Episode 9
September 8, 2020
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Episode 9
September 8, 2020

The author and columnist describes how an intentional and systematic approach to kindness changed her life, and how it can change yours.

The author and columnist describes how an intentional and systematic approach to kindness changed her life, and how it can change yours.

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About Nicole Phillips is High on Kindness

Cartoonist Scott Adams wrote, “There is no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” 

There is no one who better personifies these sentiments than this month’s guest, Nicole J. Phillips. 

You may know Nicole from her show The Kindness Podcast, her newspaper column Kindness is Contagious, or her books “Kindness is Contagious: 100 Stories to Remind You God is Good and So are Most People” and “Kindness is Courageous: 100 Stories to Remind You People Are Brave and Kind.” 

After falling into a rut of feeling unfulfilled and unhappy, Nicole dedicated her life to the pursuit of small acts of kindness — both in herself, and helping others cultivate it in their own lives. The result of a few modest good turns was a dramatic change in her life and the unbridled joy of bringing happiness to others. 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Who benefits the most from kindness (hint: it’s not who you think)
  • The spontaneous good deed involving a tent and a bicycle that brought Nicole to tears
  • Why Nicole brought pizzas into a Home Depot store
  • What battling cancer taught her about kindness

Battling Fear with Kindness

Nicole knows it’s not just acts of kindness that can change a life. Recognizing that a small shift in perspective could also defuse the fear that leads to pessimism and worry, she recently wrote “The Negativity Remedy: Unlocking More Joy, Less Stress, and Better Relationships through Kindness.” As she explains in this interview, she believes the key to solving negativity lies in all of us. 

Book Giveaway

After speaking with Nicole, it’s clear that her new book, The Negativity Remedy, will be incredibly impactful. To celebrate Nicole we’re giving away 50 copies, free. Sign up for your chance to win a copy — plus 10 of Nicole’s favorite books — at crazygoodturns.org/nicole-phillips-book-giveaway.

Nicole Phillips Interview

FRANK BLAKE: So we are just thrilled to have you on the show, Nicole. And let me start with just a very general question, which is I’ve given all of the background, all of what you’ve done and accomplished. What’s the most important thing you think for our listeners to know about you? Or what would you like for them to know about you just as a start?

NICOLE PHILLIPS: I would like them to know that, and it’s not even necessarily about me, but the person you benefit with kindness is yourself. And so that’s about me because it says over the past nine, 10 years, I have found a new life through being intentional and systematic about kindness and perspective. That’s a big word for me too. But it’s possible for other people too, and that’s me, that’s what drives me every day is knowing that there are people out there that need just a tiny shift of perspective to go from living life to loving life.

FRANK BLAKE: Yeah. So maybe talk a little bit about your podcast, The Kindness Podcast, which got its start as I understand it from an act of kindness on its own.

NICOLE PHILLIPS: It did. It was a crazy good turn.

FRANK BLAKE: Tell a little bit about that and how it led to the podcast.

NICOLE PHILLIPS: I was doing an interview at Ohio University through their public media there. And when I finished the interview, the man, who turns out he was in charge of all of the podcasts for the whole university and through this public radio.

We finished the interview, and he looks at me and he said, “You know, if there’s ever anything that I can do for you, would you please let me know?” And that is a crazy good turn question, right?

FRANK BLAKE: Yeah.

NICOLE PHILLIPS: “If there’s anything I can ever do for you, would you please let me know?” And I looked at him and I just said, “Well, someday I have a dream of being able to share stories of kindness on the air.” And I had assumed at that point I was thinking radio, like a short, syndicated radio series.

FRANK BLAKE: Right.

NICOLE PHILLIPS: And he said, “Well, how would you like a podcast?” And it was an immediate, yes, it was an immediate bond. And the next thing you know, now we’re on season four of The Kindness Podcast. So we’ve gone through four years of doing this.

FRANK BLAKE: Well done. So for listeners who haven’t heard the show, describe a little bit what it’s like.

