Photo Contest Winners – “Me Then and Now”

Written by Carla Rieger on . Posted in Creativity & Innovation, Employee Engagement & Team Building, Fun, Humor, laughter

Contest entrants were asked to scan an image of themselves as a child and then “recreate” it as an adult.

 1st Prize goes to Alvin Epp – Speaker, coach and author “Through the Eyes of Guilt” 

10369016_10202954212509419_5895065339588684497_oAlvin now black and white

My mom gave me this photo just months before she passed away last year. I was 6 years old and it was in 1965 near Yarrow, BC on our farm. I was always in rubber boots in the summer.   A few days ago, my wife and I drove past the old farm house.  Everything was still the same!  So we recreated the photo.  It was an odd feeling stopping and looking at the place I grew up.  It’s been 50 years – from 6 to 56. My how time flies. There are so many great stories and adventures that the 6 year old would never have dreamed would happen.

 2nd Prize goes to Anastasia Modestova  – Videographer at

Anastasia - as adult


I was 4 years old in this picture. I used to be a VERY serious girl. Friends of my parents tried their best to make me smile. Baby talk etc… Hahaha. They never succeeded… I was listening transfixed, silently, looking directly at their eyes. I can imagine their disappointment… 🙂 Now I am totally different. It took me 10 minutes to make a photo with such a serious face. 




 3rd Prize goes to Marsha Therese Danzig, Healer, Author, Yogi


At 14 years old, I was going through chemo and as a result of my illness I became an amputee. In this photo at 51, I am a Cape Cod Kitten Dancer! Due to my experiences as a child I devoted my life to yoga and helping others like me. I have since founded three international yoga programs: Yoga for Amputees, Pediatric Yoga and Color Me Yoga for Children. Joy has been a powerful catalyst for change and healing:




 Honourable Mentions go to:

Vesanto Melina 

Vesanto-Me Now and Then






Raymond Maaske 

Raymond MAASKE










Carla Rieger – Speaker Coach and Change Leadership Expert


Carol Ann Fried – Teambuilding and Fun at Work Expert

Carol Ann




The Enjoyable Workplace: 8 Springtime Joy Breaks

Written by Carla Rieger on . Posted in Creativity & Innovation, Employee Engagement & Team Building, Fun, Humor, laughter, Leadership, Stress

flowersLily Tomlin once said, “For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.”

The antidote to exhaustion may not be more rest…but adding something joyful to your day instead. It can be challenging to do that, though, once you get into overdrive.

Joy Breaks may be your answer. One to ten-minute Joy Breaks can renew you throughout the day. When you let yourself have a few moments of enjoyment, your mood lifts—and your productivity and effectiveness increase dramatically.

Business guru Tom Peters maintains, “The number one premise of business is that it ought to be fun.

Life is short. On your deathbed, you won’t remember all the things you accomplished on your TO DO list; you’ll mainly remember the precious moments of enjoyment.

Anything that stimulates the creative mind is a good place to start. If you can learn to switch back and forth between work and play throughout the day, you may find you leave the office with a bounce in your step.

Gain the support of those around you by letting them know what you need, and where possible, include them. Instead of reaching for another coffee or a chocolate bar, consider some of these healthy alternatives for uplifting your spirit, relaxing your mind, and energizing your body. These ideas were taken from a list of the most popular ideas in North American workplaces both small and large:

1. Flowers

Go outside with a pair of clippers. Clip a few flowers. Put them in a vase, and place them in your work area.

2. Music

Play Baroque music to open up your creativity and soothe your mind. I suggest Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (especially Spring). Use a headset if you don’t want to disturb others nearby.

3. Mini-Golf in the Office

Many people love golf in the Spring, but don’t have the time to get to the course. Take a few golf clubs and golf balls to each department. Have each department create a golf-hole—use whatever you can find: paper cup, trash can, etc. When you need to go to another department for a meeting or to get some information, you simply “golf” your way there. You can keep track of your score. Those who get a hole-in-one get a special prize.

