Aristotle wrote, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” Of course, that’s true. There are a whole host of things that are challenging the first times we do them, but become easier as we repeat them. Scientists call it “automaticity.” I’ve been driving for more than 25 years and notwithstanding all the cognitive effort it took when I was 16, it’s pretty easy for me to drive safely now.
William James, the first real American psychologist, said that habits are like the crease in a man’s suit pants or the channels set by the water that came before. “Could the young but realize how soon they will become mere walking bundles of habits, they would give more heed to their conduct while in the plastic state,” James said.
Warren Buffet, the avuncular billionaire, told Caroline Ghosn, cofounder of women's careership startup Levo League, that you should look at the qualities you most admire in others and cultivate those habits in yourself.
"Just imagine you could be given 10 percent of the future earnings of one person you know," Buffett says. Would you pick the smartest person? The fastest runner? No, Buffett says: "You're going to pick the person that has the right habits."
Benjamin Franklin, perhaps the greatest-ever American and a first-rate aphorist said on the topic, “Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.” Franklin really knew how to cut through the crap, didn’t he?
So what are five habits that you as a cause marketer should adopt?
But habits are the classic two-edged sword. Bad habits can be as destructive as good habits are constructive. On Wednesday we’ll talk about five cause habits you should break, and how to go about it.
- You should habitually stay abreast of cause marketing trends and changes.
- You should habitually talk to your sponsors, at least once a week.
- You should habitually think about ways to improve your cause marketing campaigns.
- You should habitually spend time in the company of your constituents gauging what’s meaningful to them about your cause, your sponsors, and your cause marketing.
- You should habitually make all your cause marketing appeals open, transparent, and easy to understand.
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