NICOLE PHILLIPS: Well, I love to interview people who are experts in the field, people who might be celebrities, and people who are the mom or the dad or the person next door who just happened to stumble upon a great act of kindness and is willing to share that story. So these are both informative and encouraging stories. And I love to hear how somebody got into the realm of kindness. When did kindness first bite you, and how has your life changed since then?

FRANK BLAKE: So are there a few guests that have particularly connected with you or made a particular impact? I know I always hate that question myself, because they’re all your children sort of, everybody you’ve had on the show, but there are few, you’d say, boy, this just really connected with me in an unexpected way.

NICOLE PHILLIPS: Absolutely. Every guest is my favorite guest because they all teach me something and I learn. It’s like going to college again for kindness and it’s really neat. But there’s a man named Don Carter that I got to interview for the 100th episode. And if people are only going to listen to one, I’d say, listen to Don Carter. Because Don Carter, he had a viral experience at a Popeye’s chicken several years ago. A year after that his wife committed suicide. Since then he has dedicated his life to kindness. And he says, the one thing he said to me that just absolutely hit me, he said, “We don’t need to pay it forward. We don’t need to pay it back. All we need to do is pay attention.”

FRANK BLAKE: Wow.

NICOLE PHILLIPS: Isn’t that amazing?

FRANK BLAKE: That is so amazing. That’s great.

NICOLE PHILLIPS: Oh, that’s changed things for me. And when I explain kindness to other people, if they’re going through a really difficult time and they say, “I just don’t know how to accept all this kindness that’s coming in. I’m overwhelmed.” Or, “I don’t know exactly the right act of kindness to do for someone else,” it all comes back to that. You don’t need to worry about paying it forward. You don’t need to worry about paying it back. Just pay attention in each moment of your life. And you’re going to go on this great adventure and it’s going to be called kindness.

FRANK BLAKE: That is perfect. So what got you immersed into kindness and so focused in paying attention to kindness? What started you on that journey?

NICOLE PHILLIPS: Well, in 2011, I was on the edge of what anyone would call an alcoholic. I was a drinker, and a smoker, an overeater. I was angry at my husband all the time who really is a good guy, but I just was frustrated a lot. And I really didn’t have a good reason to be. That’s just where I was in my life. And I got a call from the publisher of the newspaper in Fargo, North Dakota where I was living at the time. And the publisher said, “We are starting a new section and we’re looking for female writers. Would you be willing to write for us about politics?” And so I said, “Nope.”

He said, “Would you write about cooking?” And I said, “Listen, I’ve made lasagna twice and both times forgot to put in the lasagna noodles.” I might’ve been drinking at the time, but we’re not going to get judgy. Right? So then he said, “Would you write about parenting?” And I said, “Absolutely. When I have launched these three little people from my space, I will know how to write about parenting.” And he kind of threw his hands in the air. And he said, “When you figure out what you want to write about, you call me.”

And shortly after that, within a week or two, I had an interaction with a young mom, and I ended up giving her some money. And the $60 I gave her didn’t change her life. It maybe changed her day. It didn’t change her life. But it changed mine because I got back into my car after talking with this young mom and giving her the money, and I had this high unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. And I wanted to chase that. I wanted to follow that, because I felt like if everyone knew what that felt like, then everyone would want to try it. And we would just light this world on fire with kindness.

And so I went home and I wrote down what that interaction felt like, and I sent it into the publisher of the newspaper. And I said, “This is what I want to write about. I want to write about kindness. And I want to see if people will send me their stories of kindness, things they’ve done and how it made them feel, or times when kindness showed up at just the right moment. I want to hear those stories. I want to share those stories.” And the interesting thing about writing a weekly newspaper column, because they said, “Sure, we’ll give you the weekly column. Let’s see what happens.” They called it, Kindness Is Contagious, and the interesting thing is that they actually expect you to write that column, Frank, every week.

FRANK BLAKE: How about that? I’m shocked.

