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The Ripple Effect of Self Betterment – How You Probably Are Already Changing the World

We often underestimate the power of our daily actions, writing them off as insignificant or inadequate in the grand scheme of things. Yet a recent experience has reminded me that even the smallest positive steps we take can create profound ripples of impact.

Lessons from a Park Run

We often underestimate the power of our daily actions, writing them off as insignificant or inadequate in the grand scheme of things. Yet a recent experience has reminded me that even the smallest positive steps we take can create profound ripples of impact.

Last weekend, I found myself at a park run event with hundreds of others committed to bettering their fitness. As we jostled together at the start line, I realized we were like cells within a larger organism – our community. Driven by personal goals, we had each shown up that chilly morning to invest in our own self-improvement.

As I ran, a deeper realization struck me, that our individual actions were contributing to the collective good in ways we likely never imagined. By striving to enhance our own fitness, we were raising the overall health standards and wellness benchmarks for our entire community. This positive shift wouldn’t just impact us as individuals, but our families, friends, neighborhoods and society.  The energy we would take back home would likely mean we would implement ideas we had or have more energy to share with those around us.  This felt like a big deal. There were hundreds of us, at least 700, and these events were happening all over the world.

Reflecting further, I saw parallels to how we often view our everyday efforts and contributions. Whether pursuing a personal passion project, showing up for our jobs and responsibilities each day, or running a business, we can fall into the trap of devaluing our own impact. We berate ourselves for not achieving lofty, world-changing goals worthy of acknowledgment, I know I do.

Yet that morning’s experience was a reminder that everything we do that improves ourselves, no matter how small it may seem, creates ripples that extend far beyond ourselves. Every effort to improve our lives, skills and well-being, reverberates outward, making a real difference.  Perhaps this is why they say if you want to heal the world, heal yourself.

When we show up and commit to betterment, we don’t just inspire those around us – we give others permission to embrace their own growth and potential. Our consistent actions raise the bar, reshaping expectations and societal norms in substantive ways. We are intimately connected, and our positive deeds ultimately make the world a better place.

I joined my first park run because my friend dragged me along – I thought if she could do it I could try. I started my business because I had seen someone close to me do so successfully, giving me the belief that I could too. We cant improve ourselves without positively affecting those around us, and we cant always see who or how people are being affected by the actions we take to work on ourselves.

So the next time you find yourself questioning the value of your everyday acts, your overall purpose, the why of what it is you do, resist that pessimistic inner voice. Realize that your steadfast efforts, whether working on a business, training for a race, learning a new skill, taking a course, or simply being present, are transformative, especially when directed positively. They create a ripple effect that lifts up your family, friends, office, community and humanity as a whole.  You cannot see all the ways. When it feels like too much effort to role out of bed and put on your sneakers and take a walk outside, know that doing so isn’t just for you – its for everyone.

Your contributions, no matter how humble, are enough. Every positive step you take is making a lasting impact in the lives of others as well as your own. So keep showing up, keep striving, and take pride in the resonating waves you create, one fulfilled day at a time.

Leigh Duffield

Leigh is the founder of Progressive Edge and an enthusiast of creating healthy, sustainable work places. Operating from Cape Town, South Africa, Leigh brings her passion and attention to detail to a global audience.

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