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Optimism

Ripples #847: Transforming Troubles!

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Ripples #847: Transforming Troubles!
Aug 17, 2015

PEBBLE
We must not wish for the disappearance of our troubles but the grace to transform them.
-Simone Weil, shared by Leslie in Madison, WI

BOULDER
It is up to us to find the joy that dissolves the desperate moment, that changes the burden of life to the passion. Find the gift that brings that joy in your life and nurture it and guard it and grow it. And when you can, find the gift in others and urge them toward it. -David Smith, shared by Debbie in Vista, CA

PONDER
We sometimes fantasize about a life without difficulties in a world without any problems at all. And while I think it can be fun to daydream about such a life, it’s useful to keep in mind that challenges are less problematic when we view them not as obstacles to make life harder, but instead as opportunities to help us grow stronger.

So often when tragedies strike, survivors comment on the unexpected and generous support that pours in. And it isn’t uncommon for an unwelcome personal setback to eventually look like a growth-inducing opportunity once we get through it and beyond it. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t ever lament our woes or ask for help, because sometimes it feels good to vent our exasperation, and part of courageous living includes asking for assistance when needed.

If you have some troubles you’re struggling with this week, see if you can transform how you look at them. Changing your perspective won’t evaporate every challenge, but hopefully will make them easier to embrace, or tackle, or vanquish, or whatever needs to be done!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #833: Optimal Visioning.

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Ripples #833: Optimal Visioning.
May 11, 2015

PEBBLE
It takes a lot of bravery to look around you and see the world not as it is but as it should be.
-Coach Sue Sylvester, on the final episode of Glee

BOULDER
The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were. -John F. Kennedy, shared by Chris in Evanston, IL

PONDER
There is little doubt that it is *easier* to see the problems and the poopiness that exist in our surroundings. Especially when we’re depleted, our system goes on high alert to warn us about potential dangers when we’re not at our best. That means that when we’re extra stressed out with extra-full plates and approaching deadlines, we’re actually more likely to see the the yucky stuff..

The good news is that optimism isn’t a personality trait that you’re either born with or stuck without. It is a learnable, improvable skill that you can get better at with intention and practice. Improving your optimism allows you to more easily look beyond the challenges of the moment for any good stuff in the moment, AND it will help you identify more positive things to help create an improved tomorrow.

If you’re noticing the bad stuff more than the good stuff lately, take a few deep breaths and see if you can be as idealistic as you can when thinking about possibilities for today, for tomorrow, and beyond.

Peace,

Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. Have an extra good week, okay?… Read More!

Ripples #827: Enthusion!

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Ripples #827: Enthusion!
Mar 30, 2015

PEBBLE
Enthusiasm is more important than innate ability, it turns out, because the single most important element in developing an expertise is your willingness to practice.
-Gretchen Rubin, shared by Pete in Sedona, AZ

BOULDER
You can do anything
if you have enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm is the yeast
that makes your hopes
rise to the stars.

With it, there is
accomplishment.
Without it there are
only alibis.
-Henry Ford, shared by Debbie in Sarasota, FL

PONDER
There are options and possibilities waiting for you around the corner; in order to access them you’ll need a unique combination of curiosity to find them, persistence to deal with inevitable setbacks, and joy to make it all worthwhile.

When you combine these three passions, you’ll have all the enthusiasm you’ll need to succeed, and hopefully some leftovers to pass along to someone you encounter who is currently struggling.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy

P.S. Please be sure to keep an eye out for any REALLY good quotes that you think would make good pebbles or boulders and submit them here:  Thanks!… Read More!

Ripples #822: The Power To Choose.

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Issue #822 | Feb 23, 2015
The Power To Choose.

PEBBLE
Between stimulus and response there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
-Viktor E. Frankl, shared by Lauretta in Cincinnati, OH

BOULDER
One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.
-Eleanor Roosevelt, shared by Pete in Sedona, AZ

PONDER
I look forward to watching the Oscars every year. I love watching movies, I crave the spectacle of the gala, and I’m curious to observe the host tackling the unique challenge of managing the tension and egos of the attendees in the theater while simultaneously entertaining the audience AND keeping the producers from pulling their hair out.

