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Discipline

Ripples #1111: Doing the Work!

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Ripples #1111: Doing the Work!
Sep 7, 2020

PEBBLE
It isn’t about the breakthrough. It’s about doing the work that allows you to break through.
-Shaun Blokker (aka Shaun T), shared by Mary in Fitchburg, WI

BOULDER
If you believe in what you are doing, then let nothing hold you up in your work. Much of the best work of the world has been done against seeming impossibilities. The thing is to get the work done.
-Dale Carnegie, shared by Kaitlin in Littleton, CO

PONDER
If today is a holiday for you, Happy Labour Day!

Especially in a weird, hard, strange year like this one, I hope this holiday provides us all a little bit of a break before we dive into the fall. This holiday serves to recognize the important contributions of the American labor movement (who fought for five-day work weeks which allowed for the break we now know as weekends), and in normal years provides many of us a transition from “summer fun mode” to fall work/school mode.

I know this has been far from a normal year, and I know many of us weren’t able to extract as much FUN from our summer as we wanted. We still have many struggles to face, and we aren’t as rested as we usually are.

Still, fall is approaching and I believe that some possibilities exist for doing good work. We may need to adjust our expectations and cut ourselves and others a little slack. AND, we can choose to remember that even in tough times there are things to learn, skills to refine, projects to tackle, and growth possibilities that yearn to be embraced.

If you’re reading this on Monday morning and you have the day off…let these quotes and ideas remain in your inbox as you enjoy the holiday. Perhaps on Tuesday or Wednesday you can revisit this and embrace an opportunity for DOING THE WORK!

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #980: Action!

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Ripples #980: Action!
March 5, 2018

PEBBLE
Too much rest is rust.
-Sir Walter Scott, shared by Doreen in Minnesota

BOULDER
Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.
-Bradley Whitford
shared by Pete in Ouray, CO via Values.com

PONDER

One of our longtime readers reached out to me recently with this message:

“Paul, I’m a big fan and a longtime subscriber. I’ve seen you speak a few times and I look forward to each Monday’s edition of Ripples because it often offers good advice, whether it is challenging us to step away from the madness, or hit the time-out button to just breathe and have some ‘me time.’ I fear, however, that many of us are quick to step away but sometimes need encouragement to do the opposite: to engage and actively pursue a solution to the task at hand…. Sometimes I would like to open up Ripples and find a message that tells me to get myself in gear and start kicking butt!”

Ok, Lee! This issue of Ripples goes out to you and all the other Ripplers who are pretty darn good at STEPPING BACK when they need, but may need an occasional boost for STEPPING FORWARD and STEPPING UP to tackle the important tasks of improving themselves and the world around them. Taking action isn’t always easy, and doesn’t always move you in a direct line toward success. Still, summoning the courage and strength to take action usually allows us to grow, and it often helps us gain wisdom as well.

Are you in? Well, okay then…. stop reading this AND GO DO SOMETHING ALREADY!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. I deeply appreciate that a handful of folks respond to Ripples each week: I read every single message! I strive to respond individually when I have time, particularly to readers who haven’t reached out previously. Sometimes my kooky schedule requires me to skim and store rather than reflect and respond. Still: I’m grateful!… Read More!

Ripples #972: The Nth Time!

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Ripples #972: The Nth Time!
Jan 8, 2018
PEBBLE
The Nth time’s the charm!
-David Keith
written and shared by David in Carlsbad, CA
BOULDER
The prizes of life are at the end of each journey, not near the beginning; and it is not given to me to know how many steps are necessary in order to reach my goal. Failure I may still encounter at the thousandth step, yet success hides behind the next bend in the road. Never will I know how close it lies unless I turn the corner. Always will I take another step. If that is of no avail I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult. I will persist until I succeed.
-Og Mandino
shared by Toby in Chicago, IL
link to Toby’s post: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10214496984075007
PONDER
During leadership and personal development presentations, I often speak about the importance of patience and persistence when trying to learn a new skill or develop a new habit. Since each of us learns and grows at our own pace, we never know exactly how long it is going to take or how many times we’ll need to practice something before we get it just right. Even though we don’t know the exact amount in advance, there is usually a finite number of attempts required. Since the exact number it will actually take is unknown, we could think of it as the variable N. We can’t really know the precise value of N until we finally achieve the success we’re seeking. Still, each attempt brings us one step closer to the Nth time when we cross the finish line.
I eventually started to apply the same concept in communication and team building sessions.  When we are trying to influence others, we might be tempted to measure our success by counting only the times when someone immediately changes their thinking or behavior after a single conversation. The problem is that it usually takes a number of exposures to a new idea before someone is ready to seriously consider perspectives that are different than their own.  If, however, we consider the possibility that a particular insight we share today could eventually help someone revise their perspective or habits down the road, then every single conversation has the capacity to inch someone closer to an Nth time that provides a real breakthrough.
If you’re attempting to make some kind of change change, whether it is learning a new skill, adopting a habit, or influencing others around you, remember that growth is almost always incremental and each baby step is important even if it isn’t sufficient to observe measurable improvement. Each failure helps us learn a little more, and each small success moves us closer to the larger goal. Patience and persistence can often help you more than think you initially realize. Hang in there, and keep at it!
Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. This concept also inspires me to continue assembling
Read More!

