On a Living Spree

The Art of Active Listening: How to Support Your Employees' Growth and Well-being

Active listening is more than just hearing the words someone is saying. It's about fully focusing on the person in front of you, setting aside your own agenda and preconceptions, and seeking to understand their perspective. It's about asking open-ended questions, reflecting back what you've heard, and creating a safe space for authentic communication.

When leaders practice active listening, they send a powerful message to their employees: your thoughts, feelings, and experiences matter. They build trust, rapport, and a sense of psychological safety that allows people to bring their full selves to work. They also gain valuable insights into their team members' strengths, challenges, and aspirations, which can inform coaching, development, and career growth opportunities.

But active listening isn't always easy, especially in a world of constant distractions and competing priorities. It requires a conscious effort to slow down, be present, and give your undivided attention to the person in front of you. It means resisting the urge to jump in with advice or solutions, and instead allowing space for the other person to process their own thoughts and feelings.

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Embracing the Discomfort of Growth: Why Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone is Essential for Success

Think back to a time when you achieved something you once thought was impossible. Maybe it was speaking in front of a large audience, running a marathon, or landing a big promotion at work. Chances are, the journey to that achievement wasn't a smooth or easy one. It likely involved plenty of discomfort, uncertainty, and moments of self-doubt.

But here's the thing: growth and comfort rarely coexist. In order to achieve our biggest goals and dreams, we must be willing to step outside our comfort zones and embrace the discomfort that comes with trying new things, taking risks, and facing our fears.

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The Power of Purpose: How Clarifying Your "Why" Can Transform Your Work and Life

Have you ever found yourself going through the motions at work, feeling disconnected from the bigger picture and wondering what it's all for? If so, you're not alone. In today's fast-paced, always-on work culture, it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks and lose sight of the deeper purpose behind what we do.

But here's the thing: having a clear sense of purpose is essential not just for our personal fulfillment and well-being, but for our effectiveness and impact as leaders and team members. When we're connected to a larger mission and vision, we're more motivated, resilient, and inspired to bring our best selves to work every day.

So, how can we clarify our sense of purpose and use it to guide our actions and decisions? One powerful exercise is to create a personal purpose statement. This is a short, concise statement that captures the essence of what drives us, what we stand for, and what impact we want to have in the world.

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The Missing Ingredient in Employee Engagement: Fostering a Sense of Belonging

Employee engagement has become a hot topic in recent years, with countless studies and surveys highlighting the link between engaged employees and better business outcomes. But despite all the attention and investment in engagement initiatives, many organizations still struggle to move the needle. Why?

One often-overlooked factor is the role of belonging in driving engagement and performance. A sense of belonging – feeling accepted, valued, and included in a group – is a fundamental human need. When we feel like we truly belong at work, we're more likely to be motivated, committed, and willing to go above and beyond for our team and organization.

But fostering a sense of belonging is easier said than done, especially in today's diverse and often remote or hybrid work environments. It requires a conscious and ongoing effort to create a culture of inclusion, trust, and psychological safety, where everyone feels seen, heard, and valued for who they are.

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Invest in Your Employees Dreams, Watch Your Business Grow - Get Our New FREE Toolkit Now!

Invest in Your Employees Dreams, Watch Your Business Grow.

We created this book to provide tools for everyone from small business owners to CEO’s of global brands to create a workplace where everyone feels valued, supported, and inspired to be their best selves, both personally and professionally – which directly impacts the bottom line.

In our research for the book Experiential Billionaire: Build a Life Rich in Experiences and Die With No Regrets, we asked 20,000 people about the most valuable things in their lives. The majority of participants cited their dreams, goals and experiences as the most important. This illustrates the deep-rooted human desire for purpose and fulfillment, which can often be found in the pursuit of our dreams. On the flip side, the study also revealed that the number one regret people have at the end of their lives is not following their dreams. This highlights the importance of dream pursuit for well-being and overall life satisfaction.

In the context of the workplace, supporting your employees' dreams can have a profound impact. It can drive engagement, productivity, and loyalty, while also enhancing the organization's reputation and its ability to attract top talent. Helping employees follow their dreams is not just a feel-good initiative, but a strategic imperative for any organization that wants to thrive in today's fast-paced, ever-changing world of remote work, AI, and a multi-generational workforce.


