Follow your passion. Work on an issue that you deeply care about. Have Fun.
If you don’t know what your passion is, an easy way to find the citizen issue(s) that you are passionate about is to simply notice what you complain about. Complaining, anger, frustration, etc. are often forms of wasted passion. Most people, unfortunately, do little beyond complaining or whining. They “blow off steam” and waste their passion. An effective citizen naturally wants to use his passion positively, creatively and enjoyably. We can all be much more powerful citizens, if we learn how. Do something creative and powerful with your passion; stop wasting it.
Become an expert in your area of interest. “Knowledge is Power.”
This will lead you to accomplishment and satisfaction as a citizen activist. Learn the history of your issue including especially what has been tried in the past. What succeeded and what failed? Too often new activists make the same old mistakes out of ignorance – and laziness. They fail to study and learn from the past. Study your issue and know what you are talking about. This will enable you, for instance, to discover and use effective strategies and action, to defeat in a debate any opposition on your issue, such as politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists, etc. Being an expert on your issue will also help you to convince other citizens to join you. Becoming a powerful expert on your issue may automatically heal many of the psychological barriers to citizenship such as pessimism, fear, shyness, etc. When you have knowledge, power and skill you naturally start having more success, satisfaction and fun as a citizen activist.
Make a commitment to being an effective citizen for the rest of your life. Sign a Pledge Card.
In order to keep good volunteers and motivate them to become educated on your issue, you must use PLEDGE CARDS in your organization. Suggest to all volunteers that they dedicate what they are doing to someone(s) that they love. A pledge card is a contract and written promise that a person will stay with their own commitment to citizenship for the rest of their life. And they will stay with a particular organization for a certain amount of time and spend a certain amount of time each week or month studying and serving. Only with commitments and signed contracts do most people keep their word for the long term. Without a contract most people do not follow through and keep their promises. This is true when we enter into a marriage, buy a house or car.
Dedicate your citizenship to your children, your mother or someone else that you love and respect. Tell them you have done so; give them a copy of your signed Citizen Pledge Card. All citizen organizations should create and provide voluntary Pledge Cards for their members to sign – designed appropriately for the particular organization.
Join a Small Support Group of Other Effective Citizens
Talking and meeting regularly with other people that you like and respect and who have agreed to support you in keeping your commitments – and be supported by you, will help anyone be a more powerful, effective and satisfied citizen. A small group can help you network and make beneficial contacts in your area of citizenship interest and help you quickly find and use the educational materials you need to become an expert in your area(s) of interest.