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Ripples #852: Welcoming The Storm.

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Ripples #852: Welcoming The Storm.
Sep 21, 2015

PEBBLE
We are like the little branch that quivers during a storm,
doubting our strength and forgetting we are the tree—
deeply rooted to withstand all life’s upheavals.
-Dodinsky, shared by Pete in Salida, CO

BOULDER
Every storm we face is an opportunity to be better and braver on the other side. There is something about the worn face of someone who has been through many a storm. With every line, crease, and scar there is also a confidence, peacefulness, and wisdom. Whatever the trial is, freedom is around the bend. So set sail. Welcome the storm. Be not afraid.
-Scott Pace, SecondChance.org, shared by Trisha in Wales, WI

PONDER
If you’ve been struggling lately, it might be tempting to think (or scream at the top of your lungs): “Why can’t life just be easier?”

It is a common question because for too many people, challenges pile up on top of each other, and oh my gosh why, why, WHY? If life was actually and truly and completely fair, then it seems reasonable to conclude that all the good things we’ve done and all the tough things we’ve endured should earn us a lifetime supply of “Get Out Of Difficulty” cards. Right? RIGHT?

Well, here’s the issue with that perfectly reasonable, seemingly logical line of thinking: Life. Isn’t. Fair. There’s a great Dennis Wholey quote, “Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian.” I’ve heard another proverb suggest that expecting fairness in the world is like expecting a lion not to eat you because you didn’t eat him. That’s two different animal references to make the same point that life just isn’t as fair as we wish it were. Whether it is bulls or lions…beasts are gonna come at you even though you don’t deserve it.

But here’s the thing, fellow Ripplers of the world: we don’t actually NEED life to be fair or easy. The more storms we’ve weathered in the past, the more impressive it is that we’ve made it to today AND the more skill we have to batten down the hatches when another storm is brewing. I’d go another step and suggest that we don’t even WANT life to be easy, because we all know that if we want to be stronger tomorrow, the weights we lift today need to be heavier than the weights we lifted last week.

Of course we need to take breaks, and of course it is okay to feel exasperated and to scream into the void, “ENOUGH ALREADY I NEED A BREAK!” Rest when you must, my friend, but recognize just how tough you are and just how much you’ve prepared for this storm you’re facing. You’ve got this!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. Is it okay with you that the ponders are getting longer? I think they are getting better, … Read More!

Ripples #818: Your Best!

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Ripples #818: Your Best!
Jan 26, 2015

PEBBLE
To give anything less than your best
is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine,
shared by Terry in Oak Creek, WI

BOULDER
When I stand before God at the end of my life,
I would hope that I would not have a single
bit of talent left and could say,
I used everything you gave me.
–Erma Bombeck,
shared by Joy in Cincinnati, OH & R. Loreal in Corpus Christi, TX

PONDER
Our quotes this week reflect my core mission of helping individuals and teams more consistently unleash their best selves. While I strive for that personally and professionally, I don’t want to ignore the fact that bringing your best is easier to do on your best days.

Whenever I find myself struggling, I find it useful to remember that on the really tough days, when I’m feeling utterly mediocre or downright blechy, my best effort isn’t going to be as dazzling as it is on my best days. Lowering my expectations just a bit allows me to get a few things cranked out, and I often surprise myself with both the quantity and quality of output that mediocre days can produce.

I hope this week includes a few top notch days AND at least one or two opportunities to practice bringing your best even when you’re not feeling your best.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #803: Wrong Turns.

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[10/13/2014] Ripples #803: Wrong Turns.

PEBBLE
Wrong turns are as important as right turns.
More important sometimes.
-Richard Bach

BOULDER
Some failure in life is inevitable.
It is impossible to live
without failing at something,
unless you live so cautiously
that you might as well not have lived at all –
in which case, you fail by default.
-J.K. Rowling, shared by Sarah in Fond du Lac, WI

PONDER
We sometimes cannot find the best route through the maze until we find out which paths are NOT going to get us there. That could mean that the outcome we call FAILURE could be a more efficient way to move us closer to maximizing our effectiveness. It allows us to correct or actions or our thinking. If it discourages to the point of giving up, then failure becomes a dead end. If it encourages us to pause, reflect, then hop up and try the next thing, failure because a fantastic way to succeed.

