The Activist Heart | Activism 101-9: Evaluating Success and Failure
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Activism 101-9: Evaluating Success and Failure

Evaluating Success and Failure

Video Transcript

Was it worth it? I’m asking you a question. Would you do it again?

I’m David Marquis, this is the Activist Heart.

How do you measure success and failure as an activist? How do you evaluate what you are doing?

In an earlier video, I spoke of the importance of achievable goals, of measurable goals. And these days, it’s all about metrics and data and analytics, which are of great value.

The simple truth is that, as an activist, some measure are well, simple. Did you win the election? Did you change a law? How about the zoning case in your neighborhood? Or the fundraiser for your non-profit? Did you reach your goal?

That’s pretty straight forward.

But if you look into the activist heart, your activist heart, you know it’s more complex than ones and zeroes, and wins and losses. These are level one questions. Let’s look at level two.

If your recent activities were a success, what were the reasons for it? Adequate funding? The right mix of people? Clear goals and well-planned execution? Or did you just get lucky and have good weather?

If you did not have success, what would you do differently? If you had it to do over, what would you change? These are questions not only of objective fact and data, but of reflection.

Here’s another. Win or lose, did you recruit young people to your cause? And if you did, are you mentoring them and nurturing them? Or are they just running errands for you? One thing is certain – if you don’t bring in young people, your cause won’t have much of a future.

Here’s another. Did you follow up and follow through? Did you finish? Did you take the time to call and thank those legislators who voted with you for your bill? This is where so many people fall short these days because of all the distractions available to us.

So level one questions, and level two. Now level three, where there is really only one question:

Was it worth it?

When the campaign or the event or the project is over and you wake up exhausted, and it takes days for you to even begin to feel normal again, you have to look yourself in the eye and ask that question. Was it worth it? Would you do it again? Level one and level two questions really don’t matter unless you are certain that the answer to the last question is yes.

That is your question to answer. No one can answer it for you. Study your data, but know your heart. We’ll be back.

In this video, David discusses the ultimate question we must answer when all is said and done: was it worth it?

Assignment:  Are your current plans and actions something you would be willing to do again, regardless of the outcome?

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