If you’re a fundraiser or nonprofit marketer with too much to do, how do you take back your time?

Read the first part of this article here.

If you’re going to take back your time, and take back your power, learn about these next six laws from Dr. Henry Cloud, who wrote the book, The One Life Solution.

Law 5: The Law of Motivation. What does this mean?

This is when you really don’t want to do something but for whatever reason, you go along with it. You’d rather be doing something else, but because you’re afraid of angering someone, you do what they ask, whether it’s taking on extra work or staying late. The law of motivation means realizing the essence why you are doing what you are doing.  You can take back your time by realizing that you have been negatively motivated by expectations, either internal or external, and that those need to change.

It can also have a positive aspect, when you are connected to the bigger motivations that govern the smaller ones. Bigger motivations like, “Why am I doing this career?” all the way down to “Why am I going to lunch with this person?”

Law 6: The Law of Evaluation of Pain. What does this mean?

It means you step up and hurt people when you have to.

What do I mean? Let’s say there’s a team member who is not pulling their weight. And it’s obvious someone needs to tell this person that they have to step down, or step aside and let someone else fulfill these tasks.

But people say, “oh, no, I couldn’t do that! This job is all he has! Or it would really hurt him! I can’t hurt him! He’s my friend/grandfather/uncle!”

Yes, it will hurt him. But what’s wrong with that?

What do you mean what’s wrong with that? Hurting people is wrong, isn’t it?

Hurting people is not necessarily a bad thing. Life sometimes hurts. The truth sometimes hurts. But there is a difference in hurt and harm. If you tell him he’s not performing well, and take away some of his responsibilities, it is going to hurt. But sometimes the truth of reality hurts.

Do you feel good when you get painful feedback?


No, sometimes it stings. But if you listen to it and use what it offers you, you are going to be better off for it. It helps you, not harms you. Just like going to the dentist. Hurt can be helpful sometimes. It’s constructive criticism, not unnecessary outbursts of rage. Big difference.

Example: I was at a meeting of poets recently and after the meeting was over I went home and told the poets they needed editors. They didn’t like that! Not at all. But I didn’t do it in a mean way. I did it so that they could be better poets. I get my poetry edited. Because you can’t edit your own stuff. If people think that their work can’t be improved, they’re wrong. It can always be improved. And if they don’t want to improve, then what’s the point of doing it all?

The law of evaluation of pain says that just because someone is screaming doesn’t mean something bad is happening. When a toddler gets put in a time out, the noise can be deafening. I remember when I was working at an international school in Jakarta, Indonesia. We had some toddlers who had been overindulged at home and needed a time out! So I was the designated bad guy and kept them in time out until they had calmed down.


When you say no to a control freak, it is not pretty sometimes. When you set limits with an irresponsible person, he will protest. But just because he cries “hurt” doesn’t meant that you are doing something harmful.

To discipline, to sometimes make necessary decisions that might be painful but are fair and just, is also a part of life. And for you to be effective, fair, just, respected and fruitful, you must be able to do some things that sometimes people are not going to like.

Law 7: The Law of Proactivity. What does this mean?

It means there are two ways to be in the world. You can act, or you can react. Acting is better. One is a cause and the other is a result. Proactivity means you act instead of react to situations. Adults have boundaries, set limits, live out values, and have freedom. Teenagers react and rebel and push against things to find out who they are. They are not autonomous and independent. They are oppositional.

So if you have a problem with someone, instead of saying, “Well, I’ll just wait for them to call me” But a mature response is to move beyond this. Pick up the phone and say, “Do we have a problem? It seems that something is wrong. I would like to talk about the problem, but I would also like to talk about how we can handle conflict in a different way. That would be helpful to me.”

Law 8: The Law of Envy. What does this mean?

The more we are grateful for what we have, the less we envy others. And desire is good. But envy is different. Envy can make you want to destroy those who have what you want.

Instead of trying to find out what you want in life by looking at what others have and thinking, “if only I were them” look at your own heart and see what it is that you truly desire. What fits you? What will really make you happy that has nothing to do with ego or image or status?  When you are motivated by real desire instead of envy, you will have greater self-control.

Law 9: The Law of Activity. What does this mean?

It means if you don’t like the way things are going, then change it. Nobody who has a good career, a good relationship, or a good financial picture got those things by accident. You need to do something to make your reality different. If you do not like your Q1 donation numbers, what are you going to do about it? If you don’t like the way your relationship with someone is going, what are you going to do about it? If it is going to be different, some activity needs to make it different. And remember, adults act, and teenagers react. Which do you want to be?

Law 10: The Law of Exposure. What does this mean?

It means that you need to tell people where you stand. Don’t try to make them guess what you want or what your needs are. Groups have the best outcomes when everyone knows what the expectations are. When we know what is expected and know when we violate it, we perform better. Everyone has boundaries. But not everyone’s boundaries are known. Your fences need to be visible, out in the open. They are seen in your words and your actions. You tell others what you like, don’t like, expect, desire, think want. And then when there is a violation, you let them know, kindly and firmly. What words should you use to enforce your boundaries? Read the next post about boundaries!