On a Living Spree

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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Interview: Win Monday Podcast with Paul Epstein - Embracing the Essence of Wealth: The Power of Experiences

Ever find yourself questioning the true essence of wealth? It's a sentiment many of us share. In a world that often equates prosperity with the thickness of our wallets, let's take a moment to ponder a simple yet profound truth: wealth isn't just about money; it's about the richness of our experiences.

In today’s episode of the Win Monday podcast, we are delighted to introduce two extraordinary individuals, Bridget Hilton and Joe Huff, authors of the book Experiential Billionaire. They have lived a life filled with diverse and adventurous experiences, from training as samurais to dancing with the northern lights, and even standing face-to-face with hungry lions on safari. Today, we delve into their journeys and the lessons they've learned along the way.

In our conversation, Bridget and Joe share their journeys of self-discovery, the importance of experiences over material wealth, and their shift in perspective on life after facing personal challenges. They also provide practical advice on how to start living a life focused on experiences, emphasizing the importance of taking small steps toward achieving one's dreams and goals. They conclude by encouraging listeners to become experiential billionaires by embracing a life filled with meaningful experiences.

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Interview: Mind Love (#1 Mental Health Podcast)

When’s the last time you did something just for the sheer fun of it?

I’m not talking about big vacations or meticulously planned outings. I mean those little, impromptu acts of joy. Like diving into a pile of leaves, fully knowing you’ll have to rake them up again. Or maybe having a random dance-off in your living room, or deciding to cook a fancy dinner on a Tuesday night, just for kicks.

Or maybe it is it is about those bigger dreams – like finally taking that trip you’ve always talked about, riding in a hot air balloon, or learning to snowboard, regardless of your age.

These moments, big or small, are what make life vibrant. They remind us that joy isn’t just in grand gestures or milestones. Often, it’s the spontaneous, simple things that leave a lasting impression.

So that’s what we’re talking about today.

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Peloton.com Interview: The Science Behind Trying Something New—And Why It Feels So Tough

Bridget Hilton, author of Experiential Billionaire: Build a Life Rich in Experiences and Die With No Regrets, says the brain’s amygdala is largely responsible for the adult urge to opt out of new activities. “The amygdala is responsible for processing emotions and can trigger a fear response when faced with uncertainty, making individuals hesitant to step out of their comfort zones,” she says. “When you’re in fight-or-flight mode, everything you do or don’t do teaches the brain something about the perceived threat. When you avoid or flee the situation, your brain experiences a wave of relief. The amygdala learns that avoiding that situation is how you stay safe from that threat.”

Because neural pathways become more established with age, many of us find it increasingly difficult to branch out and try new things as adults. “Children are generally more open to exploration due to their natural curiosity and the brain’s heightened plasticity,” Hilton says. While everyone is different in terms of when and why anxiety arises at the prospect of new experiences, adolescence typically introduces fears of failure and social rejection, while adulthood exacerbates pressures to conform to social norms while established routines and habits are continuously reinforced. 

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Connect the Dots: If you knew it was your last day, what would you do?
At every talk, Joe Huff and I ask people what they would do if they had a year, a month, or a day left to live. At a recent keynote for Connect the Dots, this epic 74 year old adventurer (who just got back from hanging out with elephants in Thailand) tearfully told us that she'd spend her last day truly forgiving herself. But that she'd spend the rest of TODAY doing that now.
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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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Psychology Today Interview: How New Experiences Can Get You Unstuck - 9 benefits of leaving your comfort zone
How New Experiences Can Get You Unstuck 9 benefits of leaving your comfort zone. Britt Frank and Bridget Hilton https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-science-of-stuck/202312/how-new-experiences-can-get-you-unstuck KEY POINTS Novel experiences provide many different benefits. Getting outside your comfort zone increases happiness. Other benefits include stress reduction,...
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Bridget Hilton | Keynote Speaker | Burnout Mental Health Motivation Workplace Belonging | Author Experiential Billionaire
In this thought-provoking episode, we delve into the concept of experiential wealth and living purposefully, challenging the conventional definition of wealth. Bridget Hilton and I navigate through discussions about complacency in finance and relationships, we explore how discomfort can be a catalyst towards achieving our goals. We touch on practical ways to challenge comfort zones and the importance of shared experiences in nurturing relationships. In this episode, Bridget seeks to inspire you to redefine your perception of wealth, live purposefully, and create meaningful memories through simple experiences.
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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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Take Time to Play Today

