The Never List – The Kindness Effect

Show Notes

Jill Donovan of Rustic Cuff Bracelets: Hi, it’s Jill Donovan of Rustic Cuff Bracelets, and welcome to CEO-ish. Today, I’m going to do something a little different. A friend of mine in Virginia told me that her family was reading my book, The Kindness Effect, as a family and they were reading it chapter by […]
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Audio Transcription

Jill Donovan of Rustic Cuff Bracelets:
Hi, it’s Jill Donovan of Rustic Cuff Bracelets, and welcome to CEO-ish. Today, I’m going to do something a little different. A friend of mine in Virginia told me that her family was reading my book, The Kindness Effect, as a family and they were reading it chapter by chapter each night. And I told her that I would read one of the upcoming chapters that they had not yet read, and I would send it over on an audio file and then it would be like their family would be listening to a book on tape. I had so much fun doing it because I got to put side notes and sidebars and thoughts in there as I was reading the chapters that I thought right now I would just read this as a book on tape for you, and it’s free. But really aren’t most books on tape free now, Erica?

Jill Donovan of Rustic Cuff Bracelets:
No? Okay. Well, this one is free. I’m going to start today and I’m just going to do the introduction to The Kindness Effect. But first, I’m going to tell a short snippet on the background information on this book. I never wanted to write a book. Actually, the short background information about the book is in the introduction, so I’m just going to start reading the introduction. The introduction is titled The Never List. Nearly six years ago while on sabbatical from teaching law at the University of Tulsa, I took time to reflect on my future. More specifically, I wanted to discover my passion. To help compartmentalize each idea that came to me, I made two lists. The first one was to itemize some good choices for the year ahead.

Jill Donovan of Rustic Cuff Bracelets:
The other one was my never list. It was definitive. I never wanted to be an entrepreneur. There’s too much work involved. I never wanted to have employees. I already have a family. Well, actually, I don’t know how did that make it in there? My family are not my employees, but that… How did that get in there? I meant as in just another family. Oh goodness me, editor. No, I’m kidding. Okay. I never want to write a book, even though I love to read. Notice the last item, yet you are here holding a volume written by a once very reluctant author. My publisher had some major convincing on its hands trying to obtain an agreement from me to write a book. The first time they contacted me, my answer was simply, it’s a firm no.

Jill Donovan of Rustic Cuff Bracelets:
Furthermore, I’m sure I said no, thank you though. Like I can’t see myself just saying no. It’s a firm no, thank you. Again, how did that thank you not make it in the book? Furthermore, to do some major convincing on my end, I emailed the publisher my never list. The font size for I never want to write a book was much larger than that of the first two items. I might have even changed the text color to make those words light up the page. Six months later, I was on the phone with the publisher a second time. The publisher was asking if I had a change of mine. I wasn’t as bold this time, but the answer was still no. To my surprise, the tenor of my voice was a bit softer than in my initial reply. It was probably like, “No, thank you.”

Jill Donovan of Rustic Cuff Bracelets:
Again, it says here that I just said no, and I am certain I never just say no. I usually say, “No, thank you.” Realizing something had changed in me, I knew I should listen to my knower. I use that term to reference following my heart, listening to the small voice within, being sensitive to promptings, discerning situations, et cetera. Basically, I could have shortened all that and said just listening to God. Again, there was a little spark in my knower and I thought maybe I just need to peek around this corner to see what it’s all about. I was inspired at this point to turn my firm no into a quiet yes. I’m going to read that sentence again. I was inspired at this point to turn my firm no, thank you into a quiet yes, please.

Jill Donovan of Rustic Cuff Bracelets:
As an aside, I have started to accomplish much to my astonishment many things I had previously determined never to do. Here’s the secret, outsmart the list by playing the opposite game. So now my new never list reads, I will never be in shape. I will never have the house organized. I will never have all the laundry done. I will never get my children to eat vegetables. Okay. As a side note, that little game does not work because I am not in the shape I want to be. My house is not really organized. I never have all the laundry done, and my children still don’t eat vegetables. So save yourself some time and don’t play that game. This book is not a how to guide on exercising kindness. It is also not the story of my business, Rustic Cuff.

Jill Donovan of Rustic Cuff Bracelets:
It would only be the size of a booklet at best if that had been all I’d chosen to pen. Actually it is, but the first part is the story about Rustic Cuff. The facts in here, I mean, it is the story. It is not… It should read, the whole book is not about the story of my business, Rustic cuff. These are things I should not say on this podcast, but what the heck. It would only be the size of a booklet at best if that had been all I had chosen to pen. Instead, you will read a compiler of stories exemplifying what might happen if we respond to opportunities for joy that irrational giving can bring. The takeaway from these stories and many others like them is that every person has a talent, gift, skill, or passion that can be used to benefit others.

Jill Donovan of Rustic Cuff Bracelets:
We are all different and our abilities and resources are different too, but that does not matter. Discovering what our particular gifts are and purposely using them to bless others is the reason we have gifts in the first place. For example, do you love to cook? You can take a meal to someone who is sick. Do you enjoy the elderly? You can visit the lonely in a nursing home since there are many who have no visitors. Are you an encourager, a gardener, or an organizer? List of gifts is long, but anything we have that is given in kindness and done from the heart will bring joy to the receiver and to us, the givers.

Jill Donovan of Rustic Cuff Bracelets:
When you read these pages, or actually when you listen to me reading these pages, some chapters may completely resonate with you and others will have you thinking, this story only happens to other people. I’ve either witnessed or personally experienced each of these stories, which make up a life I never knew I wanted. There may be a chapter here or there that does not relate to anything you are experiencing right now, or that you have ever tasted in the past. Yet I believe other chapters will grab you almost as if you’re looking in a mirror. As you go through different seasons of life, you may find yourself facing a detour that points to the right when you thought the next turn would absolutely be to the left.

Jill Donovan of Rustic Cuff Bracelets:
It’s bad enough that you’re being rerouted, but then come the potholes. Can you relate? No matter where you are now or where you land in your unfolding future, you will most likely see glimmers of your reflection in most of the chapters. I hope this book will be a support for you and enable you to embrace your journey whatever the hazards. I’ve read many books over the years and there are a handful I choose to revisit when I need a little extra wisdom, encouragement, and humor. My hope is that The Kindness Effect will become that for you. And that is the end of the introduction for The Kindness Effect.

Jill Donovan of Rustic Cuff Bracelets:
I hope you will stay with me throughout the days as we go through different chapters because the way the book is laid out is the first part is the story of Rustic Cuff and how it began. And the bulk of the book, each chapter title is one of my favorite quotes and there are stories in there that will make you laugh and cry that have to do with that quote. And then the end talks about how we can all apply irrational giving and kindness to our lives and to others. I hope you stay with me and we will continue to do other podcasts as well throughout there, but I just thought I would add this into our weekly routine. Thank you so much for listening today. I look forward to our time together next time. Until then.