Ripples #952: Make Your Bed!

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Ripples #952: Make Your Bed!
Aug 21, 2017

PEBBLE
Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tiptoe if you must, but take a step. -Naeem Callaway

BOULDER
Sitting up is better than laying down.
Standing is better than sitting.
Walking is better than standing;
Running is my therapy!
This is literally the mental game I play whenever I want to make time for stress relief in my busy life: ANYTHING is better than NOTHING!
-Tracy Gillson
written and shared by Tracy in Santa Clara, CA

PONDER
During a recent chat with my friend and colleague, Toby, we discussed the concept of “key habits” that set you up for a successful day. For example, I’ve known for years that one of the most important things I can do in the morning to ensure a successful day is to MAKE MY BED. It gives me an immediate sense of accomplishment, it contributes a sense of order and calm that I can sense each time I enter my bedroom throughout the day; finally, and perhaps most importantly, it virtually guarantees I won’t be tempted to crawl back into bed and further delay the start of my day.

My plan to share this concept in this week’s Ripples was serendipitously confirmed when I saw an inspiring video that several friends had posted on social media over the past few days. It’s a clip from a commencement address given by U.S. Navy Admiral’s William H. McRaven to the Class of 2014 at University of Texas-Austin. It starts with this line, “If you want to change the world, start off my making your bed.” Nothing like finding a Navy Admiral to back up my strategy!

[The six minute clip is here; you can also watch the entire 19 minute speech here.]

I dare you to make time to ponder your current routines and habits to see if you can identify a simple chore or task that would set you up for a more successful day. If you find one, the follow up dare is to commit yourself to doing that task every single morning for 90 days (or a month or even a week if 90 days seems like too long). If you find that task does indeed ensure a more successful start to the day, you’ll already be well on your way to making it a more engrained habit. If it turns out to be not as useful as you thought it would, set that one aside and then try using a different small task as your day-starter. Try it, and let me know how it goes!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #899: Curating Your Life!

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Ripples #899: Curating Your Life!
Aug 15, 2016

PEBBLE
Coming to understand that there are usually a few good choices – and then there’s the one you pick, commit to, and make great – is the best way to make flexible, optimal, and good decisions in life.
-Marissa Mayer, shared by Catherine in Fitchburg, WI

BOULDER
Museums become amazing by gathering brilliant art in one location. Someone has to say no to certain pieces and collections. A curator is involved, making conscious decisions about what should be displayed and what should go. There’s an editing process. It is more often more important to those things that you say no to. What you leave out, whether it be in business, design, art, film, music,…and life. Choose what is truly essential. Remove things that are not. Continue editing. Then do it again.
-Michael Dunn (slightly adapted)

PONDER
As many of us get ready to dive into another academic year of school and/or work, we’re faced once again with choices about courses, projects, and/or priorities. One of the challenges in planning is that there are an infinite number options to explore and yet a finite amount of time and energy with which to pursue them.

This week’s boulder appeared in a LinkedIn post a few weeks ago just after I had visited the famous and fabulous Art Institute of Chicago while on vacation with my boyfriend. Michael’s analogy struck me as a creative and useful way to approach my schedule for the fall. There is so much more that I would like to achieve than I could possibly squeeze into a few months, especially if I want to produce “brilliant” work. Instead of overcommitting and perhaps setting myself up for failure, I set out to curate my calendar and accept that some things will need to wait for a later exhibition.

If you’re struggling as well, I invite you to spend some time this week reviewing your entire collection of possibilities. Mindfully assemble priorities that complement each other, and remember that determining which tasks you’ll need to set aside for now is a challenging yet courageous part of assembling a successful life that you’ll be proud to display. Happy curating!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
We’re always seeking fresh quotes to add to our collection, so if you encounter useful wisdom, please take a moment to share it with us by replying to this email OR using this link: http://theripplesguy.com/submit-quote/… Read More!

Ripples #751: Pressure!

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Ripples #751: Pressure!
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
14 Oct 2013

PEBBLE:
Pressure can burst a pipe or pressure can make a diamond.
-Robert Horry, shared by Leila in San Luis Obispo, CA

BOULDER:
When we long for life without difficulties,
remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds
and diamonds are made under pressure.
-Peter Marshall, shared by Sevy in Albuquerque, NM
and Angela in Hollandale, WI

PONDER:
Growing up is a difficult enough task by itself, and it is made even more challenging because STUFF inevitably happens.  Stuff that is neither expected nor enjoyable:  promising opportunities fall apart, friends and family choose different directions than ours, and sometimes it gets even worse when people turn on us for following the path we feel is best for us at this time.

