Monday, April 9, 2007

Becoming and Thinking

"We become what we think about."

That quote by Earl Nightingale, which has gotten me through some of my greatest life challenges, serves a slightly different purpose today: inspiring me to focus on exciting new opportunities that lie ahead.

I’m working hard to keep my eye on my future (doctoral work – including dissertation research -- and a new life chapter that will follow that major accomplishment) while juggling multiple daily responsibilities. Some days are easier than others, but I know the investment will pay deep dividends in the long run. I also know that the ‘extras’ that take up so much of my limited free time – like that fast-approaching dissertation – ultimately feed my mind and spirit as I anticipate the future.

My eyes wandered to a copy of the Nightingale quote posted above my desk the other day. It occurred to me that these words also have potential to inspire nonprofits – and nonprofit leaders – to be more deliberate in making sure that they are making time to think about the future. It’s a challenge, to be sure. So many urgent needs of today fill our meeting agendas, demanding our attention and quick decision. We must attend to those important issues, but we must be diligent in creating and using time to think together about the future. It shouldn’t be a once-a-year kind of phenomenon, either. Boards create a better future – for their organization and those it serves – by thinking about and preparing for it.

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