4. Easy Button

EasyAt most Staples stores you can buy the “Easy” button. Give one to each of your workmates. When any of you finishes a task big or small, hit the button and it will say “That was easy!”. Hearing that all day long gives people a sense of fun productivity and maybe even a little bit of competition to get more things done easily.

5. Wall of Fun

Set up a wall in a staff area for fun stuff. On a bulletin board put cartoons, favourite joke, fun photos from a staff event. One person each month is responsible for supplying material for the “fun wall”, but anyone can contribute.

6. Gratitude Walk

Go for a ten-minute walk. Observe five things you are grateful for or appreciate—such as the trees and flowers starting to bloom again, cloud formations, sunshine, the sound of children playing, the comfortable shoes you are wearing, etc.

7. Vacation Planning

As we head closer to summer, you can take ten-minute breaks to plan your time off. Peruse travel books, make hotel reservations, write a note to relatives telling how you’d like to spend time with them, etc.

8. Fun Lunchtimes 

Take a dance class, bring a sketchpad for drawing, play badminton with a colleague on the lawn, take a bike ride, play double-solitaire with a workmate.

Use some of these activities, or make up your own. Create a list of 8 things you can go do when your energy slumps, and put that list in a place where you will see it.

Every time you do a Joy Break, check that activity off the list. Some people go so far as to give themselves a gold star. Positive reinforcement can help make joy a regular occurrence, and help you kick the worry habit.

In the words of Oscar Wilde, “Life is too important to be taken seriously.”

May the FUN be with you!


Carla Rieger…is an expert on fun at work and change management. If you are planning a meeting and need a great speaker go to:  604-222-2276

Email carla [at] carlarieger [dot] com




Can You Tell a Great Story? Take the Quiz

Written by Carla Rieger on . Posted in Build Your Expert Business, Communication & Conflict Resolution, Creativity & Innovation, Employee Engagement & Team Building, Leadership, Public Speaking, Storytelling, Success Stories, Videos

As bestselling author, Daniel Pink, says “Storytellers rule the future”. If you are a manager, supervisor, salesperson, business owner or motivator of any kind, it can make all the difference. Why? Because stories:

• persuade people much better than concepts (Harvard Business Review)
• build empathy for your point of view instead of judgment (The Journal of Evolution & Technology)
• switch people’s brains on instead of bore them (The New York Times)

Yet many of my clients tell me they don’t know where to start. Let’s start with finding out where you are now. Take the Quiz. Use a piece of paper or download and print this 1 page quiz. Then follow along with the video:

1 Page Quiz (PDF)

Get the Storytelling in Business Program and for step-by-step support, templates and demos that make you a mastery storyteller.

Need more engagement when you speak about your business?

Written by Carla Rieger on . Posted in Build Your Expert Business, Communication & Conflict Resolution, Creativity & Innovation, Employee Engagement & Team Building, Leadership


Are you trying to open people’s minds to change?

Are you telling them WHY you want them to change?

Many people seem to forget this small but vastly important step.  I love reporting on Change Artists to pay attention to, such as Jane McGonigal. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World.

As you may know, I teach the change agents of the world to “Speak Your Purpose.” Jane’s bio starts with just that…

She is a PhD who is a world-renowned designer of alternate reality games — or, games that are designed to improve real lives and solve real problems. She believes game designers are on a humanitarian mission — and her #1 goal in life is to see a game developer win a Nobel Peace Prize.

What’s Your Mission?

Think about that for yourself. What is YOUR mission? Do you even have a mission behind what you do? And if not, below is a quick self inquiry to discover what that is. It doesn’t have to be a lofty mission.  But if you communicate WHY you do what you do, it magnetize more income, impact and loyalty from your tribe.  Most people just share WHO, WHAT and HOW. Who you are, what you do and how you do it. That is the first sentence of Jane’s bio. See if you can add in the second…WHY you are doing this.

Your ABOUT Page

According to Google Analytics stats, the majority of web visitors spend the most time on the “About” page. People want to know WHY you do what you do…especially if you are an expert in your niche, a business owner or in any kind of leadership role at work.

