February 3, 2009

The POWER of Intention

This year, I'd really like to get my writing out in front of a larger audience. On January 20th, I was inspired by President Obama who believed in himself, believed in us, and called us to take action. He empowered us to change our lives, change our country and our world. "If it has to be, then it is up to me." I took this to heart as I watched him take the oath of office. First, I jumped around and did a little dance for joy, and then I set about looking for a part-time blogging gig.

With the enormous need for content generation, there are a lot of blogging opportunities out there. Most of the ones I found are non-paid, though I found one fairly quickly with Examiner.com, an on-line newspaper with city-specific news that spans a number of areas from art to food to business, and everything in between. It pays its reporters, Examiners, by click which is a fair and reasonable system and in New York, they had a need in their Business Section. Perfect. Exactly what I want to write about. So I pitched to them my angle on entrepreneurship, specifically social entrepreneurship, and the power it has to transform society. They liked the pitch and several days later I got the job. My first posts will appear this week and I'll keep you informed by revealing weekly topics and overviews of what will be up on Examiner.com.

After applying for the Examiner.com post, I put the last few stamps on 8 letters I had written to social entrepreneurs whom I admire. At my friend, Richard's, urging I composed the letters rather than taking a class on the subject. "Just go out there and talk to people doing the work," he told me. So I walked out my door to the mail drop box on the corner, said a little prayer, and dropped the letters in.

Three days later, I received an email from Pat Christen, the CEO and President of HopeLab, a organization in California that built the video game, Re-mission, to help kids fight cancer. She invited me to come visit when I'm in the Bay Area and we're in the process of setting up a date and time. (Pam Omidyar, the co-founder of HopeLab, will speak at TED next week.)

These two experiences taught me about the power of intention. It is fine to hope for fortuitous events, turns of good luck, and the realization of a dream. But after we acknowledge that hope, it's time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. My mom loves the saying, "God helps those who help themselves." Hope does, too.

If we want change, particularly social change, the journey is best started by looking in the mirror and asking ourselves the question, "what am I willing to do to make a difference?"

This post was written by Christa Avampato, a product developer in the financial services industry. In the future, she would like to parlay her product and service development experience into the world of social entrepreneurship. She is a volunteer blogger with the Literacy 'n' Poverty Project and publishes her own blog on creativity at www.christainnewyork.blogspot.com. Please leave your comments or email christa.avampato@ gmail.com with your questions.

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