August 29, 2011

The Ripple Effect

One small action can create dynamic change!

The morning was crisp quiet and breathtaking.  There’s nothing like waking up next to a high mountain lake.  The air is so fresh and the reflective qualities of the water are quite unique.  Check out this view of South Sister from Moraine Lake in the beautiful Cascade Mountain Range of Oregon.

After breakfast my son David and I went down to the lake to refresh our water supply before we headed to the South Sister Summit with our wives.  As David placed the water purifier in the water I was reminded of the Ripple Effect.  

The Ripple Effect – is when you upset a perfectly still body of water with an action – the energy of the action moves through-out the entire body of water.  If you look closely at this next picture you can see how the ripples are moving and changing the perfectly clear reflective image of the mountain as they pass through the lake.

Consider how the Ripple Effect works in our lives.  If we set in motion a certain decision or action it ripples through our life – with positive and negative impact.  

Check out this example:

  • If I come home from a stressful day and snap at my wife and kids.  The negative ripple effect is released and it changes the attitude of everyone in the home.  My children anticipating my arrival are now offended and hurt which impacts their ability to complete their homework, how they treat each-other and even how they sleep.  My wife is offended and her mood shifts from soft and affectionate to cold and collected.  The dinner table that usually contains lively interaction and sharing of each-others day is now quiet and somber.  What a bummer! It could have been different.  
  • What if I had stopped on the way home at a park and walked for 15 minutes unloading the stress of my day.  Praying as I walk asking for divine assistance to refresh so I can bring strength rather than offend my family.  I jump in the car and head home with a refreshed perspective and a renewed mission to “lift-up” everyone at home.  I hit the door and grab my Bride and give her a big kiss and hug – telling her how much I appreciate her and her beauty.  I wrestle with the kids and pet the dog.  Imagine now the Ripple Effect in my home?  

Whether we recognize it or not the Ripple Effect is happening right now! How about the ripples your releasing at your place of work – in your friendships with extended family.  There are ripple effects even in our own thinking. We let wrong thoughts exist and they ripple across our mind and rob us of joy and creativity.

Here are some tips to use the Ripple Effect to your advantage.

  • Be proactive and not reactive in your life and leadership decisions.  Consider Proverbs 21:5 “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”  The old saying is true; “haste leads to waste” and in my experience some pretty turbulent waters.  Slow down and consider your steps and the Ripple Effect.
  • Use the Ripple Effect to your advantage.  Consider each day what positive ripples you can create in your personal and professional life.  It’s fun and quite effective.

I trust you have been enjoying this series of Strength.  I would love to hear your comments – especially as you put into practice the practical advise in these blog entries.  

Make it an incredible week,

Coach Greg