By recognizing the importance of dreams, providing the resources and support employees need to pursue them, and creating a culture that celebrates progress and achievement, leaders can unlock the full potential of their people and their organizations.

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Rethinking Corporate Gifting: The Case for Experiential Rewards

Let's be honest: most corporate gifts end up collecting dust on a shelf or getting lost in the back of a desk drawer. While the intention behind these gifts is admirable, the execution often falls flat. After all, how many branded pens or generic gift cards can one person really use?

But what if we approached corporate gifting not as a box to check, but as an opportunity to support our employees' growth and development? What if, instead of giving more stuff, we gave experiences that aligned with our team members' personal goals and aspirations?

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Here's Your Permission Slip - the Story of LSTN and Delta Air Lines

When you were a kid, you needed permission for everything. Permission from your parents to watch TV, permission from the teacher to go to the bathroom. Raise your hand, get in line, wait your turn. Obviously, that goes away as you get older… but maybe not entirely. 

Because many adults act like they’re still waiting for permission to do what they actually want, especially when what they want isn’t so easy to reach. They tell themselves they can’t, for all kinds of reasons. It’s not the right time, they’re not ready, they’re not good enough, it’s a silly idea, it’s not prudent. No one else around them is doing that kind of thing. It would be selfish or reckless or arrogant to try.

How would you feel if we said right now that you have permission? 

Here it is, in black and white: your permission slip. You have permission to take an acting class, go to Bangkok, paint a mountain landscape, learn to make Ethiopian food. To ask for a promotion. To try something new. To change. Even to fail. 

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How Richard Branson got me to think differently about fear
I stood side stage at the Ace Hotel’s theater in downtown Los Angeles. Peering out, I saw hundreds of reporters and attendees staring up at a man who had made billions disrupting the music and airline industries, bought tropical islands, crossed both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans in a hot air balloon, gone to outer space, founded over 100 companies, and generously gave back while doing all of that. A rebel who rose to the top without a fancy degree or inheritance, just big dreams and the gumption to go after them. Someone who I aspired to be.
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New Article for Washington Speakers Bureau
How to Build a Life Rich in Experiences – and Why This is Crucial For Your Company Culture 13 March, 2024 · Bridget Hilton Bridget Hilton, author of Experiential Billionaire: Build a Life Rich in Experiences and Die With No Regrets, and founder of...
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How to Arrest Time Thieves

Time is truly our most valuable natural resource… but we don’t treat it that way. In fact, people tend to be pretty oblivious about where their time goes and why. That’s how they end up “busy” from dawn to dusk and yet somehow not doing anything they actually want to do. When we (mistakenly) act as if there will always be more time, we never get around to achieving our dreams and goals.

“Time” is a paradox. Something that parents of young children say all the time is that “the years are short, but the days are long.” And that’s how life actually is. 

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Interview: City Current - Bridget and Joe discuss lessons from book, Experiential Billionaire, and power of urgency
During the interview, Joe and Bridget discuss some of those experiences and how they shaped their deeper exploration around the importance of shifting people's mindset from living "someday" to living today. They talk about their book and speaking, and both share valuable tips to renew a sense of urgency to achieve personal and professional goals and investing in the power of experiences. 
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Why you need a best friend at work

Why is friendship crucial for your company and its culture?

Connection through rich experiences and shared goals is the way to attract, retain and nurture talent. Shared experiences cultivate a culture of community, belonging and wellbeing at work. Gallup states their #1 predictor of success at work is having a best friend at work.

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Bridget Hilton Joe Huff Optimize Yourself Keynote Speakers Experiential Billionaire

Bridget and Joe surveyed over 20,000 people from all walks of life and the result is eye opening. People’s regrets are very similar no matter their age and income status and in our conversation, we talk about why people often put things that matter in the fictional world of ‘someday.’ But more importantly, we talk about the exercises described in their book that can help you have that sense of urgency to start doing the things you love.

If you have a bucket list that you’ve stowed away in that fictional world of ‘someday’ because you think you don’t have the time or resources to do them or they’re simply too big to make them happen, this episode is for you. Our conversation will walk you through the actions you can take to start building a life rich in experiences with no regrets.

