I read an article the other day about resolutions. According to the article, social scientists have recently concluded that “willpower is a real form of mental energy powered by glucose in the bloodstream, which is used up as you exert self-control.” It’s interesting to think of willpower as being not only mental but also physiological. We’re depleting our stores of glucose whenever we attempt to pull ourselves away from immediate desires and wishes. (When faced with temptations, it’s like walking your 90 pound dog when there are squirrels in the vicinity). The article’s thesis is pretty intuitive: avoid depleting those precious stores by knowing yourself and your weaknesses better and planning accordingly. I think about my precious glucose from time to time this semester, which is already looking like it’ll be a busy one.
This Spring, I’ll be working for the development team at Greenlights for Nonprofit Success, a nonprofit organization that provides services, consulting and otherwise, to nonprofits in the Central Texas area. It’s going great! On top of my daily duties, I am surrounded by nonprofit “shoptalk” and resources, have access to training sessions and workshops on topics from grant writing to board essentials, and am being thoroughly educated every day on the ins and outs of the industry. Greenlights is a small organization comprised of about 10 people all in love with nonprofits for one reason or another. My own fondness for nonprofits stems (quite simply) from their assertion of hope, which is infused into every mission statement out there. I’m reading a book right now that provides the following statistic, which I think is pretty interesting.
- half the nation’s hospitals
- one-third of its health clinics
- over a quarter of its nursing homes
- nearly half (46%) of higher education institutions
- 80% of individual and family service agencies
- 70% of its vocational rehabilitation services
- 30% of day-care services
- over 90% of its orchestras and operas
- delivering over 70% of its foreign disaster assistance
(taken from Managing at the Leading Edge by Mike Hudson)
To continue on the not-for-profit track, in 2 weeks, I will be interviewing for a post-graduate fellowship with the GASB, the accounting standard-setter for governmental entities (at the state and local levels). I’m really looking forward to my Norwalk adventure. I will definitely post more about this after I return.
This all winds down to the picture I posted. One winter break a few years ago, I tried to take apart my digital camera with the hope of fixing it myself. (Some camera repair shops charge $50 just for a consultation). I made a huge mess of it, but amazingly, I managed (with expert online guidance). I’ve always enjoyed learning about how things work, down to the most minute details. I think that my time at Greenlights and my hopes for this interview coming up are both steps towards taking a closer look.