Tag Archives: passion

Want to Volunteer? Three Things To Ask

How do you pick the right volunteer experience for you? It’s important to be diligent in your choice of organizations when volunteering. Ask yourself the following questions to determine which experience best fits your goals.

  1. What cause is important to you?

Identify your greatest passions. What is a problem you want to solve? Who are people you want to connect with? If you don’t have answers to those questions, don’t worry. Sometimes you know, and sometimes not! That’s where you just have to try, learn more about the cause, and see if it engages your mind and emotions.

This is why volunteering is so great. You can always try it, commit for a reasonable time, and then try something different. Start with an area about which you are curious, such as education, the environment, or health care. Interested in animal conservation? Volunteer with Pandas International to assist conservationists in caring for pandas. That raises another point: You can use volunteering to explore another part of the world. Working with Globe Aware in Peru, for example, will allow you to engage in a way much beyond that of a tourist.

  1. What is the organization like?

The nonprofit sector continues to grow, with new organizations popping up daily. Understanding the organizational structure is critical to a positive volunteer experience. Would you like to work in a larger organization that might have more resources but is more rigid? Or a smaller, entrepreneurial organization that has less fiscal support but multiple opportunities to serve?

You also need to consider the leadership structure. Are they friendly, open, willing to give you opportunities? Do you see yourself enjoying your day working with them? If you answer yes, then most likely you will have a positive relationship. They will want to see you grow and develop, and you will want to help them. It’s a “win-win” for everyone. Try to meet with the leader or volunteer manager prior to starting to ensure it’s a good fit.

  1. How much time can you dedicate?

Be realistic about the amount of time you can spend volunteering. Often, volunteers comment that they benefit from investing a lot of time becoming a part of the “nonprofit family.” You can learn the ins and outs of the organization and gain greater expertise.

However, you may have time only to help on weekends every now and then. That’s great, too. It’s just a different kind of experience. Volunteering one time to help a soup kitchen pack meals for families for the holidays is a good example. You’ve helped fill a need, and your heart is filled, too!

You’ve got a heart to give. Now, take the time to think about how you want to volunteer. By being thoughtful, you’ll use your time well and get the most out of your experience. (It also helps the nonprofit!) No matter what, you’ll be a better person. And the world will be better, too.

Visit Duke University’s website where Pamela can answer your questions on social innovations and nonprofits here! 

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“Love is a spirit all compact of fire, Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire.” – William Shakespeare

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“Love is a spirit all compact of fire,
Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire.”
– William Shakespeare

Please enjoy an audio version of this blog!

 

Love is gentle and soft.

Yet Love is also filled with fire, energy, excitement and hope! Continue reading

Aikido Has No End

Aikido’s founder, Morihei Ueshiba, was born in 1883 in the fishing and farming village of Tanabe, Japan. He was the only surviving son of a prosperous father and cultured mother who considered him their gift from heaven. His premature birth hindered his physical development; even when he was fully grown, he was little more than 5 feet tall.
His father, Yoroku Ueshiba, became concerned about the boy’s small and weak physique and encouraged him to engage in sumo wrestling, swimming and running. As the youth progressed in the sports, he began to realize his physical potential.
Other than mathematics and physics, classroom studies held little interest for the young Morihei Ueshiba. Morihei Ueshiba was a restless spirit in his younger days, charging from one occupation to the next, performing his duties easily but finding no interest in them. At the age of 18, he was drawn to the martial arts, and until his death, the arts continued to delight and nourish him.  Morihei Ueshiba quit his first and second jobs because they were too confining. When he became politically involved in helping local fishermen fight an oppressive new law, his councilman father lost patience. He gave his son some money and told him to find a career that suited him.
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In 1936 Morihei Ueshiba renamed his art aiki budo, and in 1942 he emerged with a mature, modified art—now officially called aikido. The new name is a combination of separate ideas: ai means harmony, ki means spirit or energy, and do means discipline.
In his classes, Morihei Ueshiba discouraged his students from mimicking his movements and forms. Instead, he wanted them to practice a form so many times that it became part of their being. “Learn and forget,” he would say. “Make the technique a part of your body before you move on.”
Through aikido, Morihei Ueshiba developed extraordinary self-defense skills. He could take down and pin opponents of much greater size. He could throw a dozen men simultaneously. He ordered his students to ambush him from eight directions and easily manipulated them to his advantage while his feet stayed within a circle barely encompassing them.
 “Aikido has no end,” he said before he died. “There’s just the beginning and further growth.” The founder of aikido may have passed on, but his art continues to thrive around the world.

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Morihei Ueshiba was born December 14, 1883. Ueshiba was a martial artist and founder of the Japanese martial art of aikido; he is often referred to as “the founder” or “Great Teacher”. Aikido is a synthesis of Ueshiba’s martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Ueshiba’s goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.

Ueshiba developed aikido primarily during the late 1920s through the 1930s through the synthesis of the older martial arts that he had studied. From the end of the war until the 1960s, he worked to promote aikido throughout Japan and abroad. In his classes, Morihei Ueshiba discouraged his students from mimicking his movements and forms. Instead, he wanted them to practice a form so many times that it became part of their being. “Learn and forget,” he would say. “Make the technique a part of your body before you move on.” Ueshiba regularly practiced other spiritual and religious rites as well, and viewed his studies of aikido as part of this spiritual training. He died of cancer of the liver in 1969, he was 86. “Aikido has no end,” he said before he died. “There’s just the beginning and further growth.” The founder of aikido may have passed on, but his art continues to thrive around the world.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “I want the whole person.” – D. J. DePree, founder of Herman Miller

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“Henry Ford said, “bring us your hands, and you can leave everything else at home.”  D.J. rejected that idea and said completely the opposite: “I want all of you here.  I want the whole person.” — J. Kermit Campbell, Former CEO of Herman Miller

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“Be obsessed” – Pat Riley, former basketball coach and current President of the Miami Heat

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“To have a long-term success as a coach or in any position of leadership, you have to be obsessed in some way.” -Pat Riley Continue reading

What Do You Adore? Give it with Passion Like Julie Andrews!

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“I love singing, and I came to absolutely adore it in the later part of my career.”

– Julie Andrews

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Come Promisingly Me

496500_17955004Call me I answer in tones you do not recognize
My focus is sharp though distraction may reign
it is Known, be believed; no further strenuous chastise
the intangible simply, come promisingly to gain Continue reading