You must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s

William Blake’s Jerusalem

What system do you want to create?

What is your dream?

Would you like a 4 day work week or a 3 day work week at home, in your own nonprofit, on your own time?

How can you develop multiple streams of income for your nonprofit or for yourself?

What can you do to take the useful information out of your head and into the world?

“I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.” -William Blake

How can you succeed?

1. Don’t believe what people say.

Don’t even believe what I say, unless you can verify it for yourself.

2. Don’t assume that any sort of work is beyond your reach.
By this I mean, don’t think that blogging cannot be your job, or that moving from, say, program assistant to social media manager would be impossible for you. Or that you couldn’t be a consultant as well as a full time employee. Or that you couldn’t go back to school if you need to gain more requirements for a new career. Fifty years ago, stenographers were utterly necessary. We had typing pools and scores of people in roles that we just don’t have today. Don’t assume that the role you want is beyond you. It may be just invented, and it’s up to you to discover it.

3.  What questions you ask determine the sort of person you are.
By this I mean the questions determine the person, not the answers. Questions like:

  • What do you worry about most?
  • What are the causes of your worries?
  • Can any of your worries be eliminated? How?
  • Which of them might you deal with first? How do you decide?
  • Are there other people with the same problems? How do you know? How can you find out?
  • If you had an important idea that you wanted to let everyone (in the world) know about, how might you go about letting them know?
  • What bothers you most about older people? Why?
  • How do you want to be similar to or different from elders you know when you become an elder?
  • What, if anything, seems to you to be worth dying for?
  • How did you come to believe this?
  • What seems worth living for?
  • How did you come to believe this?
  • At the present moment, what would you most like to be – or be able to do?
  • Why? What would you have to know in order to be able to do it? What would you have to do in order to get to know it?
  • How can you tell ‘good guys’ from ‘bad guys’?
  • How can ‘good’ be distinguished from ‘evil’?
  • What kind of a person would you most like to be? How might you get to be this kind of person?
  • At the present moment, what would you most like to be doing?
  • Five years from now? Ten years from now? Why? What might you have to do to realize these hopes? What might you have to give up in order to do some or all of these things?
  • When you hear or read or observe something, how do you know what it means?
  • Where does meaning ‘come from’?
  • What does ‘meaning’ mean?
  • How can you tell what something ‘is’ or whether it is?

See the questions there? I reprinted them from Teaching as a Subversive Activity by Postman. The text in its entirety can be downloaded as a free PDF with a little googling.

If you can start to answer questions like this, and realize that your answers evolve over time, it will make you not just a better fundraiser, but a better human. You will know more about yourself, and be able to control your reactions.

But when you start to ask yourself these questions, and ask them of people around you, the answers don’t matter as much as truly, deeply thinking about the questions, feeling about them, discovering your values through them, and gaining wisdom about yourself.

How are you going to ask new questions today, tomorrow, and this month?

What new system do you want to live in?

Tell me in the comments. Or answer one of these questions in the comments. I really want to know.

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