People often find themselves caught in the minute details of their day-to-day routines and experience a sense of disconnection from what is really important. Where your focus goes, your results flow! (Negative focus equals negative results; positive focus equals positive results.) Are you happy with your results on a daily basis? Stop the sink-or-swim approach to life and start making a big enough splash to achieve the life you really want. To avoid being sucked into a downward spiral, you need to make your own waves—the Ripple Effect.

The Importance of Your Ripples

Sometimes the thought of catching a wave can be overwhelming. Know that it all starts with a simple ripple. Each ripple creates the one following it, until finally, the ripples expand farther than expected, reaching a distant shore outside your comfort zone. This creates more time and energy in your day and ultimately more money and fun since you get to consciously choose the ripples.

You can “catch the wave” by implementing the following success formula—it works because it is an inside-out coach approach:

what you have (W)(A) + what is missing (E)
= your desired outcomes (V).

In other words, first you need to identify who (W) you really are and make attitude adjustments (A) to boost your belief. Then design a vision (V) of your desired outcomes with actions that align each of the previous ripples. Finally, it is vital to execute (E) these chosen actions.

Find the Right Pebble
W is for Who: Identify and Clarify

Before you can create ripples, you need a pebble. The pebble is you. Having the right pebble requires clarity around your core: who. What are your strengths and core values? What inspires you? Ready to make a splash? Be forewarned: You might get wet!

Focus on Your Strengths to Get Stronger

As a society, we spend far too much time focusing on our weaknesses. The energy drain from the negative self-talk we create drowns our self-esteem in disbelief. When we focus on our weaknesses, we set ourselves up for failure and struggle. When we focus on our strengths, we get stronger. The first step you need to make to create a Ripple Effect is to identify your core strengths. The following strength booster will help you become more aware of the strengths you have.

Write out 50 of your strengths. Yes, I said 50! The first five are generally easy. When you go further, you uncover strengths you have forgotten—the ones that boost your confidence, define you, and make a positive impression, that splash you’re looking for. No one gets to the ocean of opportunities by sitting on the shoreline. What better place to get your feet wet than by focusing on your best qualities?
Highlight your top five, put them on a Post-It, and place that on the mirror where you brush your teeth morning and night. What a great way to start and end your day.

Need an Attitude Adjustment?
A is for Attitude: Believe in Your Authentic You

Attitude isn’t just about having a positive attitude. It needs to go deeper than that. What gets in the way of making things happen is a lack of confidence in ourselves. We need to switch from an “I can’t” attitude to one of “I can.” Absolutely no one has ever achieved anything significant by staying stuck in an “I can’t” space. Complete the following belief booster.
Put a line down the middle of a blank piece of paper.
Think of a challenge you are facing and write it at the top.
On the left, write out the details of the challenge—the “I can’ts”—the negative blocks that are holding you back.
On the right, write out the opposite of each detail on the left, the positive version, the 180 degree perspective shift—the “I can” list. Having difficulty figuring out what those are? Physically turn yourself around 180 degrees and look at the challenge as if you have already solved it. Now, what do you see? How does this action alter your attitude toward creating results?
To take it a step further, add an “I am” column, and use your strengths to continue the attitude adjustment.

Attitude complements the who. It can play an important role in determining in which pond your pebble makes ripples. You want to make sure you are in the right pond, or you can make all the ripples you want and you will never reach the ocean of opportunities!

Where Is Your Wave Taking You?
V is for Vision: Align with Where You Want to Be

Instead of rowing upriver without a paddle, envision a waterfall flowing smoothly into the pool where you float effortlessly. You see barrels passing by you. Some of them are marked with the words “shoulda,” “coulda,” and “if only.” You choose to let these pass and say no to them. Some other barrels have “possibilities” written on their sides. Your curiosity is piqued, so you look inside. You are welcome to hang on to these possibilities or trust that they will return when you are ready for them. Meanwhile, higher up the waterfall, you see a large, wonderfully painted barrel with a big bright bow on top. You know in your heart of hearts that it contains what you really, truly desire, and it is floating right toward you. This is your vision of success, something that puts a big smile on your face anytime you think about it. Take a moment, close your eyes, and see what is inside the barrel. What is your vision of success? Complete the following success booster.

Write down your vision in present tense as if you already have it. Make sure the description isn’t just about numbers—it needs to capture the experience and be written in full detail.
How does your vision make you feel?
How will you know when you have it?
What is stopping you from having it today?
Place your vision where you can see it so it adds to your motivation and momentum ripples on a daily basis.

Bridge the Gap
E is for Execute: Real Results Come through Accountability to Actions

Execution is the step often missed to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. People get very creative, have big ideas, and then wonder why they aren’t seeing the results they really want. The truth? They didn’t execute the next ripple—the action ripple.

What stops us? Lack of focus, or more importantly, not focusing on what is truly important. We shift our focus to more mundane, nonmeaningful actions, or we get busy! We need to create simple actions that honor our who, or the pebble will become a huge boulder that can’t be moved. Complete the following results booster.

Wake up each day and ask yourself, “What one action can I take today that will make the biggest difference?”
Then execute it to get the right results.
Imagine trying to create 100 ripples at once—how successful do you think that would be in reaching farther out? Commit to one main focus per day. Know that you will be productive, and your focus will reward you with many more ripples extended outward from this one focused execution.

Catch the Wave One Ripple at a Time

Imagine a group of concentric circles—the four progressive ripples of who, attitude, vision, and execute flowing outward to reach farther than one ripple on its own. See how the simple focus on one ripple at a time can help you reach the shores of abundance?

Now that you understand more about how to create a Ripple Effect in your life, you have a choice. You can continue to focus on what isn’t working and what you don’t have, or you can carry out the booster actions and reach more of the right results. Keep this question at the forefront of your mind each day: What one action can I take today that will make the biggest difference? Align these actions with your core who, apply a proactive attitude, and see your vision coming closer as you execute. You only live once—make a splash.

** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. To get complete details on “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life”, visit

Author's Bio: 

Pauline Fleming is a proactive change catalyst for individuals and organizations ready to Reach their Next Level Hire coach Pauline when you want an experienced, independent sounding board; stronger leadership skills; high-performance results; executive retreats; more powerful presentations; a motivational speaker; and more of what you are capable of. Contact coach Pauline to find out more at or toll-free at (866) 564–5534. As a gift for reading this far, receive your Bonus Boosters: visit and sign up for Pauline’s free, five-day mini e-course on how to boost your focus.