The Four Laws of Volunteerism

"Show of Hands" By Jesse Kuhn from rawtoastdesign.com

"Show of Hands" By Jesse Kuhn from rawtoastdesign.com

When helping out with an unfunded community project — which we do simply because we love it and we want it to exist in the world — everything we do is subject to the Laws of Volunteerism.

These laws, as far as I can tell, are as follows:

Law #1: Our predicted involvement will be bigger than our actual involvement. The energy and excitement that we have at the beginning of a project is rarely sustainable at its peak levels, and the actual time we can invest in a project over the long-term needs to have a realistic bare minimum.

Law #2: We will mostly do things that are either urgent or methodical. Give us a fire to put out, and we’ll jump on it. Give us task to repeat every week, and we’ll turn it into a habit. But ask us to think about something new every day without attaching a major deadline to it?  Yeah, sorry, we’d love to, but maybe you can find someone else to jump in…

Law #3: We need to see that our work is helping others in order to keep doing it. As volunteers, we are fueled by the positive impact we have on others, and we lose momentum when that’s harder to see. I think the single biggest mistake we made in the first year of one of my current projects was not creating a smaller version of the marketplace that we could release much sooner.

Law #4: Real life will get in the way. Job stress, moving, breakups, illness, overwhelm, family issues, school, travel, projects, personal transitions, and other forms of Real Life don’t stop knocking. Ever. Volunteering is a commitment, but it’s a rather secondary commitment to, say, staying alive and healthy, and we have to remain flexible as our own availabilities change.

These laws aren’t so bad. As long as we remember them and respect them, we can find our way.

(based on The Process, the Laws, and Dreaming vs. Doing from my personal blog.)

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The Four Laws of Volunteerism

"Show of Hands" By Jesse Kuhn from rawtoastdesign.com

"Show of Hands" By Jesse Kuhn from rawtoastdesign.com

When helping out with an unfunded community project — which we do simply because we love it and we want it to exist in the world — everything we do is subject to the Laws of Volunteerism.

These laws, as far as I can tell, are as follows:

Law #1: Our predicted involvement will be bigger than our actual involvement. The energy and excitement that we have at the beginning of a project is rarely sustainable at its peak levels, and the actual time we can invest in a project over the long-term needs to have a realistic bare minimum.

Law #2: We will mostly do things that are either urgent or methodical. Give us a fire to put out, and we’ll jump on it. Give us task to repeat every week, and we’ll turn it into a habit. But ask us to think about something new every day without attaching a major deadline to it?  Yeah, sorry, we’d love to, but maybe you can find someone else to jump in…

Law #3: We need to see that our work is helping others in order to keep doing it. As volunteers, we are fueled by the positive impact we have on others, and we lose momentum when that’s harder to see. I think the single biggest mistake we made in the first year of one of my current projects was not creating a smaller version of the marketplace that we could release much sooner.

Law #4: Real life will get in the way. Job stress, moving, breakups, illness, overwhelm, family issues, school, travel, projects, personal transitions, and other forms of Real Life don’t stop knocking. Ever. Volunteering is a commitment, but it’s a rather secondary commitment to, say, staying alive and healthy, and we have to remain flexible as our own availabilities change.

These laws aren’t so bad. As long as we remember them and respect them, we can find our way.

(based on The Process, the Laws, and Dreaming vs. Doing from my personal blog.)

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The Four Laws of Volunteerism

"Show of Hands" By Jesse Kuhn from rawtoastdesign.com

"Show of Hands" By Jesse Kuhn from rawtoastdesign.com

When helping out with an unfunded community project — which we do simply because we love it and we want it to exist in the world — everything we do is subject to the Laws of Volunteerism.

These laws, as far as I can tell, are as follows:

Law #1: Our predicted involvement will be bigger than our actual involvement. The energy and excitement that we have at the beginning of a project is rarely sustainable at its peak levels, and the actual time we can invest in a project over the long-term needs to have a realistic bare minimum.

Law #2: We will mostly do things that are either urgent or methodical. Give us a fire to put out, and we’ll jump on it. Give us task to repeat every week, and we’ll turn it into a habit. But ask us to think about something new every day without attaching a major deadline to it?  Yeah, sorry, we’d love to, but maybe you can find someone else to jump in…

Law #3: We need to see that our work is helping others in order to keep doing it. As volunteers, we are fueled by the positive impact we have on others, and we lose momentum when that’s harder to see. I think the single biggest mistake we made in the first year of one of my current projects was not creating a smaller version of the marketplace that we could release much sooner.

Law #4: Real life will get in the way. Job stress, moving, breakups, illness, overwhelm, family issues, school, travel, projects, personal transitions, and other forms of Real Life don’t stop knocking. Ever. Volunteering is a commitment, but it’s a rather secondary commitment to, say, staying alive and healthy, and we have to remain flexible as our own availabilities change.

These laws aren’t so bad. As long as we remember them and respect them, we can find our way.

(based on The Process, the Laws, and Dreaming vs. Doing from my personal blog.)

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“Show of Hands” By Jesse Kuhn from rawtoastdesign.com

"Show of Hands" By Jesse Kuhn from rawtoastdesign.com

Keep browsing by Category:
No Comments »

The Four Laws of Volunteerism

When helping out with an unfunded community project — which we do simply because we love it and we want it to exist in the world — everything we do is subject to the Laws of Volunteerism.

These laws, as far as I can tell, are as follows:

Law #1: Our predicted involvement will be bigger than our actual involvement. The energy and excitement that we have at the beginning of a project is rarely sustainable at its peak levels, and the actual time we can invest in a project over the long-term needs to have a realistic bare minimum.

