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A Year of Living Kindly: Lessons Learned with Donna Cameron (Episode #61)

Donna Cameron, After many incredible years in nonprofit management, has been spending her time “pursuing unanswerable questions in good company.” She started this journey by living out one year of being intentionally kind, one day at a time.

She blogs about the power of kindness, and has written the award winning book, A YEAR OF LIVING KINDLY, a love letter to the ways kindness is power in our lives and that of others.

Donna also helps organizations progress into their future by leaning into their values and visions.

Through her work, she helps boards and leaders to identify their values and increase their own individual efficacy, as well as the effectiveness of the organizations themselves.

Join in on this movement of goodness and learn some of the wonderful lessons Donna learned after a year of living kindly!

Resources Mentioned:

Tweetable Quotes:

“What we look for really is what we find… It’s really a matter of who you want to be, and what you want to look for in life and that’s what you’re going to find.” – Donna Cameron 

“Even if we only witness kindness to someone else, those hormones are produced in us and they lower your blood pressure, reduce inflammation, they fight heart disease… It’s like a wonder drug!” – Donna Cameron

“If we experience rudeness or incivility, or even witness it, we are more likely to be rude in our next encounters. Kindness is the same: if we experience it, we are more likely to be kind.” – Donna Cameron

“We assume one another’s good intent… If we can do that, it changes everything.” – Donna Cameron

Resources Mentioned:





Connect with Donna on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Be sure to check out https://ayearoflivingkindly.com/ 

[00:01 – 5:32] Opening Segment
  • I introduce Donna Cameron
    • Quick bio
  • Donna shares her background
    • A desire to go beyond ‘nice’ 
    • Donna’s deep dive into the essence of Kindness
    • Kindness even has physiological benefits 
    • The goal is experience and change, not perfection 
[05:33 – 14:48] A Year of Living Kindly: Living Your Legacy
  • What you give your attention to will expand
    • ‘Which wolf do you feed?’ 
    • Donna’s background on nonprofit
    • Too many are focussing on only what’s wrong
    • Pay attention to what really matters  
  • How kindness changes the legacy you leave
    • Legacy is not just what you do but your intention 
    • People remember how you touch lives 
    • What you could lose in pursuit of success
[14:49 –  24:09] A Year of Living Kindly: Kindness is a Verb
  • Being kinder than you need to be
    • Extending yourself past what’s expected
    • Nice vs. kind – Kindness is a verb
  • Staying in tune with kindness
    • Set up Google alerts for the latest kindness happening in the world
      • Examples of different stories
    • Program your algorithms with goodness in the world 
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[24:10 – 35:26] A Year of Living Kindly: Health Benefits and Work Life 
  • Donna breaks down some of the health benefits of kindness
    • Scientific evidence and studies of the healthy effects
    • Kindness produces oxytocin and serotonin
      • Even when we witness is towards someone else
    • Lowers blood pressure and inflammation in the body
    • Slows aging and reduces chronic pain
    • Reduces the risk of heart disease
  • The effects of kindness on our work lives
    • The time of ‘nice guys finish last’ in business is over
    • Kind business cultures are the ones that win 
    • Research findings from Forbes that kindness in business is key
    • Creates an atmosphere of safety to express ideas and collaborate 
  • Both kindness and incivility is contagious
    • What we experience most we tend to emulate 
    • “The ah-hah” moment:
      • We have a choice of what we want to spread 
  • How to spread kindness practically
    • “We live in a knee-jerk world -”
    • Utilize the power of the pause
    • Stay curious 
    • Think before you respond 
    • Withhold your immediate judgements 
    • Assume good intent 
[35:27 – 40:30] Closing Segment
  • A reminder of the power of the pause 
  • The power of your click
    • Your clicks matter to what gets seen
  • Teaser for The Goodness Exchange
  • How to connect with Donna
    • Links below 
  • Final words

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