Conserving Species by Empowering the Heroes and Sheroes of the Planet

Home / Staying Motivated

“How to Keep Motivated”
By Wally Van Sickle

I’ve learned a few things during the last 17 years of doing conservation work with regards to staying motivated and I would like to share them with you. I believe it is very important we remain motivated as we go into the next millennium.

1) Be an ecorealist – the core principles are that logic, not sentiment, is the best tool for safeguarding nature (we cannot do conservation by emotion). That accurate understanding of the actual state of the environment will serve the earth better than expressions of panic (rely on facts not fear). And that in order to form a constructive alliance with nature men and women must learn to think like nature (in thinking like nature realize, nature has done some seriously nasty things to planet earth that make our actions pale in comparison and life has always continued).

2) Do not be afraid of change – change is one of nature’s rules, she changes all the time, it is inevitable and you can always find a way to use it to your advantage if you try hard enough – do not spend tons of time and energy trying to keep things the way they were.

3) Think of problems simply as new information, not bad or good- they are simply lessons we need to learn in order to create a better future for all of us.

4) Don’t be afraid to fail, it is very limiting; if you have good ideas and good visions keep that in focus. There will be stumbling blocks along the way but once again, they are just lessons that will help you do better conservation work.

5) Be a positive leader – you are all leaders of volunteers. If the leaders are pessimistic about the future of conservation so will be the followers.

6) Take time for your self away from conservation. You are all special people and deserve special time running, hiking, fishing, whatever. I like to meditate a half hour every morning and evening.

7) Believe in your ideas, dreams, and visions. If you don’t believe nobody else is going to either.

Do not underestimate the power of the small, the ability of an individual – you – to go out into the world and make a difference. We often equate largeness with power, rather than seeing largeness is in fact a limitation to change – think of smallness as a virtue not a limitation. One of the IDEA WILD philosophies is that we do not know the limits of the power of the small perhaps there are none.”