NICOLE PHILLIPS: So I couldn’t just write it when somebody sent something in, I had to be on the lookout. And that’s when being intentional and systematic about kindness really took hold in me because I had to search out kindness. I’m a reporter by nature, but I had to find it and search it out and see it in my own lives and in the lives of others. So within one year of writing that column and being really intentional about kindness, I had totally quit drinking. I had quit smoking. I had lost 30 pounds. I had re-fallen in love with my husband. It’s like the whole dynamic of our household changed when mom changed.

FRANK BLAKE: Amazing. That’s amazing. For all of the stories of kindness that you were telling week after week and that are in your book, what is the thing you’ve learned about kindness that you didn’t know or wouldn’t have intuited? So what has surprised you?

NICOLE PHILLIPS: Well, I kind of alluded to it at the beginning of the interview. It’s this idea that the life you transform with kindness is your own. I had always thought that you needed to be the recipient. If people were just nicer to me, Frank, then I wouldn’t drink so much. If my husband was just more helpful with the kids, I wouldn’t be angry with him all the time. And I felt like I needed people to be kind to me. But the thing about kindness is it takes your eyes off of yourself and it puts them on to other people. So that’s the first step, right?

FRANK BLAKE: Yep.

NICOLE PHILLIPS: Is that you see it, you get your eyes off of yourself. And then the second step of that is really what you’re all about, which is, appreciation and saying it. So you think it, you think, “Wow, that’s a beautiful color on that woman,” or “Oh my, her whole face lights up when she smiles,” or “Didn’t he do a nice job with something?” And then you say it. You have to be brave in that moment.

FRANK BLAKE: I love that point of courage. And it’s in your second book, Kindness Is Courageous, because I do think that there’s some risks to kindness. How do you see that in your own interactions? 

NICOLE PHILLIPS: The one who really taught me about risk and kindness is my dad, because he said, “Here’s the thing. I’m a…” At the time he was about 70 years old. He said, “I’m a 70-year-old man.” He said, “If I give a compliment to a 30-year-old-woman, automatically it’s assumed that I’m hitting on her.” And I had to sit on that for a little bit because I thought he’s right in some respects. That we come from a mentality of what do you want from me? And what do you expect me to give you in return for what you’re giving me? And I just honestly had to shed that. And I talked to my dad about that a lot too. And just shedding that idea that people are going to misinterpret our kindness. Because they are very often.

But you know what? We misinterpret people’s text messages. We misinterpret people’s emails. We misinterpret each other all the time. That’s why we have these big problems with politics and everything else you can imagine. It’s all, I think, just a matter of misunderstanding. And so you know what? I just say, “I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to let that go.”

FRANK BLAKE: Yeah. There’s another comment that you make in your book that I think is really good about going off script and doing the unexpected, which is also something you find a lot in kind acts. They’re a little bit off script. And are there some of those that stick in your mind or off script moments of kindness?

NICOLE PHILLIPS: Yeah. Oh, absolutely. Those are my favorite. If you give me a kindness calendar and tell me to do one thing a day from the calendar, oh my gosh, I’ll break out into a cold sweat. That’s a to-do list for me. And kindness isn’t about a to-do list. It’s not about a duty. Kindness is about what brings you delight in that moment. And so I remember laying in bed five years ago, I had breast cancer, and I was in the middle of this huge pity party at 4:30 in the morning. And I wake up, wide awake, I roll over and I see that it is storming outside. Well, I start thinking about my neighbor who’s living in a tent on the neighbor’s… There’s a woman living in a tent on my neighbor’s lawn. And she gets up every morning at 4:30. She is a recovering drug addict, and she walks across town to work to get there by 6:00 AM. So she spends an hour and a half on her feet walking to work. That’s dedication for somebody who is recovering. Right? Wow.

And so I think about her and I see that it’s raining and I think, “Oh man, Dawn’s walking right now. I should really get up and help her.” And then I think to myself, “No, no, no, it’s not fair.” I have been… and it’s not fair is a swear word in our house, by the way. But I said, “It’s not fair. I am totally spent physically, emotionally, financially. I have nothing left to give.” And I’m led by God. I really feel like I kind of do what I feel like He’s prompting me to do. But in this moment I flat out said, “No way Jose, God. I’m not doing it.” And I rolled over and I went into bed. Not one of my finest kindness moments.

