Ripples #883: Little Choices!
Apr 25, 2016
The little choices of daily life determine our destiny.
-Mary Dixon Thayer, shared by Al in Marinette, WI
Some people say, “What is the sense of our small effort?” They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time. A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words and deeds is like that. No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.
-Dorothy Day, shared by by Lora in Kennebunk, ME
It is tempting to revel in the grand gestures and big moments in our work and in our lives. I admit that sometimes standing on a huge stage in front of a massive audience can cause a surge of energy, and I’ve been known to feel extra proud of those social media posts that received outsized responses.
On my best days, however, I measure the success of my efforts in the smaller, quieter moments: providing encouraging words to someone who is facing big changes in their life, or learning that an unexpected tangent during a talk generated ongoing and useful insights. And while I’m genuinely excited that this message you’re reading right now zooms out to lots and lots of people every Monday, there is a calm and humble joy that settles over me when I hear about a specific issue that helped a single person refresh their outlook or persist through difficulty.
It makes sense to me that we celebrate the marquee events like graduations and retirements and promotions that signal an increase in responsibility and/or opportunity. If you’re getting ready to celebrate one of them: CONGRATS! Just remember to keep in mind that in between the massive milestones and big parties, there are countless ordinary opportunities for gradual progress that will help you and those around maximize the potential of your day and your life. Enjoy the big moments, enjoy the little choices, and enjoy today!
The Ripples Guy
P.S. Oh the irony: as I assemble this issue of Ripples about focusing on small moments over big events, I realize this will zoom in your direction on April 25th, the 19th anniversary of my first day of full-time self employment as a leadership trainer and keynote speaker. Way back in 1997, I had no idea of the possibilities that existed for me…and these weekly splashes of inspiration hadn’t even been conceived. I didn’t know I was going to have this much fun in my work, and I never conceived of having this many people along for the ride. I’ll stick to this week’s theme by thanking you for each Monday that you choose to open your heart and mind to Ripples, and each time you choose to extend the Ripples by passing them along to others. Namaste.