Every single thing we do in our lives has a ripple effect. Each word we speak, action we take and thought we think ripples out into the world in one way or another. Often, we don’t know where the ripple is headed, nor whom or what it’s going to touch. Sometimes we make a big ripple, and other times it’s barely noticeable, but it’s important to realize that we do send one out, whether we mean to or not.
A lot of us walk around feeling anonymous when it comes to making any kind of impact in the world. We think that unless we’re some internationally-known celebrity or political figure, nobody will really notice what we’re doing or be affected by it.
I beg to differ.
I live in a neighbourhood where my corner-store clerk always greets his customers with a smile and some friendly chit-chat. You might not think he’s ‘making a difference’ by selling a loaf of bread, a container of milk, or a stick of butter, but you know what? I always feel a bit lighter after leaving that store. Then there’s my pharmacist, who always has a joke and a hearty handshake for his customers, each of whom he addresses by name. And you’re not allowed to leave his store without taking a candy from the candy jar.
These are two examples of good people who, in their little corner of the world, make an effort to connect with people, and to brighten the day of those they encounter. They are sending out a positive ripple effect into the world. Whether their customers leave feeling 1% better or 100% better than when they walked in, the point is: it’s better.
We can all tell when we have an interaction with someone who is trudging through a dreary existence that bores them to tears, or silently suffering in a job, relationship or other circumstances that don’t fulfill them. Even if they’re cordial with us, there’s something about their demeanor that ripples out into the world too. Peoples’ energy – positive or otherwise – rubs off on other people, whether they intend it to or not. That’s just how it works.
I’m not writing this to come down on people who are feeling low or to reprimand people who are putting out a negative ripple. Heck, I’ve had my share of times when I’ve been down in the dumps, just like anybody else. So am I just some Pollyanna who wants the world to be all sunshine and lollipops? Not exactly. I’m just realizing more and more how we truly all are served when each one of us lives a life that makes our heart sing. We all want to feel happy, fulfilled and have lives full of love, and when we live that life, we can’t help but to spread a positive ripple out into the world.
If you find yourself still searching for that feeling of fulfillment, start by looking around you to find the things that are already good in your life and then focus on those things, even if you can only find scraps of evidence to begin with. What you focus your thoughts on is what you bring more of into your life, so when you focus on the things that make you feel good, you’re not only helping yourself, but you’re actually sending a positive ripple effect out into the world too.
Of course we’ll all have ups and downs, and that contrast can be a good thing because it helps us appreciate when the good stuff happens. But if we set the intention to live our best life and to focus on the good and fulfilling parts, we’ll draw more good stuff to us. We all enjoy being around people who make us feel good, so strive to be one of those people whenever you can.
When we squeeze all the joy and love we can out of life, we can’t help but to have it spill back out into the world. Imagine if each one of us were making the effort to live our happiest and most fulfilling experience of life on this planet. I’d want to ride the wave of that ripple for sure.
So what kinds of waters are you jumping into? What kind of ripple are you sending out into the world?