Fourteen years ago, I went with four of my friends to get our photo taken with Santa at the Burbank mall. Were we far too old to be doing this? Absolutely. Did we care that we were the only group in line that did not include young children? Nope. Is Santa kinda creepy with five grown women sitting on his lap? Definitely… which makes it even more hilarious. What was meant to be a one-time joke turned out to be so fun that it became an annual tradition, complete with themes and costumes. Even as our own families and lives grow and change, it’s a once-a-year event where we can feel like kids again with each other.

Over time, the things you used to play at become serious endeavors, or to-do list items, or no longer worth doing at all. Running around with your friends outside becomes running on the treadmill at the gym, scheduling coffee dates to see your friends, and attending networking events to make new ones. We think of those activities as good and healthy, but they’re actually remarkably unnatural, not to mention not very fun. Because if you saw a kid doing any of those things, you would feel like you were in an alternate universe. Kids don’t run to stay fit, they run to feel the wind on their face and the grass beneath their feet. Kids don’t network to climb a career ladder, they bond through joyful moments. Kids go for what they want without worrying about why or what for—they just want to have fun. As adults, we deny ourselves that luxury without understanding the incredible benefits we’re missing out on.

 

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Interview: Successful Bookkeeper Podcast - Living A Life With No Regrets

Life is short. We know this all too well, and yet rarely make changes to ensure we are living a life without regret. Research shows that we feel the loss and regret of the thing not done, far more than the things we did, but got wrong.

Not only that, but our biggest mistakes often prove to be the greatest factors in our growth. Teaching us and pushing us beyond what we thought it was possible to endure, allowing us to expand in emotional and intellectual intelligence and problem-solving. 

Our choices ripple out into the world around us, when we think about what it means to live a life without regret, consider your legacy, your ripples, and whether they left the world better or worse. At the end of our lives, we don’t regret making enough money. But we do regret all the time we lost to the grind.

Bridget Hilton, author and keynote speaker at Experiential Billionaire, is this episode’s featured guest. She speaks powerfully about what it means to live a life with no regrets, how new experiences empower us to be bolder, and how your life can transform when you give back.

If you find yourself putting your dreams off, or worse, not even daring to dream them, then this is the episode to get you thinking about today, not someday!

During this interview, you'll learn...

  • The value of new experiences
  • How to live a life with no regrets
  • The importance of giving back 
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Bridget Hilton | Keynote Speaker | Burnout Mental Health Motivation Workplace Belonging | Author Experiential Billionaire
In their book, they surveyed over 20,000 people on their life regrets. It hits, y'all. I don't want to die with any regrets. The release of this episode coincided with a few other things for me– a dinner with Andi Scull, the founder of HOPE Gallery; an event for the Ubuntu Foundation; and scrolling across a photo of Kim Kardashian with two other powerhouse women who are all founders of companies.

The 'what are you waiting for' vibe really struck me. We can do anything we set our minds to. I get caught up sometimes in all the things that can hold me back. There will always be obstacles. But I prayed about it all and I was given an idea, and it can truly make a difference, and I want to make the most of this life.
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Bridget Hilton | Keynote Speaker | Burnout Mental Health Motivation Workplace Belonging | Author Experiential Billionaire
Frequently, we find ourselves postponing our dreams, thinking they'll happen “someday.” But today we questioned this tendency, inviting a contemplation of life's richness that extends far beyond the conventional metrics of wealth. In this episode, Bridget Hilton, Joe Huff and Aileen Xu navigate the art, science, and path to constructing a life abundant in meaningful experiences.
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Things That Die: An Interview with Natalie Miles, Bridget Hilton and Joe Huff

Most people bury this knowledge in the back of their brains and heap on distraction upon distraction—anything to avoid seriously reflecting on the fact that our time here is limited. We hide it away in hospitals and retirement homes. We pay lip service with bumper-sticker phrases like “life is short” or “you only live once,” but mostly we just suppress thoughts of our own mortality.