Law #2: We will mostly do things that are either urgent or methodical. Give us a fire to put out, and we’ll jump on it. Give us task to repeat every week, and we’ll turn it into a habit. But ask us to think about something new every day without attaching a major deadline to it?  Yeah, sorry, we’d love to, but maybe you can find someone else to jump in…

Law #3: We need to see that our work is helping others in order to keep doing it. As volunteers, we are fueled by the positive impact we have on others, and we lose momentum when that’s harder to see. I think the single biggest mistake we made in the first year of one of my current projects was not creating a smaller version of the marketplace that we could release much sooner.

Law #4: Real life will get in the way. Job stress, moving, breakups, illness, overwhelm, family issues, school, travel, projects, personal transitions, and other forms of Real Life don’t stop knocking. Ever. Volunteering is a commitment, but it’s a rather secondary commitment to, say, staying alive and healthy, and we have to remain flexible as our own availabilities change.

These laws aren’t so bad. As long as we remember them and respect them, we can find our way.

(based on The Process, the Laws, and Dreaming vs. Doing from my personal blog.)

Keep browsing by Category:
No Comments »

The Four Laws of Volunteerism

When helping out with an unfunded community project — which we do simply because we love it and we want it to exist in the world — everything we do is subject to the Laws of Volunteerism.

These laws, as far as I can tell, are as follows:

Law #1: Our predicted involvement will be bigger than our actual involvement. The energy and excitement that we have at the beginning of a project is rarely sustainable at its peak levels, and the actual time we can invest in a project over the long-term needs to have a realistic bare minimum.

Law #2: We will mostly do things that are either urgent or methodical. Give us a fire to put out, and we’ll jump on it. Give us task to repeat every week, and we’ll turn it into a habit. But ask us to think about something new every day without attaching a major deadline to it?  Yeah, sorry, we’d love to, but maybe you can find someone else to jump in…

Law #3: We need to see that our work is helping others in order to keep doing it. As volunteers, we are fueled by the positive impact we have on others, and we lose momentum when that’s harder to see. I think the single biggest mistake we made in the first year of one of my current projects was not creating a smaller version of the marketplace that we could release much sooner.

Law #4: Real life will get in the way. Job stress, moving, breakups, illness, overwhelm, family issues, school, travel, projects, personal transitions, and other forms of Real Life don’t stop knocking. Ever. Volunteering is a commitment, but it’s a rather secondary commitment to, say, staying alive and healthy, and we have to remain flexible as our own availabilities change.

As long as we remember these laws, and as long as we vow never to try to break or transcend them (because that doesn’t work — at least not sustainably), then everything we do has hope.

(based on The Process, the Laws, and Dreaming vs. Doing from my personal blog.)

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The Four Laws of Volunteerism

When helping out with an unfunded community project — simply because we love it and want it to exist in the world — everything we do is subject to the Laws of Volunteerism.

These laws, as far as I can tell, are as follows:

Law #1: Our predicted involvement will be bigger than our actual involvement. The energy and excitement that we have at the beginning of a project is rarely sustainable at its peak levels, and the actual time we can invest in a project over the long-term needs to have a realistic bare minimum.

Law #2: We will mostly do things that are either urgent or methodical. Give us a fire to put out, and we’ll jump on it. Give us task to repeat every week, and we’ll turn it into a habit. But ask us to think about something new every day without attaching a major deadline to it?  Yeah, sorry, we’d love to, but maybe you can find someone else to jump in…

Law #3: We need to see that our work is helping others in order to keep doing it. As volunteers, we are fueled by the positive impact we have on others, and we lose momentum when that’s harder to see. I think the single biggest mistake we made in the first year of one of my current projects was not creating a smaller version of the marketplace that we could release much sooner.

Law #4: Real life will get in the way. Job stress, moving, breakups, illness, overwhelm, family issues, school, travel, projects, personal transitions, and other forms of Real Life don’t stop knocking. Ever. Volunteering is a commitment, but it’s a rather secondary commitment to, say, staying alive and healthy, and we have to remain flexible as our own availabilities change.

As long as we remember these laws, and as long as we vow never to try to break or transcend them (because that doesn’t work — at least not sustainably), then everything we do has hope.

(based on The Process, the Laws, and Dreaming vs. Doing from my personal blog.)

Keep browsing by Category:
No Comments »

The Four Laws of Volunteerism

When helping out with an unfunded community project — simply because we love it and want it to exist in the world — everything we do is subject to the Laws of Volunteerism.

These laws, as far as I can tell, are as follows:

Law #1: Our predicted involvement will be bigger than our actual involvement. The energy and excitement that we have at the beginning of a project is rarely sustainable at its peak levels, and the actual time we can invest in a project over the long-term needs to have a realistic bare minimum.

Law #2: We will mostly do things that are either urgent or methodical. Give us a fire to put out, and we’ll jump on it. Give us task to repeat every week, and we’ll turn it into a habit. But ask us to think about something new every day without attaching a major deadline to it?  Yeah, sorry, we’d love to, but maybe you can find someone else to jump in…

Law #3: We need to see that our work is helping others in order to keep doing it. As volunteers, we are fueled by the positive impact we have on others, and we lose momentum when that’s harder to see. I think the single biggest mistake we made in the first year of one of my current projects was not creating a smaller version of the marketplace that we could release much sooner.

Law #4: Real life will get in the way. Job stress, moving, breakups, illness, overwhelm, family issues, school, travel, projects, personal transitions, and other forms of Real Life don’t stop knocking. Ever. Volunteering is a commitment, but it’s a rather secondary commitment to, say, staying alive and healthy, and we have to remain flexible as our own availabilities change.

They’re not terrible. We can work with these. We just have to keep our expectations in check.

(based on The Process, the Laws, and Dreaming vs. Doing from my personal blog.)

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