Well, last night at 7:58pm, my cable & internet service went out. I didn’t know how long it would be out, but I guessed (correctly, it turns out) that I would miss at least the first part of the show which sets the mood and the tone. OHHHHHH I was crushed. For about 25 seconds.

I then remembered the Viktor Frankl quote above. And I remembered that I didn’t get to choose whether the Academy Awards were going to blip back to life. I didn’t get to choose whether the cable company would treat this as the red alarm, DEFCON 1, lives-hanging-in-the-balance emergency that it initially seemed like to me. The choice I DID have was how to respond.

I took a deep breath, and remembered that my lights were still on (many of my neighbors had no power). I recognized that while my plans were halted, I was still comfortably warm in my cozy home and I had just about everything else I needed (food, clothes, shelter, friends, job, etc.). I took another deep breath, smiled, shared the bummer news with my FaceBuddies, and crawled into bed with my Kindle and my Grendel. It wasn’t the evening I had planned, but it wasn’t bad at all.

I woke up this morning and realized that my world wasn’t ruined and I had more choices to make. My first thought was to go online and watch excerpts and find out who won. But then I realized that the issue of Ripples that was all queued up would need to wait until next week so I could share my adventure in choices.

This is longer than usual because it is 6:52am and I’m trying to make my usual 7am sending. (Sorry if it is a few minutes late!). I’ll quickly wrap this up and hope the you can be more aware of the choices YOU have about how to respond to the challenges you face today.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #777: Infinity of Choices.

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Ripples #777: Infinity of Choices. For our tribe of busy people who believe in the power of uRock: unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness 14 Apr 2014 PEBBLE: You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices. —Deepak Chopra BOULDER: The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment; it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone. -Orison Sweet Marden PONDER: It is sometimes so tempting to focus on options taken away from us: we don’t get a job that seemed like a perfect fit, the other person ends a relationship we thought was worth pursuing, or even something simple like a beloved dish being removed from the menu of a favorite restaurant (are you listening, Cactus Pear?). When someone else removes an option, we have a tendency to concentrate on that which we can no longer choose, often ignoring a bounty of other possibilities that still exist. Of course it is appropriate to spend some time grieving a lost opportunity, but remember that infinity minus one is still infinity. The sooner we finish saying goodbye to that which is no longer an option, the sooner we can turn around and say hello to the options that are still excitedly whispering, “Ooh, pick me! Pick me!” What choices are available to you today? Peace, Paul… Read More!

Ripples #767: See The Best.

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Ripples #767:  See The Best.
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
27 Jan 2014

PEBBLE:
A loving person lives in a loving world.
A hostile person lives in a hostile world;
everyone you meet is your mirror.
-Ken Keyes, Jr., shared by Heather in Anchorage, AK

BOULDER:
If we see only the worst,
it destroys our capacity to do something.
If we remember those times and places—
-and there are so many—
-where people have behaved magnificently,
this gives us the energy to act,
and at least the possibility
of sending this spinning top of a world
in a different direction.
-Howard Zinn, shared by David in San Luis Obispo, CA

PONDER:
There are big heaps of good stuff in the world, along with plenty of poopiness as well.  It is important not to ignore the yucky stuff completely, as there are lessons to be learned and people to be cautious about.  Sometimes, though, we can get too focused on the difficulties.  That can harden our heart which then makes it more difficult to see any of the positive aspects of life…which then causes to lose hope and our heart further hardens.

If you need a lift this week, I dare you to practice focusing on the upbeat people and happy happenings and delightful other-things that you encounter.  It may not be possible (or prudent) to ONLY see the good stuff, but keeping your eyes open for sunshine will likely make your day brighter.  And that could make all the difference.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #719: The Optimist’s Cha-cha!

