I started out writing about the ripple effect, but I got sidetracked, as I often do when I play with Google or Wikipedia. I found a few other effects that really fit my topic for today, which is that you never know what kind of impact you’re going to have on the people around you, on your world or the world.
Our thoughts, words, feelings and actions can have profound impacts. Each one of these effects is a fantastic metaphor for one of the many ways we affect our world, no matter how big your world is! And they are also fantastic metaphors for making personal change, because you’re a part of the world.
The ripple effect – when you throw a rock into a lake, you can see the ripples as they spread out. You can see how far out the ripples spread outwards, from the center, and the incremental aftershocks. But when you throw a rock into a lake, the ripples on the surface fade, even though the currents continue under the surface.
The snowball effect is when a small change builds upon itself becoming larger and more full of potential – like a snowball rolling down hill that gathers more and more snow. Sometimes a small start is just the impetus we need to grow to bigger things.
The butterfly effect is when a small change in one place can result in large changes somewhere else, and the effect is pretty much unpredictable. This doesn’t have to be the premise for a disaster movie. I think of this as synchronicity – random acts of kindness that can make all the difference in someone’s day. Unpredictably magical.
The placebo effect is a psychological phenomenon where the body starts to heal itself without receiving “real” treatments. Sometimes people associate placebos with deception. I don’t. I think that placebos work because sometimes we just need an instigator – something to ignite our natural healthy state.
The goldilocks effect is attending to, living in or developing in a way that is not to simple, but not too complex. It’s the habitable zone around a star. It’s the challenge that causes growth without struggle. I like this one best of all!
I’ve been fortunate enough lately to be seeing signs of how I’ve had a positive effect on people’s lives over the past years. It’s a reminder for me to be responsible, be kind, be random and to keep going.
All of these effects have the affect of proving that you make a difference.
So much more than you know now.
And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!