Have you ever thrown a pebble into a pond and noticed the ripple effect? One small plop in the pristine surface causes waves that get larger and larger and reach farther and farther.

It’s the same with your impact. You may not think you make a big difference personally or affect a lot of people, but what you do ripples out from you. You touch the lives of a few people, who have their own impact on the lives of others, and so on.

We all exist as a combination of the many aspects of our lives. We are both parents and children; we are business owners, community members, and much more. In each area of our lives, we have opportunities to make a small impact that ripples outward. Doing small things creates big results, and those results can ripple back to us.

Here are some ideas for making a small impact that causes a ripple in different areas of your life:

Family: Doing small activities with your family members strengthens the bond between you and forms habits of togetherness. Taking your child on a parent-child date can go on to impact future generations as your child grows and passes on that tradition.

Business: Whether you own your own business or work for another company, you can create opportunities to give compliments to your staff or co-workers. Try leaving anonymous notes on their desk highlighting something positive that you’ve noticed about their performance. By lifting their spirits and helping them feel known, you can have an impact on their attitude at work and how they feel when they arrive home at the end of the day.

Community: Being a mentor in your community is an easy way to cause a ripple effect. Pouring your energy into a child or a young mother who could use your guidance can change not only their lives but the lives of their children as well. You can be the reason they find solutions to their puzzles that otherwise wouldn’t have happened without your support.

It’s normal to feel like the world might so big and the amount of need so massive that we just can’t make a difference, but it simply isn’t so. Just like a little bit of invested money grows exponentially with compound interest, your small investment in someone else’s life will yield great returns.

What small gestures can you make to cause a ripple in the lives of others? A tip for the barista? An appreciative note to your child’s teacher on a Tuesday? Baked goods for your shy neighbor? Do something small, and watch the ripples grow wider and wider.

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