94: Second Chance at Life After Kidney Donation — with Keith McArthur

On a sunny, spring day in 2016 doctors told Keith McArthur his kidneys were about to fail.  Over the next 12 months they continued to break down, no longer able to filter toxins. Poisons built up in his body and brain. He began to feel sick and tired and confused.

After a life-saving transplant from one of his sisters, and despite being a lifelong skeptic, Keith began "ingesting every self-help resource [he] could get [his] hands on." No longer convinced they were all "written by charlatans and mansplainers," he began a journey to discover how to truly live.

As he writes in his new book, 18 Steps to Own Your Life: Simple Powers for a Healthier, Happier You“It’s not like I was unhappy before…but something was missing. Like most of us, I never really learned how to be human. No really. So, I made a decision to learn the skills I needed to finally own my life.”

In this conversation, we cover Keith's powerful story and insights about life before and after almost dying from kidney failure, lessons from raising a child with severe mental and physical disabilities, how he listens to his body's signals more after the operation, and what it means to "permit the pivot."

Check out full show notes from this episode with links to resources mentioned at PivotMethod.com/podcast/keith-mcarthur.

More About Keith McArthur


Keith McArthur is an author and contentrepreneur who writes and podcasts about how to live better. Keith hosts the weekly My Instruction Manual podcast, and previously worked as an award-winning business journalist at The Globe and Mail, Canada’s most prestigious newspaper, and as a senior executive at one of Canada’s largest companies.

Keith lives in Toronto with his wife, two sons and a goldendoodle named Quincy. Keith’s youngest son Bryson has severe mental and physical disabilities due to an extremely rare genetic disorder known as GRIN1. In 2017, Keith’s little sister gave him a second chance at life when she donated one of her kidneys. He’s the author of a new book, 18 Steps to Own Your Life: Simple Powers for a Healthier, Happier You, where he shares the lessons he’s learned since that transformative experience.

Topics Covered

  • Post-traumatic growth - using tragedies as a catalyst

  • Being more in touch with physical sensations; tuning in to intuition, body intelligence

  • How his relationship with his wife shifted throughout this time

  • What he has learned from raising a son with severe mental and physical disabilities

  • “Permit the Pivot” - what does that mean? How do you know when it’s time to pivot? Keith’s Three P's

  • "They aren’t quite superpowers…they are science-based Simple Powers that allow us to live our lives to the fullest"

  • Key building blocks for health and happiness, building healthy relationships

  • A million tiny steps: “Here’s a curious paradox: Most of us want to change for the better. But we’re wired to be highly resistant to change.”

  • What it means to "think critically about your exceptionalities"

Podcast: Second Chance At Life After Kidney Donation With Keith McArthur

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