Bringing up this topic is considered bad form. Society operates under a silent agreement to keep any mention of our mortality off-limits. And when it happens—a friend gets in a car accident, a relative passes from a heart attack—you still might think, That's not going to happen to me.

Well, unfortunately, life is not a dress rehearsal, and death is too important to ignore. To embrace and understand what it means to really live, we need to make sure our relationship with and understanding of death is honest and realistic. 

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

Look at your calendar now. This is your “before” picture—what do you see? If it’s not full of valuable experiences, don’t expect them to appear out of thin air. You have to put them there. That’s what living intentionally is all about.

For example, in our Life Experiences Survey, thousands of people said that skydiving was one of the top three things they wanted to do in their lifetime. What’s interesting is that skydiving isn’t really very hard to do. Is it scary? Hell yeah. But it’s available in most places and only requires a few hours and a couple hundred dollars. Anyone can manage that, even if it takes a year to save up the money. But most people have it on their mental “someday” list, so they never bother to actually find out what it takes or make a plan to do it.

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

My work focuses heavily on your life, but in the end, it’s about way more. The richer you are in experiences, the more you have to give to others. The more joy, love, and wisdom you cultivate for yourself, the more you spread in the world. You become valuable to others when you share your experiences with them, thus creating opportunities for them to build their own experiential wealth.

When you’re gone, the only thing that remains behind is what you’ve given to others. That’s how you can live forever: through the impact you have on other people. In the end, serving others is the most powerful way to feel your life is well spent.

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

Because visualization can have a real impact on how you think and feel, it’s so important to visualize the future you want—especially if it feels distant or hard to reach. When you imagine it in great detail, you bring it closer in a very real way. 

That said, fantasies of your desires aren’t much use unless they lead to action. Visualizing what you want gives you focus and clarity, but it also gives your brain a dopamine hit. That moment of pleasure can make you complacent, as if the fantasy itself is enough. Obviously, it’s not.

So, don’t just imagine the end goal—visualize the process to get there as well, including all the obstacles and failures you might experience along the way. Imagine what will happen if you don’t take action toward your dream, as I did when I thought about taking that boring job after getting laid off. That “negative” visualization is just as important as imagining success. In fact, it’s been shown that thinking about failure or inaction makes people twice as likely to achieve their goals.

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

Money is a means, not a meaning. Wealth influences a small variance in levels of happiness, and the pursuit of wealth itself doesn’t create happiness. Most importantly, you do not have to be wealthy to have an experience-rich life. Some of my most memorable and valuable experiences happened when I was flat broke. 

This may sound like I’m just placating you. Don’t get me wrong—if someone said to me, “You don’t need to go on a safari—just go to the local zoo instead!” I'd probably want to punch them in the face. I certainly know that big, expensive experiences can be some of the most magical, and you should absolutely seek ways to plan and achieve them. For example, gorilla trekking in Rwanda wasn’t cheap—it took us a long time to plan and save for it—but it was an extraordinary experience.

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Interview: Be You Find Happy - Don't die with money - die with life experiences

The truth is you can't take it with you - so why not gift experiences (to yourself and others) rather than things?


Bridget Hilton and Joe Huff are obsessed with experiences.


Determined to unlock the secrets of their power to transform lives, they have spent years interviewing social science experts, conducting the largest study on life experiences ever done, and turning themselves into experiential guinea pigs.


Together they have trained to be samurai, danced with the northern lights, tracked silverback gorillas in a hailstorm, stood face to face with hungry lions on safari, absorbed life lessons from Maasai Mara tribesmen, sped across glaciers on dogsleds, built schools for kids in need, studied with monks, helped give 50,000 people hearing, swum with sharks, and explored the experiential riches life has to offer.

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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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