Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Olivia Newton John

Guest Blogger - Jenna Meyerson

Natasha and I were privileged to listen to the inspirational Olivia Newton-John – singer, actress, breast cancer survivor, philanthropist and business woman. She is definitely an outstanding example to others and here are a few interesting stories and key messages she shared with us.

When discussing her battle with cancer she said that she needed to make the conscious decision that she will be okay – there was no other way of getting through than to make sure she knew she will be fine! You have to believe in yourself in everything that you do.

The audience erupted as she cheered herself for being 19 years free of cancer. She did caution both women and men to trust their instincts when you know that your body isn’t 100%. She had a negative mammogram and biopsy and only when she pushed the doctor to perform a more complex, surgical biopsy did they discover cancer.

Natarsha Belling, the MC of the event, asked Olivia if surviving cancer has made her a better person. Her response was a simple no. You don’t become a better person from surviving; it is what you do with your life after that – in her case it was the “Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre.”

Her most important message for the day was that we need a positive state of mind in everything that we do! Your mindset is so important. Don’t have any regrets; look at them as ‘life lessons’ or else they will drag you down. Learn from it, grow and continue. You cannot afford to stop.

On a lighter note, she was honoured that Will and Kate had a dance floor rendition of “You’re The One That I Want” but she wishes she got invited – don’t we all.

For more information about the Cancer and Wellness centre please visit


Here is a great blog from my colleague Jacquie Lloyd Smith -

Laughter and LEGO® Bricks!

In August of 2010, Phil Culhane attended the Strategic Play™ Facilitator Training offered in Vancouver. He is now facilitating workshops with a variety of people working in organizations.

In an email that he sent me he commented:

"One of the things I'm noticing is that laughter starts VERY quickly whenever we use the Strategic Play tool based on the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ process. Laughter fosters openness and trust; and laughter dispels fear. This is so helpful to my facilitation because barriers start dropping far more quickly than when we use more traditional, talk-based engagements. With talk, it takes about three hours to break through the walls and get to the underlying issues. When working with LEGO® models it takes about 45 minutes, more than three times faster. And when we consider the ROI of hosting a small or large group event, it’s important that we get to the core of the matter as fast as possible."

What people are really discovering is that this process makes people happy. Just seeing LEGO® bricks on the boardroom tables makes them smile. When they are laughing and smiling together they feel energized. When people are having fun they are clearly happier.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a leading expert in positive psychology, has written extensively on the topic of happiness within the workplace. He believes that people will expend extraordinary effect when they feel happy and this leads to employees having a higher moral.

Barbara Fredrickson, a professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina agrees. She found that happier teams were more creative in their thinking when they looked for solutions to their problems. She also discovered that people are more open to learning and thinking about new concepts and will set higher goals for themselves when they are happier.

Leaders who find happiness in their work and communicate their happiness to their teams are more likely to attract and infect their team members with positive energy.

The list of the benefits to happiness is almost endless. They include everything from better health, a higher degree of stamina, and resilience. So if you want to add some laughter, fun and happiness to your organization – think about including LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™.