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  Category: Articles » Self Improvement » Coaching » Article

What's Your Ripple?

By Neil Millar

"Resolve to make at least one person happy every day, and then in ten years you may have made three thousand, six hundred and fifty persons happy, or brightened a small town by your contribution to the fund of general enjoyment."
Sydney Smith

This article is perhaps one of the most important I've written. It's been on my mind for around 6 weeks and many things I've read or heard during that time have shaped the words below.

New Year is traditionally an opportunity for a fresh start, but all too often, within days, we've slipped back into the same old ways as the previous year.

If things didn't turn out in the way we hoped during the last year, then perhaps returning to the same old patterns and principals and accepting the world as it is, is not our most inspired idea. I think intellectually we understand this, which is why we make New Year resolutions and declarations of change at various points throughout the year.

If Edison hadn't continually made changes to his experiments, I might not be writing this article with a light bulb shining over my desk. Like Edison's experiments, it may be part of our grand design: to experiment, acknowledge the results, what they mean to us and then modify what we tried. Therefore each time we try, we move closer to the experiences we most desire.

I wonder if our resolutions are an opportunity - a golden nugget - to get to know our inner self. When we make the resolution to give up smoking, to lose weight, get fit, get rich or find love we are resolving to find something of real value about ourselves.

Whenever we declare a change the Universe responds to us. It asks us through our in the moment experiences: Do you have what it takes? Are you determined? Will you work hard enough? Will you stick at it? Do you have the backbone? Guts? Relentless focus?

Following our resolutions we may discover a few things. Maybe we are lazier or have less willpower than we thought. Perhaps we beat ourselves up too much, get depressed, fail to understand others, or play out a victim role.

Remember: It's the journey that counts - not the goal!

I'm not trying to put you off your resolutions. What I'm trying to do is increase your awareness on one point - a point on which all of our successes and failures are built upon.

What is that point?

The reason for failure is part skill, part relentlessness. Let me give you an example.

Many readers of this article are holistic therapists or life coaches. Many struggle to find a sufficient flow of clients or find enough people to fill workshops. Many are brilliant practitioners, yet again and again they meet failure.

Sure, most have the skills to do the therapy or the coaching, but the other business skills and lack of relentlessness is what costs them so dearly. In the case of therapists and coaches who can't fill their order books, the skills that may need to address are the ones of effective marketing, advertising and PR. Failure to do this means that potential clients will continue to see a doctor (because the medical profession have mastered the skill and are relentless with their message).

I know many people who would probably argue that success is meant to be easy. Many believe all we have to do is visualise our goal as already achieved, or chant a mantra, and it will all miraculously drop into our laps. And of course for some this does happen. But we are all different. We all have different belief mechanisms. We all have different paths. And we are all here to experience the physical realities of what we feel about what we create in each moment.

It's probably fair to say the physical and spiritual realities combine. We decide what we want and begin to work towards it (physical). We then have feelings about what we create (spiritual). This causes us to refine our actions until we either give up or succeed.

Last year, I found myself before a judge, giving evidence against someone I used to love. I had been abused by this woman and there were allegations that the same was happening to my daughter. There had been masses of paperwork in the ten months leading up to a final hearing (physical) and the issues raised made me question my own lack of guts in the past and the whole concept of love. My spiritual challenge during these months was to show love and compassion for my ex partner while doing what I had to do for my daughter - and of course answering my own failings as a human being before a Court.

In May I took on different challenge. I decided to lose some excess weight. Having declared my intention the universe tested me, both physically and spiritually. During this time, and with a coach to reflect my behaviour, I learned more about my mind, body and spirit than I bargained for. I've since been blessed with the opportunity to coach others on the journey to better health and wellness.

Why do I mention these episodes?

In both cases I could have given up, lacked the relentlessness, lacked the guts, determination and backbone to nurture the skills I needed. Had I done this, through my failure to take action I'd probably have resigned one person to abuse for the rest of her childhood. In the other I'd have denied a great coach the ability to show off his skills and earn his living. And maybe, just maybe, as a result of all I've learned I might now go on to inspire something special to come from within others I come into contact with.

The quote at the top suggests contributing to other peoples happiness each day. When we look at the thousands that can impact over a decade, it is astounding. When you reflect upon what you want in life and your own skills and relentlessness, spend a moment to think about what that might inspire or deny in others.

What if you contributed to one persons happiness today? What if you also inspired someone too because you found the skills and the relentlessness to go beyond the point most people do? What would your family be like in ten years? What would your friends become? What about your business? What about your village or your town?

You see, we can change the world and we do it through evolving our own consciousness. What skills do you have to find and when will you begin to apply them relentlessly in order to make your ripple of change in the world?

Much love and good wishes to you. I hope 2007 is your most magnificent year yet!

About the Author
Discover the 'HOW' to get on track and stay on track. Get tips and ideas, from BEST-SELLING AUTHORS and TOP COACHES with the FREE weekly newsletter at

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