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Ripples #719: The Optimist’s Cha-cha!
For our tribe of 31,141 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
Monday, March 4, 2013

PEBBLE:
Nothing is a waste of time
if you use the experience wisely.
-Auguste Rodin, shared by Kim in De Pere, WI

BOULDER:
An optimist is someone who figures
that taking a step backward
after a step forward
is not a disaster;
it’s a cha-cha.
-Robert Brault, shared by Melissa in San Luis Obispo, CA

PONDER:
Last week I was all excited to roll out another round of $100 Ripples
Grants to inspire ripples of joy and kindness. And then the system we use
to send out Ripples hiccuped and most people didn’t receive Ripples last
week. PHOOEY! It was Wednesday before I could shake it off and recognize
that waiting until next week wouldn’t be the end of the world. And then,
when I saw these quotes in the pile I knew: this was just a little
cha-cha! I hope *you* can transform any inevitable setbacks you face this
week and them into opportunities to dance.

Peace,
Paul
P.S. Oh, and here is the video with details about the grants!
http://youtu.be/3hFMsc4jRuU… Read More!

Ripples #625: Possibly!

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Ripples #625: Possibly!
For our tribe of 27,762 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
May 16, 2011

PEBBLE:
When you have exhausted all possibilities,
remember this: you haven’t.
-Thomas Edison

BOULDER:
Become a possibilitarian.
No matter how dark things
seem to be or actually are,
raise your sights
and see possibilities-
-always see them,
for they’re always there.
-Norman Vincent Peale

PONDER:
Could things be better for you right now? Possibly.
Would it be easier if you could click your heels and end up right where you
want? Possibly.
Could every challenge you’re facing right now help you become an even
stronger, more effective human being? Possibly.
Are there even more magnificent possibilities waiting out there just for
you? For. Sure.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #569: A Better World!

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Ripples #569: A Better World!
Monday, Apr 19, 2010
The Ripples Project is a tribe of 25,320
who believe tiny actions create big possibilities

_______
PEBBLE
The starting point for a better world is the belief that it is possible.
-Norman Cousins, submitted by Terry L., from Franklin WI
________
BOULDER
It is not for me
to seek evidence
that confirms the world that is,
but to create evidence
of the world to be.
-written and submitted by John Brown, founder of RoomsForPeace.org
_______
PONDER
Once you believe in the possibilities of a better world, you gotta get out
there and create it. If you want more peace, go make peace with someone
today. If you want more safety, do what you can to create safety (drive
slower, reduce multitasking, etc.). If you want more joy, pause right this
instant and after a deep cleansing breath think of 3 awesome things in your
life right now. Start small, start soon, start NOW!

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples v11.40: Poopy Days!

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Ripples v11.40: Poopy Days!
The Ripples Project is a tribe of 23,674
who believe tiny actions create big possibilities
Monday, October 12, 2009

_______
PEBBLE
Use your poopy today as fertilizer for a better tomorrow.
-written and submitted by Debbie S., Kohler WI

________
BOULDER
There are some days when no matter what I say it feels like I’m far away in another country & whoever is doing the translating has had far too much to drink.
-storypeople.com, submitted by Kelly L., Philadelphia PA (via her daughter Erin’s blog)

_______
PONDER
On Friday as I prepared to head to the airport for my weekend adventures in Moscow, Idaho, I tweaked my back (and I can still hear my physical therapist gently reminding me that if I had stuck to my back exercises this likely would not have happened–I know, I know!!). I was in for a poopy Friday: a long day of travel via airplane and rental car with a fair amount of pain. And I was worried it would mean a poopy Saturday, when I was supposed to be enthusiastic and inspiring through several presentations at a leadership conference.

It turns out that a good night’s sleep, a hot tub soak, some ibuprofen and an infusion of energy from students and staff at the University of Idaho was all I needed to transform a potentially poopy day into an exciting adventure (with much gratitude to Denise, Mitch, & Tricia who ensured I didn’t need to carry or lift anything heavy during my visit).

If you are experiencing a poopy day (or poopy week, month, etc.), I trust you will seek the right combination of external support and internal strength so you can eventually pick yourself up, dust yourself off and create something magical for yourself and/or others.

Peace!
Paul… Read More!

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