The bad news is that the list of STUFF goes on and on (and on);
the good news is that so does life!

Life isn’t designed to be easy, of course.  If you’re like me, you remember this on most days and are not surprised when an occasional setback throws a wrench into “the plan.”  Of course, it becomes easier to lose our perspective when a few blechy things happen in a row, or a significantly unpleasant turn of events gets in the way of how you anticipated your day/week/life was supposed to unfold.

Remember that pressure can BUILD us up or MESS us up depending on how we respond; take a deep breath, holler for help when necessary, and go out there and make some diamonds this week!

Peace 2u!
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #748: Harvesting Success!

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Ripples #748: Harvesting Success!
For our tribe of 29,521 busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
23 Sep 2013

PEBBLE:
Striving for success
without hard work
is like trying to harvest
where you haven’t planted.
-David Bly, shared by Courtney in Durand, MI

BOULDER:
Nature, by example,
shows us anything worthwhile
comes over time.
Anything worthwhile
grows methodically,
building on a strong foundation.
Develop a willingness
to carry on despite roadblocks.
-Jaren L. Davis

PONDER:
Students and educators have begun their fall terms and many others are working hard as we head toward the the last quarter of the year.  Now is a great time to commit to persevere through the difficulties that inevitably arise in school, work, and or life.

Remember that facing and embracing the challenges isn’t always EASY, but it is always WORTH IT.  Do what you can to make sure you’ll have a bountiful harvest of success this week, this year, and this lifetime.

Peace 2u!
Paul,
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #689: Plan to Grow!

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Ripples #689: Plan to Grow!
For our tribe of 30,938 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
08/06/2012

PEBBLE:
It’ll cost you nothing to dream,
and everything not to.
-Reverend Run (Joseph Simmons), submitted by Danielle in Gettysburg, PA

BOULDER:
Plan your hours to be productive;
Plan your weeks to be educational;
Plan your years to be purposeful;
Plan your life to be an experience of growth;
Plan to change;
plan to grow.
-Iyanla Vanzant, submitted by Carol in Wisconsin

PONDER:
As the summer begins to fade, it is time for some of us to face the return of school and/or work. Remember that our best options exist when we open ourselves up to the immense possibilities that await; this week it may be useful to encourage ourselves and those around us to dream huge, fanciful dreams about what COULD happen, and then begin to plan out the steps to achieve them.

On your mark, get set, PLAN TO GROW!

Peace,
Paul
P.S. Next week we’ll focus on how to transform our dreams into to-dos with ACTION!… Read More!

Ripples #641: Shaping My Future!

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Ripples #641:  Shaping My Future!
For our tribe of 28,302 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
Sep 5, 2011

PEBBLE:
We shouldn’t give up what we want the MOST
for what we want at the MOMENT.
-unknown, submitted by Terry in Oak Creek, WI

BOULDER:
I shall shape my future.
Whether I fail or succeed
shall be no man’s doing but my own.
I am the force;
I can clear any obstacle before me.
Or I can be lost in the maze.
My choice.
My responsibility.
Win or lose, only I
hold the key to my destiny.
-Og Mandino, submitted by Dixie in Valley City, ND

PONDER:
I enjoyed a quick trip to New Jersey to fire up new students at Rutgers
University’s Camden campus (neither the earthquake nor the hurricane stopped
these Raptors from arriving!).  Part of my challenge to them was to make
bold decisions about shaping their future and I hope you are prepared to do
the same this week.

We must be willing to delay some of the immediate gratification that can be
so tempting and extend our vision and our reach beyond what may be EASY to
acquire and set our sights and our grasp on the really big stuff that we
know will improve our existence.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #598: Do What You Do!

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Ripples #598: Do What You Do!
For our tribe of 27,024 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
Nov 8, 2010

PEBBLE:
Be aware of what is in you.
Announce it, pronounce it,
produce it and give birth to it.
-Meister Eckhart, submitted by Terry, Oak Creek WI

BOULDER:
…..If we truly believe
in what we are doing,
we can move mountains,
we can change the world…
So, do what you do, whatever it is…
because without you,
who is going to make the signs,
or write the book,
or hug those who need it most?
-Ben Broadbent, submitted by Jill, Plymouth NH

PONDER:
As we inch toward the end of the year, you may feel like you are running
out of steam and overwhelmed with all the STUFF that needs to get done
before the holiday craziness begins.

This might be a good week to take a deep breath, find a few minutes to
relax and reflect on what you hope to accomplish in the remaining few weeks
of 2010, and then jump in with both feet to DO WHAT YOU DO!

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

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