Start with WHY

In his popular TED talk, “Start with Why“, Simon Sinek shows how top performers in work and business make it easy for people to understand their values, what they stand for, what’s important to them. It magnetizes all kinds of good results. But not enough people do this or they don’t communicate it in a way that people can really “get” it.

Here’s how you can begin to do that. Answer these 2 questions about your expertise, business offering or leadership role:

  1. How are you, your services or products making a difference?
  2. How are you, your products or services useful to the world?


Find out your communication personality style, especially when giving business presentations. This will help you focus on your strengths as a presenter, and less on your weaknesses. Just click here:

The D.A.N.C.E. Personality Style Quiz

Find out whether you’re a

  • Demonstrator
  • Assertor
  • Narrator
  • Contemplator
  • Expert




The 5 Best Ways to Deal with January Stress

Written by Carla Rieger on . Posted in Communication & Conflict Resolution, Employee Engagement & Team Building, Leadership, Personal Growth, Stress

1403732772383_stressful-situationOften transitioning into work mode again in early January is hard . You may feel bombarded with a backlog of due dates and project deadlines. It’s that tricky switch from the “holiday” mindset to the “work” mindset. It’s a common issue many of us face, YET a lot easier to navigate than you might think.

Here are the 5 top tips for moving back into work mode successfully and stress free.

1. Look at the negative in a positive light!

Often 80% of your stress is being stressed about being stressed. In Kelly McGonigal’s  TED talk “How to Make Stress Your Friend” she talks about this phenomenon. It’s based on the misconception that all stress is bad for you. Ask yourself “What’s good about your deadlines and work backlog?” You might hear yourself say things like “I have interesting projects on the go.” “I’m making money instead of spending it”. “I’m becoming better at prioritization”. This simple change of perspective will lower cortisol levels, increase relaxation, and enhance brain capacity to deal with the work.

2. Remind yourself of the good end-goal

When the work gets challenging, remind yourself of why you took on these tasks in the first place. Think of the big picture and reenergize yourself with your original purpose and intent. For example, I’ve taken on this project to challenge myself and learn new things. I’m doing this presentation so that I can get new customers, increase my brand, and make a difference for people. Now, put your inspiring end goal on a stickie note where you can see it while you work.

3. Take a mini break

It’s seductive to over-work if you’ve just come off a holiday, but that may undermine the good benefits you received from taking time off. Take mini breaks where you put your mind on something altogether different and preferably enjoyable. For example, take walk in nature, enjoy a mini nap of 10 minutes, have a 5 minute check in call with a loved one. This will rejuvenate you enough to continue and finish your workload.

4. Be your own best coach

Often exhaustion happens when you let the “inner task master” push you too hard. A few kind words to yourself can get you going again. Make a list of 5 accomplishments or things you appreciate about yourself–especially regarding your work. For example, I put in a focused 8 hours on this project yesterday. I got a good night’s sleep. I went to the gym. Positive focus like this can increase your vitality levels and mood. Tell yourself you can get the work done AND stay in a good mood at the SAME TIME…and you will be surprised that you can actually program yourself to do just that.

 5. Take pride in your progress

Break your next goal into small incremental tasks. Tick off each one as you do them. This makes it psychologically easier to finish a big project.  For example, if you are creating a Power Point presentation you could break it down into 5 sections. Opening, Overview, Point #1, Point #2, Point #3, Closing. It can help you feel like you are accomplishing things even if it’s not complete yet. You are moving closer to the finish line, and that’s something to be proud of!

If you have tips for transitioning from holiday mode to work mode…add it in the comments below.


Carla Rieger is an entertaining, motivational keynote speaker on the top habits of highly resilient people. Creative resilience is the top skill you now need to  thrive in this fast paced world we now live in. It’s become a do or die skill. Bring Carla in as your humorous opening or closing speaker for your conference, sales rally, staff appreciation event, or professional development day…and set your audience on fire!

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