So if you or someone you know took some WRONG TURNS this week, make sure to communicate a big CONGRATS and get ready to enjoy the RIGHT TURNS that are inevitable as you keep moving forward!

Peace,
Paul
(((The Ripples Guy)))… Read More!

Ripples #798: What’s In Your Hand?

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[09/08/14] Ripples #798: What’s In Your Hand?

PEBBLE
The best day of your life
is the one on which
you decide your life is you own.
No apologies or excuses.
No one to lean on, rely on, or blame.
The gift of life is yours;
it is an amazing journey;
and you alone are responsible
for the quality of it.
-Dan Zadra, shared by Pete in Sedona, AZ

BOULDER
You don’t have a right to the cards
you *believe* you should have been dealt.
You have an obligation
to play the hell out of
the ones you’re holding;
and my dear one,
you and I have been granted
a mighty generous one.
-Cheryl Strayed, shared by Sarah in Fond du Lac, WI

PONDER
Here we are, my friends. We’ve arrived at this particular moment in our lives, and we are holding the cards we’ve been dealt. The experiences, the people, the circumstances we inherited or were handed: some of it we earned, lots of it we didn’t. Hopefully you have been dealt at least a few good cards, but almost assuredly you’re stuck with some stinkers as well.

What happens next depends less on what has happened up to this point, and far more on your skill and your persistence and your vision. Your *grit* (the ability to persist towards a long term goal despite inevitable challenges) is partly developed by what happened yesterday, and absolutely influenced by the choices made both today and tomorrow.

DON’T FORGET: if you’re waiting for life to be EASY, you might be waiting a really REALLY long time. This is about stepping up and doing the very best you can for as long as you can with what you’ve got. And asking for help when you need it. I hope you can make this week about making the most of what you go without excuses or apologies. Are you in?

Peace,
Paul Wesselmann
((( The Ripples Guy )))… Read More!

Ripples #782: Making Doors!

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Ripples #782:  Making Doors!
A splash of inspiration 
from The Ripples Guy
19 May 2014
PEBBLE:  
The world has Amazing Things in store for you, so
hunt them with Resilience and Persistence.
-written & shared by Erin in Adelaide, South Australia
BOULDER: 
If I can’t make it through one door, 
I’ll go through another door-
-or I’ll make a door. 
Something terrific will come 
no matter how dark the present.
-Rabindranath Tagore 
PONDER:  
Last week we explored how to “hang in there” through tough times, and I thought we should follow up with something even stronger.  Sometimes, “just muddling through” is all we’ve got.  Remember, though, that you have previously survived some significant challenges and all of us—as in ALL OF US including YOU sometimes forget that we are made from tough stuff!  
This week could be a good time to move beyond the “muddling through” and instead hop up and either OPEN THE DOOR or CREATE THE DOOR that will help you conquer your challenges and unleash your next level of awesome.  
It’s true that you don’t always need to bring your best self to work/school/life; but it’s also true that your best self has a burst of energy and ideas and effort to improve just about any situation you’re in.
Are you ready?  Get ready.
Are you set? Get set.
LET’S GO DO THIS!
Peace,
Paul
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Ripples #781: Treading Thru Life.

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Ripples #781: Treading Thru Life.
A splash of inspiration
from The Ripples Guy
12 May 2014

PEBBLE:
The “good life” begins when
you stop wanting a better one.
-Nkosiphambili E. Molapis, shared by Becca in Boston, MA

BOULDER:
Promise me you will not spend
so much time treading water
and trying to keep your head above water
that you forget, truly forget,
how much you have always loved to swim.
-Tyler Knott Gregson, shared by Kathryn in Annapolis, MD

PONDER:
If your life is anything like mine, our best days are absolutely awesome, our worst days are excruciatingly awful and most of the other days are a muddy mix of the beauty and the blech.  I’ve found the trick is to savor the heck out of the awesome ones, hang on for dear life through the awful times, and use the rest of the days to be grateful they aren’t worse while anticipating the next grand upswing.

It doesn’t mean you’re required to paint a smile on your face (although I’ve found that even the fake ones can sometimes help you grit your teeth and catch your breath), nor does it mean that you are required to bring your best self to every moment of every day.  It *does* mean that hidden in almost every day, whether it be awesome or awful or meh, are minute opportunities to enjoy, endure, or at least extend your life.

Hang in there, mkay?

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #592: The Way It Is!