But later on that day, I was driving down the street and I saw Dawn walking home from work in the bright sunshiny day. And I pulled over and I said, “Do you want a ride home?” And she said, “No, it’s a great day. I’m happy to walk.” And I looked at her and I said, “Dawn, are you still walking to work every morning because I noticed it was really stormy this morning?” And as the words are coming out, I’m thinking, “No, don’t say it because you’re going to have to help.” And she said, “I am.” She said, “But I’m going to get my first paycheck next week.” And she said, “I’ll have enough money saved up to buy a bike.” And all of a sudden, Frank, the light bulb went on, and this is where kindness becomes more by the seat of your pants, more unscripted. But the light bulb went on and I was like, oh, I have a bike in my garage that no one uses. It’s just sitting there and we never made the effort to get rid of it.

And I said, “Dawn, you need a bike? Come to my house. Come get the bike. You can have it.” So she shows up in my driveway a couple hours later, and I roll out the bike and she says, “Oh, this is great. Thank you so much. I’ll return it to you when I can buy one.” And I said, “No, no, no. I want you to have it. It’s a gift.” But in that moment, she looked at me and she said, “Why would you do that for me?” Why would you do that for me? And I thought, how few people have been kind to you that you would be so shocked when someone is. And I looked at her and I just said, “I see how hard you’re working to turn around your life. And your effort really means something to me. And I’m proud of you,” right? And I said, “I see you, but more importantly, God sees you. So take the bike.” And so she started to cry and then I started to cry.

And as I turned around and I walked back to my driveway and walked back into my house, I felt like there was no cancer in my body. I felt like I had a surplus of energy, a surplus of treasure to give away. I wasn’t in that deficit moment as I was in the morning. I was in this moment of surplus, and it was so beautiful, and it was so fun, and it was so great. And that’s what living off the script can do for you. You just pay attention to people in front of you and do what you can do in that moment.

FRANK BLAKE: That’s the most amazing story, Nicole. That is a phenomenal story. I’m sure nothing as revealing as that, but I loved as we were preparing for this podcast, you send a photo of yourself going into a Home Depot store with boxes of pizza. I don’t know if that was off script or not, but tell me a little bit what was the story behind that?

NICOLE PHILLIPS: Oh, Frank, this is another one that makes me look bad. So I was in Wisconsin and I was preparing for a speaking event. And now when I prepare for a speaking event, I take them very seriously. And so I kind of like to hunker down and really think about what that particular audience is going to need from me and what they might need to hear. I try to be really, really, really intentional about my time prepping for that.

Well, two of my kindness team members are from Wisconsin. And so they showed up at the place I was staying, and they said, “Get in the car.” And I said, “I can’t. I am prepping for this. I am doing nothing. You know this.” And they said, “Get in the car.” It was like they were stealing me. Right? And so very begrudgingly, I got in the car and I said, “Where are we going?” And they said, “We’re going to do an act of kindness.” And I said, “You guys, there’s a time and a place for everything. And right now I’m prepping for my speaking event. Leave me alone.” And they said, “Just be quiet.” And they drive to Little Caesars and they buy, I don’t know, four or five boxes of pizza. And now I’m like, “Guys, seriously, take me back. I’ve got to do what I got to do.”

And they said, “Nic, we were at Sam’s Club earlier today and we talked to the cashier. And we said to the cashier, ‘If you could send a pizza to anyone, who would you send it to?’ And the cashier said, ‘I would send it to my brother. He works at Home Depot.'” And so they went, picked me up, bought the pizzas and drove me to the Home Depot. And at that point they said, “Get out and go find this guy.” I think his name was Jason, but I can’t remember exactly. And so we go into the Home Depot. We end up walking all through the aisles, back to the break room way in the back, and we find him and we deliver the pizza. And he was like, “Wait, what’s going on right now?” It was so delightful. We said, “This is from your sister. She loves you.”

Well, then as we were in the parking lot of the Home Depot, we found a couple of other people. There were a couple of painters and there was a woman that was in her van. And we handed out the rest of the boxes of pizza in the Home Depot parking lot. And luckily, the security didn’t kick us out. So two thumbs up for Home Depot.

FRANK BLAKE: They wouldn’t have done that. That’s awesome. That’s a great, great story. In your book, in your first book, there’s a chapter that’s called, The Good Virus, talking about kindness. And because virus is obviously a word of the moment now, what are your reflections on kindness and the pandemic, and what are you seeing? What gives you hope? What gives you pause and concern? How do you see, what you’re looking at, how has it changed in the last several months?

NICOLE PHILLIPS: From the beginning of this pandemic, I have seen a beautiful unfolding of kindness. It’s like a flower that was in a tight bud and is now blooming. People are putting the hearts on the windows and putting the teddy bears in there, but they’re leaving things at the front porch for their friends or neighbors. And I’m seeing more of that. And I’m seeing this hunger to reconnect now that we haven’t been able to connect physically, that need to redo it. So that to me is super encouraging because I feel like kindness can be like a pendulum. Right? And it can swing and it can be really prevalent or it can kind of back off a little bit. And we are definitely in a really prevalent time of kindness.

Now the flip side of that is we are also in a spot of great fear. So I wrote a book called, The “Negativity Remedy, Unlocking More Joy, Less Stress, and Better Relationships through Kindness.” And so The Negativity Remedy talks into that fear. Because it’s easy for me to say, “Oh, don’t be afraid. It’s all going to be okay.” And I don’t know.

I don’t know anything, right? But here’s what I do know. Perspective changes fear, and that’s the key. The negativity remedy is you, Frank. It’s me, it’s everyone out there. We are the change to that negativity. We are the positive spin on that negativity, but we have to get it right in our minds. We have to get it right in our minds. And so that’s where this book really stems from is knowing that even before the pandemic, people were afraid, “Oh, what about my grandkids? They only eat chicken tenders. They’re never going to grow tall because they refuse to eat vegetables,” and little things and big things. “What if there’s a school shooting at my school?”

And so I really felt like we needed to speak into that fear and remind people that, yes, you can sit in that spot of worry. You can park your brain and just go around and around and around and around about that fear. Or you can say, I reject that thought. I am stopping right here because this thought of fear is not serving me. It’s not serving the ones I love. And so I’m going to replace that thought with something else. I’m going to replace that thought with a different thought, with a mantra, with something. And then we move our brain away from that place and carry on with our day.

FRANK BLAKE: And do you see people struggling with that now with the pandemic, and do you see them reaching out for that advice, or are they too wrapped up in the current worries?

NICOLE PHILLIPS: Yeah. And it’s twofold, because you have the people who, that I will talk to, who are wrapped up in the current worries and don’t even know they are. They don’t even know their brain is in that cycle. But I also hear a lot from people who say, “I just almost can’t even talk to my mother-in-law anymore because every time I talk to her, she’s just all about fear. And I talk to her and it just brings my day down.” And so then we can talk about ways to address that. And how do we use our words in our conversation to kind of steer the conversation where we want it to go and actually make the day better for the person that you’re talking to, because you’ve said things to them like, “Hey, tell me about the greatest act of kindness that you have ever been a part of,” or, “Tell me about the great things you’re seeing and learning from staying at home.” But those have to be intentional questions.

FRANK BLAKE: So it sounds like maybe one of the things you learned in this journey and it led to the third book was fear. You saw a lot of fear in people. Is that right? Or more broadly, what led you to the third, to The Negativity Remedy?

NICOLE PHILLIPS: Yeah, well, that is a book that I have been jotting notes down about for probably eight years. Every time I would learn something about kindness that kind of struck me as interesting, I would write it down. And what I realized when I looked back over all of it, was that it is about a choice in perspective. And so that can be fear or it could be gratitude. You can choose what you want to think about. And that’s the biggest thing for me is I never realized until starting to study all this, that you can choose what you want to go through your brain. You can choose to accept or reject thoughts, and they’re going to affect the rest of your day. So I never looked at it as fear so much for me as I looked at it as depression, because I suffered from addiction and depression and things like that. And it was a conscious choice to try to fight my way out of that. When really, when you’re depressed, you don’t necessarily feel like you have the energy to fight.

