- Anthony Russo
Be The Change by Harnessing the Ripple Effect
Updated: Aug 4, 2020
People that want to create change in this world need to remember that we have more influence than we realize. When you take action to Be The Change, you initiate a powerful ripple effect. You may not even know how big of an impact your little decisions have.
Marianne Williamson once said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
We think that we have to change hundreds or thousands of people to make a positive change in the world. Having this mindset is like looking at a huge mountain and being daunted by its sheer size, causing us to be afraid to take the first step to climb it. Ultimately each step counts, each step gets us closer to our goal. Every conversation we have, every time we learn to listen to others with an open mind, we get one step closer to the top of that mountain. To add to this metaphor, realize every step you take, you inspire others to make the trek with you, and in some cases carry you and your message on the way up the mountain.
Power comes in numbers when driving change, but how do those numbers start? They grow from a first point of contact, the first action, the first step you take.
Mr. UnstopABLE, Terrance Leftridge, painted a vivid picture in his post on The Ripple Effect. When you dip your toe in water, it starts a ripple which extends far past your toe. It extends, extends, and extends some more. It also causes more ripples which extend and extend. The more your toe moves the bigger the ripples become until they become waves. This is how positivity works.
I always say teachers and coaches are the biggest catalysts for change in this world because they have the privilege of being able to affect those that are still developing and still learning to become who they are. Every great leader, change maker, business person, etc. has had that one or two people that made an impact in their lives. Often it is a coach or teacher that said that one thing that changed everything, changed their mindset.
With this concept, take what we are going through as a society and as a country right now. People want change but think it has to happen overnight or they have failed. They think they have to reach the masses alone. Some people get that opportunity, but most do not. Look at it like this however, the person who has that opportunity and platform got touched by someone else in order to have that message. We all play a role, we all can have an impact and it's contagious (in a good way).
When you are feeling daunted that you aren’t doing enough or don’t know where to start, think of the ripple effect. Mind your words and actions when you start being the change you want to see in the world AROUND you. It spreads from there, eventually beyond just AROUND you.
Everyone is going to have a slightly different message, but when the message shares love, compassion and unity, the goals are all the same. Be that change agent. Be that individual that is willing to dip your toe in the water. Be that person that speaks out and leads by example. Do something that you would have ordinarily never done and you will have a real, meaningful impact.
Sometimes you won’t even see that impact, so don’t feel dejected. Know that if you are doing everything you can, it will reach someone. There have been times in business that I’ve given advice, or helped another individual just because it felt like the right thing to do.
Many times, I’d only learn my true impact years later. People have come out of the woodwork after years and said, “Do you remember that conversation we had?” or “Do you remember when you let me stay at your place a few days when I was going through a rough time?” Sometimes I don’t even remember the circumstance. But, in that moment, I was being what they needed to hear and see. It changed the course of their life causing me to see the impact the little things can have for so many people not just that I help, but the people in the lives of those I reached.
I hope this serves as a message that empowers you to #BeTheChange. Don’t look so far in the distance that you are afraid to take that first step. Humans are amazing creatures and we have such amazing capability. If we just start somewhere, the ripples will grow, I promise you.