I am on a journey to live a life I love and to fill my life with the things that truly bring me joy... my dream job, loving relationships, financial abundance, a healthy mind and body, and a deep spiritual connection with all that is. I am living consciously to create a life filled with all the things I love.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Book Review: Leaving Microsoft to Change the World

I've been reading a book called Leaving Microsoft to Change the World. It's been such an inspiring book that I feel moved to do something to make a big difference in this world.

Perhaps for me it will be setting up the new non-profit that I was asked to undertake to help feed the homeless and to help them get back on their feet. Helping the homeless is one of those things I've felt called and compelled to do for many years, but was not sure what I can do other than go to soup kitchens and donate some money. Last year, however, an idea came to me that perhaps I can build shelters for the homeless, designed with their well-being in mind, to really support their transition from homelessness to independence. I thought this might be something that I might begin to think about 5 or 10 years down the road. That would give me enough time to pay off my student loans and have enough capital saved up to do something really impactful.

What I'm finding, though, is that when you decide to do something, the resources somehow start to appear to make it all happen. It's the decision to do it that gets the ball rolling. After feeling inspired by the idea that came to me last year, I made a decision that someday I would help the homeless and start a non-profit organization. I didn't know how, I didn't know when, but I knew I would do it. And I knew that I would need some experience in the non-profit world first for me to even think of undertaking this task, but I didn't necessarily want a job in the non-profit sector. I enjoyed my working in the business community, but still wanted the experience. Maybe I could sit on a board of a non-profit someday?

The break came to me last year. My mom asked me to attend a benefit dinner for a charity, and that my attendance was specifically requested. I had no idea why someone would want me there, and my ticket was already paid for. Why not? So I went. I was seated next to the president of the organization who talked to me all night. I wasn't sure why the president would be so interested in talking to me, but I was flattered.

A few weeks later, I received an email from the president to meet up for coffee. I wondered what she might want from me? I agreed, and we met at a Starbucks downtown. She told me a lot about the organization, which helps the Korean immigrant community by providing home care for senior citizens, health screening, legal help, feeding programs, children programs. They did a lot.

Then, the reason for her inviting me for coffee finally came up. She asked me if I would consider being a member of the board. They were interested in getting the younger generation involved and needed some board members to be the voice of the younger generation. Wow, I didn't expect that one. Hmm...maybe this was the experience I was asking for. I was just about to turn 30. Maybe it was the right time for me to get involved after all.

So now I have a good understanding of what happens at non-profit board meetings. There's a lot more to it than I had initially expected. I was grateful for the experience. A few months later, I was approached by another person whose organization I had just started to get involved with to help construct a mission statement for the organization. Due to a busy schedule, I wasn't able to get to this until a few months later, but eventually created one and sent it along.

A few weeks ago, I was asked by this organization to help create a 501(c)(3) for the organization. I was surprised that they wanted my help with this organization, and to my surprise, they even wanted me put myself in the role of President (if I was okay with having that title). Wow, interesting. I had asked to create a non-profit organization a year ago, and all the pieces fell into place to make this happen within 1 year. Amazing. The people and finances are already prepared, and all I need to do is put in the work to do all the legal paperwork and help set up the organization. I'm sure there will be much more work to do once we get the non-profit status, but I've been given a task I can help out with.

Reading this book by John Wood is now reigniting my passion to take this role seriously, and that maybe I could make a big difference in this world. I have a bunch of other projects still on my plate, but I'm going to set up some time for this one once I can get my printer set up in my new home.

If you haven't read the book, I highly recommend it. I haven't finished it yet, but I couldn't wait until I was done reading it to start writing about it. It's that inspirational. You can hear John Wood talking about his experience in the video below.

You can buy the book on Amazon: Leaving Microsoft to Change the World

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