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ImpactEleven Award - With a Little Help From My Friends
For exactly two years I've been working with ImpactEleven on starting and growing my speaking business and impact. I speak about how to build a life rich in experiences. And being a part of ImpactEleven has truly already been one of the richest experiences of my life.

As my mentor (and epic human) Josh Linkner says - there's a word in sanskrit, Muditā, that means "Delighting in other people’s success, good fortune, and well-being.” I've met so many speakers through I11 that I take so much joy in seeing their personal and career growth and learn so much from. 
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Bridget Hilton | Mental Health, Workplace Belonging, Motivational, Burnout, Wellness | Keynote Speaker | Experiential Billionaire Author

You already know that serving others feels good. But that warm glow isn’t in your imagination—it’s actually measurable in your body. When you give to others, your brain releases all kinds of feel-good hormones (just like novel experiences, but apparently even more). Giving is associated with lower stress and blood pressure, as well as less depression. One study found that seniors who volunteered tended to live longer, even after accounting for their age, health status, and lifestyle habits. 

On the emotional side, researchers consistently find that giving leads to greater happiness and satisfaction. One study published in the Journal of Economic Psychology found that people who spent money on others reported higher levels of happiness than those who spent money on themselves. Another study published in the journal BMC Public Health found that people who volunteered had lower levels of depression and higher levels of well-being compared to those who didn't volunteer. Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that people who performed acts of kindness for others experienced an increase in positive emotions and satisfaction, and a decrease in negative emotions.

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How Having Novel Experiences Helps Boost Mental Health

As pandemic restrictions started to loosen a little, I was overjoyed to find my pod of friends interested in doing all sorts of new activities—tie-dying clothes, teaching ourselves to roll sushi, hosting Connect Four tournaments, fermenting and labeling our own hot sauce and pickles, and sneaking out to Venice Beach at midnight to swim in the bioluminescent waves. As bad as the pandemic was in many ways, seeing others try new things with people they love was a bright spot, a small glimpse of what life should be like.

These experiences gave me natural bursts of serotonin and dopamine—feel-good hormones—that jolted me out of my depression temporarily. The novelty forced me to pay close attention to the task at hand, leaving little room to dwell on the past or worry about the future. And when I succeeded at something new, it helped build my confidence and courage.

My personal experience aligns perfectly with scientific research. The evidence states that simply being more present by doing something new stimulates and activates regions of our brain that improve our mood.

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Bridget Hilton | Mental Health, Burnout, Workplace Belonging, Motivational, Goal Setting Keynote Speaker | Experiential Billionaire Author

When you were younger, you might have had some type of allowance to use on whatever you wanted. What if you gave yourself an allowance for your experiences? We’re not personal finance experts, and there are plenty of books on that if you want to go deep (I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi is a great place to start). We do, however, know that when experiences truly become the priority, spending habits often change. 

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How do shared experiences play a role in corporate culture?

Some of my closest friends are people that I worked with that I shared once in a lifetime (or just out of the ordinary) experiences with, whether it was staying in a haunted castle in Scotland together, seeing someone hear for the first time, hiking Machu Picchu, or simply staying up all night talking about life after attending Coachella together. But it wasn't just about having a good time.

Shared goals and experiences play a crucial role in fostering a great corporate culture by creating a sense of unity, belonging, and purpose among employees.

Here are some ways in which they contribute to a positive corporate culture:

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Bridget Hilton | Mental Health, Workplace Belonging, Motivational, Goal Setting Keynote Speaker | Experiential Billionaire Author

Joe and I have worked together full time since 2012. We've been lucky to collaborate on the creation of multiple brands, write a book together, and be on the ground working on philanthropic missions around the world. We've also experienced the highest highs and lowest lows together over the last 11 years, and have seen each other and our co-workers grow leaps and bounds in ways we never expected. 

If you have a full-time job, you spend at least a third of your waking life working. That’s a lot of time to be surrounded by your boss, colleagues, clients, and business partners. The stronger those relationships are, the happier and more successful your work life will be—and shared experiences play an important part in that.


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How do shared experiences help with burnout in the workplace?
The secret to strong bonds lies in shared experiences, especially novel ones. With yourself, your romantic partner, kids, parents, roommates, your ride-or-die, buddies, classmates, colleagues. It doesn’t matter. People are people, and experiencing new things brings us together in a...
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