How Far Does Your Ripple Effect Go?

Each of us has a positive ripple effect, the effect of a stone cast into the lake of life with the consequent ripples. Those ripple effects emanate from within us. Those ripple effects go further, reach in different directions, and go well beyond what we anticipate or ever fully find out. It can be easy to have a down day and feel like the weight of the world is upon your shoulders, that it is too heavy to hold. It is heavy indeed. Would that heaviness be lighter, if you spent a moment to think about your own ripple effect? Your ripple may start with those closest to you. Then it spreads out to others with whom you interact.

It can even go beyond those you ever speak with. People you affect share what you have said with their connections. You touch people without even meeting them! Touching people without meeting them is the flip side to you being touched by people you have never met. Parents often feel affinity for people they have never met who say caring things to their children. On a larger scale, people with greater public persona can have a broad influence. These people are easy to make yourself small with, diminishing your own effect by comparing it to someone with a greater reach. In reality everyone affects others. The effect can be positive, impactful, enduring or touching. What effect do you have?

Ripples can come from your reading this. A recipient of my March newsletter showed my Apolo Ohno article to her son. The son was intrigued about Apolo’s yawning before competing, so the son checked it out on youtube.com for himself. Now the son, who plays baseball, yawns before he goes up to bat. And his batting average has improved! That is a ripple of Apolo and the newsletter.

There is the story of the teacher who… and often you can just fill in the blank. There is the specific story of the teacher who had all the students write down positive adjectives about everyone in the class. The teacher transcribed those for each student. One student carried that list in his wallet his whole life. This is the power of acknowledgement. This is an effect the teacher had on that student.

Everyday conversations can also ripple. How often do walk away thinking about something the person you were speaking with just said? You deliberate over the words and may even go back and ask the person for clarification. You go back because what that person said is still in your mind. The person who said it has usually moved on and is surprised to hear any reference back to what had been said. The speaker had an effect.

You have a ripple effect with those in your circle. Often people like hearing about that effect. To take this from the other side, many have had a ripple effect on you. How much joy would you feel in sharing the effect others have on you with those people? Of those people, who could you share appreciation with today? You may think the time has passed and it was too long ago. If you still appreciate the effect, today is the perfect day to share. If you give more gratitude for the ripple effects you have received, you may just receive more acknowledgment for the ripple effects you have made. Or you may just feel the joy of coming full circle and expressing your appreciation.

You have a ripple effect. How far does your ripple effect go?

©Caron MacLane 2012