Seattle, Philanthropy, and Next Actions

seattle-art-museumI finally took a well-needed break from work and took a trip to Seattle.  There’s a few places I feel such a sense of purpose, one, camping in the outdoors, another is IHOP in Kansas City, and then there’s Seattle.

Why those two cities, one a conservative Bible belt city and one a new age haven?  In Seattle I feel creative, like I can take on the world, and from the Christian perspective I know God gave the ocean and nature and put in man a sense of innovation.

top-pot-donutsUpon a far less purposeful search for Top Pot Donuts, I noticed the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on the Google map.  And so after getting my Top Pot fix and meeting up with my brother who lives in that city, I checked out the Foundation Visitor Center.  I walked in awestruck.  I don’t know the specifics and the hows and whys, but I know this is my heart.

The place is like an OMSI for philanthropy, with lots of interactive technology, displays and quotes.  It has stations to help people generate ideas and inspire.  Imagine the effect of taking grade-school students on a field-trip here as opposed to say, the bakery.  Why not inspire kids to want to change the world while they’re young?

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-"Dad, maybe we can do something about this."

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-Working together to find innovative solutionsn

It’s not the specific non-profit causes they support which gets me excited, some of which I like, some of which I don’t care for.  It’s the idea of using wealth to change problems in society.  While for-profit companies occasionally emphasize money at the expense of ethics, non-profits at times tend to not respect money enough.  Why not interact the ingenuity and financial savvy of the businesses and the passion of the non-profits in the field and get the best of both worlds?

If we had more access to wealth, financially wisdom and technology we could do a lot.  What if we could…?

  • Fund projects to create housing for ex-prostitutes trying to get off the street by converting existing domestic abuse shelters and increasing the security?
  • Use the latest media and marketing resources to create greater awareness to society as to what really going on with human trafficking?
  • Use technology to help homeless find jobs, help jumpstart many more businesses in third world countries, and help fund education (in business skills as well as traditional academics) for orphanages?
  • _____________________________________…Now you fill in the next idea.

portage bay at night

Next Actions

Sitting at Golden GardensOkay, I don’t know how it’s all going to happen, but we can dream and we can do the next action.  Next actions are sometimes referred to in time management where one has a goal and the next action is a step towards that goal.  The next action has a deadline and a specific person responsible for the action.

You can apply this to your dream by focusing on the smallest step toward a grand scheme and then following through on it.  Many get our case about not doing any action and then we just feel overwhelmed not knowing where to start and then feel guilty.  That’s why we procrastinate.

Breaking it down to a tiny next action makes things possible.  Perhaps the steps are difficult, but still doable.  And yes, prayer and worship do play a major part.

My dreams are to get involved in a start-up or something entrepreneurial or at least some type of internet marketing, and have more resources to be involved in social justice.  I don’t see those happening at the moment, but my next seasonal actions are to get through business classes, write an instructional guitar book to sell online and eventually to get into a different field.  My next immediate actions this week are to work on my book, complete my homework, exercise, and practice writing and photography skills.

Now you no longer have an excuse to be not following your dreams.  What’s your next action?  Write it down and follow through.  If you want better follow-up get with a buddy or a group and share next actions.  Dream big, work in small chunks.

bike at night

Category: Dreams and Goals, Money and Business, Philanthropy, Photography | 1 comment

  • Elizabeth says:

    Your photos are great! I’m impressed with your goals and action plans, too.