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Ripples #592: The Way It Is!
For our tribe of 26,587 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
Sep 27, 2010

PEBBLE:
Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s the way it is.
The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.
-source unknown, submitted by Tracy B., Wautoma WI

BOULDER:
I wanted a perfect ending.
Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme,
and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end.
Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment
and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.
Delicious ambiguity.
-Gilda Radner, submitted by Emily, Columbus OH

PONDER:
Listen up, fellow control freaks (you know who you are). We can spend so
much energy trying to make things just the way we want them, the way they
are supposed to be. And then we can spend a bunch more energy on
frustration and fear when we realize that we cannot fix everything.

How about we all take a deep breath, relax into the HERE and NOW, and let
the next few moments (or hours or days even) be delicious opportunities to
make the best of the way it is.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples v11.34: Bubbling Brooks!

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Ripples v11.34: Bubbling Brooks!
The Ripples Project is a tribe of 22,882
who believe tiny actions create big possibilities
Monday, August 31, 2009

_______
PEBBLE
The bubbling brook would lose its song
if you removed the rocks.
-source unknown, submitted by Flory D., India

________
BOULDER
Adversity is like a strong wind.
It tears away from us all but
the things that cannot be torn,
so that we see ourselves
as we really are.
-Arthur Golden, submitted by Jamie W., Middleton, WI

_______
PONDER

Life is not always easy, eh?

I have heard from several fellow Ripplers lately who are experiencing BIG challenges in their lives: loss of loved ones, major disruptions in work/school/life, and dealing with other “stuff” that makes life rocky. It is heartbreaking to hear how difficult life can be for each of us at times.

As I look over my responses to them, I notice a common phrase that I have used in various forms. While I try to avoid using absolutes like “always” and “never,” I stand by these: Life is not always easy, convenient, pretty, or fair; life, however is ALWAYS is worth it. The hard stuff makes us stronger the same way the heavier weights are what make the difference in strength training (many of you have heard me say that I’d do more weight lifting if they weren’t so darn heavy–but of course if they were light they wouldn’t help me strengthen my muscles!).

Believe me, I have days where I wish all the “rocks” in the bubbling brook of my life could be magically removed. Luckily I have the good sense to remember that so much of my character, my personal strength, and my capacity to help others has grown from dealing with the difficult stuff.

I’m truly sorry if life is extra tough for you right now; I hope you seek good people to support you, calming music to soothe you, and an occasional Dairy Queen treat every now and then is pretty darn awesome too.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples v11.04: Speak Prudently!

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Ripples v11.04: Speaking Prudently!
The Ripples Project is a tribe of 21,655
who believe tiny actions create big possibilities
1999-2009: 10 years of Ripples!

_______
PEBBLE
Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy.
-Howard W. Newton, submitted by Linn W., Milwaukee WI

_________
BOULDER
Speak prudently:
cautiously to your rivals, and
with dignity to everyone else.
There is always time to utter a word,
and never time to take it back…
-Baltasar Gracian, submitted by Samantha T., Milwaukee WI

_________
PONDER
It is time to have that conversation. You know, the one you have been putting off for some time. Iyanla VanSant calls them “fierce conversations” not because they are violent but because they are vital, charged, and dangerous due to an extended build up of emotion while at the same time infused with energetic potential for deeper understanding and increased mutual respect. Take a deep breath, summarize in your head and your heart what you need to communicate, and remember that your conversation is between two flawed human beings who are doing the best s/he can in this crazy, challenging world! Good luck, and let me know how it goes!

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples v10.49: Decide!

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Ripples v10.49: Decide! (Dec 8, 2008)
The Ripples Project: our tribe of 21,275
who believe tiny actions create big possibilities

_______
PEBBLE
If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right,
you’ll probably never do much of anything.
-Win Borden, submitted by Brett B, Madison WI

_________
BOULDER
Be willing to make decisions.
That’s the most important quality in a good leader.
Don’t fall victim to what I call
the Ready-Aim-Aim-Aim Syndrome.
You must be willing to fire.
-T. Boone Pickens, submitted by: Yuridia R., Reedsburg WI

_________
PONDER
Decide. You won’t have to make the decision instantly and without thought. You will need to make the decision eventually. If it is time, just take a deep breath, remember that perfection is for amateurs (unless you’re a heart surgeon), glance once more at the options and the available information, and DECIDE!

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

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