Your Ripple Effect: How Your Actions Make an Impact

In the spirit of my book, The Joy of Missing Out, being released today (how exciting is that?!) I want to talk about the concept of our blast radius. Now, you might be familiar with that term, blast radius, but if you’re not, a blast radius is the distance from the center point of an explosion that’s going to be affected. In other words, our blast radius is synonymous with another well-known term, the ripple effect.

The blast radius—our ripple effect in the world—is always much bigger than the object that causes it, which means that even the smallest object can make a huge impact.

If you’ve been following along with me on Productivity Paradox or here on the blog throughout Season 11, then I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this: our season is all about making small changes for a big impact.

Today, I want to take our conversation from Episode 142 this week and dial in on the ripple effect that we create, no matter how small (or big) we feel in the world at large, to talk about how even the littlest things that we do can have far-reaching effects…

Because even on those days when we feel like we haven’t accomplished enough, or that we aren’t big enough or well-known enough to make a difference to others or in the world in general, the truth is: we are always enough, and there is always an opportunity to make a difference in the life of someone else, and for ourselves.

So now, let’s take a look at exactly how our ripple effect (i.e., our actions) can make an impact each and every day so that, whenever we make a decision—no matter what it is—we’re doing it mindfully, and with the best intentions so that we can bring about the greatest good and leave the impression that we truly want to see in the world.

Ready to jump in?

How Your Actions Make an Impact


Before we can really dive into the impact we’re making, I believe that it’s important that we first stop feeling so small. And to accomplish this, we have to look beyond ourselves… because sometimes when we think about the entire world, we tend to view it as this massive space that, as a result, makes us feel super tiny and super insignificant, right?

But the truth of the matter is that our actions can be much bigger and so much more impactful than we realize.

In fact, studies have shown that, on average, we have the capacity to touch nearly 80,000 lives over the course of our single life alone. And to me, that’s huge!

Too often we underestimate our actions or our ideas (and even the words that we say) without truly thinking that they make much of a difference.

In reality, though, it’s all of the little things that we do that often set off a chain reaction that becomes so much bigger than ourselves!

So, the question really is: How do you want to affect the 80,000 lives that you’ll touch in your lifetime? Do you want to be a source of healing for them? I know that I do!

The main takeaway here is that we all have a choice when it comes to our actions, one that we can actively choose and that will leave a lasting, positive impact on other people whether we have a big platform or not.

So, how can we be sure that we’re making a positive impact? Let’s take a look at a few ways!


3 Ways to Ensure Your Ripple Effect is Positive


1. Re-frame Your Approach—

If you want to ensure that your actions are creating a ripple effect that you want, to bring about the most good for those that you come across each day, then I find it helpful to reframe the way that we look at our lives.

In other words, it’s important that we start focusing on the impact of what we do, rather than just on what we do.

What’s the impact you’re going to make?

The more we can reframe our actions in terms of impact, the easier it is to find motivation to ensure that our actions and the decisions we make are always with the best of intentions so that our ripple effect is a positive one.


2. Be Mindful—

Here’s another question for you: Do you see your life and your actions as intentional? Are you actively choosing how you could impact other people?

Too often, we get caught up in the idea that we are “just one person.” In reality, each and every one of us represents a catalyst for change.

We all have the ability to change and improve the world around us. And it all comes down to the way that we see ourselves: you can either be a single, tiny little pebble, or you can see yourself as the pebble that creates ripples on a pond when it’s moved, ripples that affect everything else around you.

The more we can tap into the fact that the world is smaller than we think it is (remember those 80,000 lives we all have the opportunity to touch?), the easier it is to see that everything that we do and everything that we say really does matter.

So, whatever you do, do it with mindfulness. Choose your actions with intention.


3. Focus on Making Small Changes—

When it comes to leaving a lasting, positive impression on others in the world, what are some small changes in your life that you can make right now to help you get started?

While there are a thousand different ways that you can make a difference in the world, a few great ideas to get that momentum going include:

  • Smiling at your cashier and looking them in the eye when you get your change from buying groceries (or anything, at any store, anywhere!).
  • Holding the door open for someone behind you.Complimenting a stranger (one compliment can make a person’s entire day and set them up to pay those good vibes forward to someone else).
  • Show gratitude: send a Thank You note to someone who’s made a difference in your week, for example.
  • Reach out to someone in need, any way that you can.
  • Post positive things (comments, photos, and so on) on social media, whether you’re in a good mood or not!
  • Pay it Forward: pick up the tab for the person behind you in the drive-thru line at your favorite coffee spot, fast food joint, etc.

You see, the small changes you make do not need to be too complicated; the most important thing to note is that a little bit of positivity can go such a long way, and there are a variety of ways that you can be sure you’re making the positive impact you want to leave.


What are some of the ways that you plan to “do good” with the ripple effect that you and your actions create? Share some of your ideas, including any experiences you have with paying it forward and the like, in the comments below…

And tune in to Episode 142 of the podcast this week where I’m sharing even more information about the power of our blast radius, and how I’m making sure that the impact that I’m making is a positive one!

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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton