of their life.

Early corporate wellness programs were based on biometrics and specifically focused on physical health – through the education on blood pressure, cholesterol, heart health and weight management.Because of the multiple influences on an individual’s daily life, if real transformative change is going to be possible, employers and insurers will need to consider addressing the whole person – understanding how environmental and emotional factors affect wellness. It is not just about lowering numbers. It is about increasing value.  

So, with much research and digging into what truly drives transformative health and well-being, the focus is now on improving not just the statistical drivers of physical health, butDiagram of Employee Engagement in addressing the wellness in five strategic areas of life.  The missing link was that “wellness” had grown up into “wellbeing” and now requires strategies that
encompass all five aspects
of total wellbeing: Purpose, Social, Financial, Physical and Community..

Organizations are beginning to connect the dots between an employee’s total well-being and the value they represent to the company. In essence, the services that improve an employee’s well-being directly correlate to the wellness of an organization’s bottom line.

The future is meaningful, real “cultures” of health at work, tackling everything from physical, to emotional, to financial wellness: fair pay, healthy workspaces, inclusion of families and virtual workers, and tackling fast disappearing work/life balance, like mandating vacations and that workers unplug from always-on, wired work. – 2015 Global Wellness Summit

According to a study, Perceptions of Wellness at Work, conducted by Angele Farrell and Patricia Geist-Martin for San Diego State University, “An estimated 78% of U.S. employees say that work is their biggest source of stress. The effects of stress often result in employees taking sick days and rising workers compensation claims.”

Farrell and Geist-Martin’s research showed that in most corporate wellness programs, physical and mental health dominate the focus – while an employee’s social health has been under addressed. According to the study, “The results reveal three patterns or processes of social health: building camaraderie with peers, communing with superiors, and reconnecting with family.”

Another critical factor impacting an employee’s total well-being is the environment in which they live, work, the inactivity of their jobs – and even the commute to and from the office.  While employees work on improving their health on their time outside of the workplace, there has been little to no change in the actual work environment.

Health Work Career Friends Signpost Showing Life And Lifestyle Balance

It is a constant challenge to improve wellbeing when you spend over half of your waking hours either in the car getting to and from your job, or sitting stationary at your desk when on the job.

This year, there has been a focused trend toward transforming the workplace. More and more employers are rethinking workday hours, work at home opportunities, workspace design, healthy food offerings and integrating wellness programs seamlessly into the culture of the work environment. Insular, often dark cubicle environments have given way to open concept floor plans – with little to no barrier between employees and their management teams.Centralized meeting spaces have improved employee/peer/management engagement and collaboration.

In 2011, the corporate wellness services industry reportedly generated $1.8 Billion in revenue. Today, more than 5,600 vendors that include health insurance company, and non-insurer entities reported an overall annual income of $8 Billion. – The Henry L. Kaiser Family Foundation, May 2016 

Adding whole health services such as life coaches, stress management, holistic healing practitioners, professional career counseling  provides avenues of support for the individual in areas of life that can affect job performance and engagement. Another strategy that some companies, mostly in Silicon Valley, have taken up is addressing job commutes and the stress it places on the employee, along with its impact on productivity. These companies provide access to company sponsored buses that run routes through the city – picking up employees and then dropping them back off at the end of the day.

In many ways, wellness is the new green. Just as society embraced a cultural commitment to improving the sustainability of our external environment, a growing interest exists in improving our internal, personal environment as an emerging sustainability strategy – 2016 Winning with Wellness Report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

This is a very exciting time as more and more organizations come to replace their ROI focus with a stronger focus on the measurement of ROV (return on value). There is traction around evidence that a happy, healthy workforce reduces healthcare costs, increases company recruitment and retention and increased revenue. The value, it turns out, is in achieving total wellbeing – not only by the numbers, but one valued employee at a time.


Well-Being, wellness

2016 Shifts in Wellness: From Superfood and Diet Trend Hysteria to Sane Eating – Becoming a local, ethical and seasonal consumer

When we think of the five essential elements of wellness – Purpose, Social, Financial, Physical and Community, we may not immediately think of social consciousness as a necessary ingredient in our pursuit of total wellbeing.

However, aligned with goals for understanding our purpose, along with our social and community engagement, is the critical importance of connecting our food consumption with its environmental and geographical impact. History has proven over and over again, that corporate greed, along with irresponsible and unsustainable pressures on food chains, is directly responsible for the near extinction of wildlife and destruction of once rich soil.

Southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii); South Australia, Australia
Southern Bluefin Tuna. Photograph by WorldWildlife.org

One doesn’t need to search hard for grim statistics on the staggering decline of the once plentiful Bluefin Tuna. Fewer than 3% of this fish remain today in the Pacific Ocean. The Bluefin population has nearly been decimated in the past 40 years. Recently it was noted that a Japanese restaurateur paid $118k for a single Bluefin Tuna – and we should be asking ourselves if our oceans are paying too high a price for a small plate of sushi.

What we eat has changed more in the last 40 years than it has in the previous 40,000. And there was wide agreement that all the trend-chasing, “I-saw-it-on-Instagram” eating needs to stop. We need to be restored to sane, nutritious, clean, local, personally intuitive foods” –  Samantha Gowing, Nutrition Expert

So how did we get to the point where our food consumption and dietary structures have become driven by pop culture fads and snake oil salesmen? It has been occurring for over 126 years – although not at the extreme level we are experiencing today.

According to an article by Hopes&Fears published June 11, 2015, The Rise and Fall of Superfoods, Coca-Cola began miracle food marketing in the late 19th Century by hyping their drink as an “intellectual beverage” and in the early 20th century, C.W. Post stated that their Grape Nuts cereal “fed the brain and nerve centers”. Beginning in 1909 through the 1950’s, Ovaltine hawked their product as a “nerve strengthener, a sleep aid, and an energizer”.

A more modern example and one had a critical effect on the popularity of hysteria trend eating is the book Superfoods RX, published in 2003, by creating the term “functional foods.” Jonathan Thomas, Principal Market Analysts at Leatherhead Food Research recently shared with the site, HopesandFears.com, that this term has come to mean any food item determined to have a health-boosting ingredient.The functional food market, as of 2013, was worth an estimated $43.27 billion. It is not a challenge to connect the dots between marketing power and the over hype of any product as a superfood. The reality is that there is no one superfood. There is, however, a great deal of superpower to be found in the produce aisle of your local farmer’s markets.

A notable shift in wellness trends for 2016 is the conscious effort to evolve food consumption from “Super Food” or “Diet Trend Hysteria”, to a more socially aware and conservative minded approach to food selection.This shift is driving an increase in social awareness around the impact of buying our produce and meats from organic, humanely operated, local farms and producers. Beyond organic and local, we as a community must also educated ourselves of the impact of our food consumption when “buying” into the latest “super food” and the global impact of allowing ourselves to become part of this month’s “diet trend hysteria”.

A Bolivian Quinoa plantation. Getty Images.

Take for instance Quinoa. Once a peasant staple of the Bolivian people, over the past decade the international demand on this crop has made it financially difficult for the farmers to afford the very crop they grow. While the global demand has increased the incomes of Bolivian farmers, their inability to afford to buy their crops has led to a 93% increase in processed food imports within only the last five years. While there are reports that the export value of Quinoa has surpassed that of cocaine in Bolivia, environmental sustainability and the anthropological cost to the Bolivian people is yet to be determined.

On our journey to achieving total wellbeing, it is important to connect ourselves with where and how our food is grown, how the environment and wildlife populations are affected by market-driven over consumption, and becoming connected, engaged consumers – not passive trend eaters. Diet trend hysteria does not serve our bodies or our local and global communities any purpose. It actually has the opposite effect. There is no magic “diet” – no one “superfood” that is going to singularly produce wellness.

It is not that the trending “superfoods” such as Acai, Quinoa, Kale, Coconut Oil, Turmeric, Sprouted Grains and even Euglena Algae do not have nutritional benefits. It is that we can’t continue to buy into the “magical bean” promise of their benefit. Adding “ancient grains” to commercial table cereal, for instance, doesn’t mean that the health benefits of these ancient grains are greater than any of the chemicals and added ingredients that may be in the processed cereal itself. This is true of many of the “health” drinks that claim to possess powerful properties associated with the pomegranate, coconut or acai berry.

“The future is eating what you’re with – turning to our own backyards for fresh, naturally produced foods – because all clean foods have power and it’s the only regimen we need. Nils Behrens of Lanserhof argued that it’s “less important what you eat than how and when, and it’s the dose that makes it toxic.” The future means more proof of authenticity, nutritional claims and sustainability about what we eat and drink – and a welcome relaxing of our food histrionics.”  – Excerpt from Shifts in Global Wellness

farmers market pictureOur ancestors nourished themselves through balancing human consumption with the preservation of the land they farmed, and the wildlife they hunted and raised.

We all stand to exponentially increase our individual wellness, as well as that of the global farming community and our endangered wildlife, by keeping in mind three simple principles when spending our food dollars: Buy local, spend ethically and shop seasonally.  This is where the true “superfood” super power lies. 

Next week, we will take a look into the shift from workplace wellness “programs” to a culture of workplace wellness. Until then, be well, eat sanely and do something nice for yourself!