FRANK BLAKE: So I’ve got some rapid fire questions. What’s the one book you wish everyone would read?

NICOLE PHILLIPS: Love Does, by Bob Goff.

FRANK BLAKE: Why? Tell us why. Why should everybody read that book? It is, by the way, a great book. Why should I read that book?

NICOLE PHILLIPS: Yeah, it’s a great book, and it’s an easy read, and he teaches you how to go off script and dream bigger than you ever thought possible.

FRANK BLAKE: All right. What’s the one thing someone who really knew you would know about you that others don’t?

NICOLE PHILLIPS: I still get depressed sometimes.

FRANK BLAKE: What is the craziest good turn that’s been done for you?

NICOLE PHILLIPS: Oh, I was thinking about these this morning, and I had like 4,700 of them. And I was thinking about The Kindness Podcast one. But I think the craziest good turn was when I was a kid. My mom married a prison inmate when I was in fourth grade, and I was living with a single dad, and I had a tribe of moms who decided that they were all going to mother me. So they kept me out of trouble.

FRANK BLAKE: So if there were one person, not a well-known person, but one person in the world that you feel you’d like to just have their name out there for a kindness, who would it be?

NICOLE PHILLIPS: Oh, if I could snap my fingers and make somebody famous, it’d be Don Carter. I’d like him to be president.

FRANK BLAKE: What does Don do? That’s pretty good.

NICOLE PHILLIPS: Well, he used to be a detective and he saw the worst parts of life, really. He’s seen people at their worst, and he got out of law enforcement and now he is a kindness advocate.

FRANK BLAKE: And then, is there someone who sets an example by their behavior that you say that’s the person I want to model myself after?

NICOLE PHILLIPS: I think that would probably be my friend, Andrea. Her name is Andrea Coombe. She lives in Fargo, and she is the one that will allow you to just be you. And that’s a gift. That’s a great kindness.

FRANK BLAKE: That is a gift.

NICOLE PHILLIPS: You don’t have to put on any airs. You don’t have to worry about what comes out of your mouth. You just know it’s all going to be okay.

FRANK BLAKE: Yeah. So now you’ve written three books about kindness. You’ve compiled hundreds of stories. I’m curious about what are the stories that you revealed to everyone, that you shared with everyone in your book and your podcast and your column? And what are the ones that you say, “Well, that’s great, but it’s not quite what I want.” What distinguishes those?

NICOLE PHILLIPS: Generally, my own personal involvement in the story. Some of them I’m a little bit involved in. I can tell you from my perspective how it changed me to be able to be a giver or a receiver. But the ones that don’t make it for public consumption are the ones that I hold really tightly to myself. And, for instance, I talk about my friend, Andrea. And she went on a vacation recently with her sister and someone paid for their meal. So that part of it, that I would share, right? They were at a restaurant, someone paid for their meal, and telling all around that. But she said, “Nic, here’s the thing.” She said, “After spending that weekend with my sister,” she said, “I understand now the power of kindness.” And Andrea said, “Nic, that’s from you.” She said, “You taught me about this. And now I get to teach her about this.”

And it’s not that you’re actually teaching as much as you’re just living this idea that kindness is contagious. People will choose the brighter, lighter path of kindness if given the choice. And so I’m never going to write about that, Frank, but what it meant to me to hear her say that, that what I do matters, that was breathtaking to me.

FRANK BLAKE: You have so many profound stories and insights. I do want to ask, because all three of my sisters have had breast cancer and two of them died from it.

NICOLE PHILLIPS: Oh, my.

FRANK BLAKE: I know you battled it. And how did that impact your point of view about kindness and the role of kindness in life?

NICOLE PHILLIPS: It was twofold. One is that I realized that sometimes we have to say yes to other people’s kindness, even when we don’t want to. When people offered to bring me meals and things like that, I kept saying, “No, we’re picky eaters. I’m not hungry. I don’t want anything.” And then all of a sudden I realized, Nic, this is not about you. This is about them feeling like they are a part of your recovery and a part of your journey. You have to say yes to these people. And so that changed it for me because I realized that my act of kindness to them was allowing them to be kind to me in those moments and to be part of what I was going through. They didn’t want to be shut out. So that’s the first part of it.

And then the second part of it really came through my daughter, Jordan. Jordan was 11 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. And she said, “Mom, I want to do something to help. I don’t want to just sit here and watch you be sick.” And she said, “Can I sew little coffee cup sleeves, the kind that keep your hand from getting too hot when you hold your cup, can I maybe sew those, and can I ask for a donation from people?” And, again, I’ve got nothing left to give, but I was like, “Sure, honey, you know what? I’ll throw it up on Facebook for the day.”

And by the next morning she had raised $800. And that year she raised $5,000. The next year she raised $11,000. And so now Wal-Mart got a hold of this story, and Walmart ordered 207,000 of these coffee cup cozies. It was a temporary product in their store. And so Jordan has raised $100,000 for breast cancer research through the Susan G. Komen Foundation. She pays for mobile mammogram units to travel to areas that are more rural.

And so what that taught me about kindness during crisis is that we cannot limit what happens when we give our best. And when Jordan, her goal was $300, right? But you take a pure heart and you take just somebody wanting to do something to make a drop in the bucket, and that’s all it takes. People are worried like, “Oh, I could never do something big. I could never make a massive change in the world.” Well, don’t. No one’s asking you to make a massive change in the world. We’re just asking you to pay attention to the person in front of you, the circumstance in front of you, and see what you can do. And amazing things happen in the painful times and the joyful times of life.

FRANK BLAKE: What challenge would you give our listeners to go do blank. Just go do something. What would it be?

NICOLE PHILLIPS: Think about what you’re thinking about. That is 100% the challenge. If you have to set an alarm on your phone or whatever that says every Monday at 3:00 PM, what am I thinking about? And just monitor those thoughts. Start there and start thinking, what am I thinking about? Am I thinking about how hurried I am to do this, this and this? Am I thinking about how worried I am about COVID? Am I being judgmental and being the jury for somebody else? And then think about whether that thought is serving you in the way you want it to. And if it’s not, kick it out. I reject that thought and replace it with something else and move on. It will change your day and it’ll change the day of all the people around you because they have to deal with you.

FRANK BLAKE: That’s great. So for people who want to learn more about you, obviously they can go to your podcast. What else should they do?

NICOLE PHILLIPS: We have The Kindness Podcast. We have NicoleJphillips.com, which is the website. But honestly, Frank, what I want more than anything is for people to read The Negativity Remedy. I want them to read the book because I truly believe that it can be life changing. I wouldn’t put it out there, I wouldn’t ask people to spend $14 on anything unless I thought it was going to be life changing for them. And so get it from the library, get it wherever you need to, buy one and pass it on. But please read The Negativity Remedy.

FRANK BLAKE: Well, this will be great. When does the book come out?

NICOLE PHILLIPS: September 1st.

FRANK BLAKE: All right. Perfect. So we’ll buy 50 copies and give 50 copies out to listeners.

NICOLE PHILLIPS: No way!

FRANK BLAKE: Absolutely. Absolutely.

NICOLE PHILLIPS: Thank you, Frank!

FRANK BLAKE: But I’ve been listening to you, and I’m so impressed at how you think and the impact you’re making on others. And I haven’t read the book, but I’m sure it’s a brilliant book and I’m sure our listeners will love it. So we’ll allow them to send in and get a free copy. That’d be very cool.

NICOLE PHILLIPS: That is a crazy good turn, sir. Thank you.

FRANK BLAKE: Absolutely. Thank you, Nicole. It’s been an enormous pleasure and really a privilege talking to you.

NICOLE PHILLIPS: I feel the same way.

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