The Ripple Effect
By Doug Grady


This week’s blog post is an article written by Doug Grady, a Speaker, Entrepreneur and Muscian, in addition to being the owner of High Achievers Network. 

Enjoy it!  Have a fabulous day, and don’t forget to keep your eyes open for all the amazing possibilities within and around you!

Kris Cavanaugh

C.E.O. Catalyst / Speaker / Author / Coach


The Ripple Effect
By Doug Grady
“You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack  
You may find yourself in another part of the world   
You may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile   
You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife  
You may ask yourself, well how did I get here?” 
-The Talking Heads, Once in a Lifetime
I have always been fascinated with how we become who we are. What creates breakthroughs in our lives? What causes some people to wake up enthused and go to bed fulfilled? How do we create a life we are excited about that also makes a powerful and positive difference for others? Why do so many incredibly talented, gifted, and “fortunate” people end up ruining their lives? How do others defy the odds and live extraordinary, exemplary lives?

My work has been in personal and professional development for over 17 years. I have read hundreds of books and invested thousands of dollars and hours in seminars, training sessions, and personal coaching with the “best” in the business. They taught me how to think and act to be more successful; how to set goals; how to manage my time; how to communicate more effectively; how to be my best. I was an excellent student and became a professional trainer. I have trained thousands of people all over the country how to be more successful in their chosen field over endeavor. Still somehow several months ago I ended up in what you might call a “rut” to put it mildly. My business was losing money, I was physically out of shape, and had a bad attitude. Some of my closest friends and advisors were advising me to consider a new career path. I began to ask myself,

“Well, how did I get here?”

I often brooded over the irony of how I, an intelligent, experienced man in the “success” business could allow himself to be sucked into the quagmire of mediocrity. I wanted desperately to continue to blame it on the economy and bad luck. When I got brutally honest with myself I came to the realization that I was the problem. The ripples created from the choices I had made, the habitual behaviors I had engaged in, and the limiting beliefs I had cultivated had led me to exactly where I was. It was no accident. My mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, and financial state- all of which were suffering, were nothing more than the inevitable result of the choices I had made in the past. I knew something had to change and I had to change it.

Inception is the point at which thought becomes commitment.

I created a ripple effect in my life 104 days ago. I was meeting with fellow speaker and friend Scott Goodknight. At one point in the meeting he casually threw out his 30 day challenge to me: What one thing was I willing to take on everyday for the next 30 days? He suggested something personal (rather than professional). While initially I dismissed his challenge to discuss the more “important” points of our meeting, it was still in my head as our 4 hour meeting concluded. It had been several months since I had exercised consistently. I felt tired, lethargic, flabby, and weak. I have been athletic for most of my life, but had allowed a hip injury which I incurred while training for a half marathon to become an excuse for not exercising. I begrudgingly committed to myself and to Scott as I was leaving that I would exercise a minimum of 30 minutes per day for 30 consecutive days. I agreed to report in everyday, and to a daily pain and a 30 day reward. It was a less than inspired moment, nonetheless it was a commitment.

My 30 day follow through began the next day. Initially the workouts were unpleasant and inconvenient to say the least, but I followed through. A few days later I committed to making 20+ prospecting calls per day. Several other commitments followed- healthier eating, getting up early, reading something positive everyday. Some of these simply “happened” without much thought, planning or effort on my part. Others (the calls for example) took more discipline. I began to think more clearly; my energy increased; my communication became more effective; people began to respond differently to me. I met (and now hang out with) some extraordinary people I never would have met otherwise. Oh, and my business began to move in the right direction. My life is very different now- mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially. One choice led to other choices and to a series of positive outcomes. The ripple changed the course of my life.

“Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

The inception incubator. Perhaps you have been thinking of taking on a commitment that would make a difference in your life. Your inception point occurs when you resolve to act on this thought. I recommend your “inception incubator” include the following:

  • Consider that your life is the result of a series of “ripples”. The experiences in your life and you response to them have led you to where you are now.
  • Think about the life you really want. Who do you want to be? Who are you at your best? What qualities do you want to develop? How do you want the world to be different because of you? Why are you here? What legacy do you want to leave behind?
  • Read something inspiration, educational and/or motivational.
  • Listen to your favorite music.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Get around people who inspire you- people you respect; people who are committed to having an extraordinary life; people who care about you. I had been thinking for some time that I needed to get back into an exercise routine. It wasn’t until I was challenged by my friend Scott Goodknight that I actually committed to do something differently. Scott’s ripple is now hitting you through me. This article never would have been written without his challenge 104 days ago. Allow me to help cause a ripple in your life right now. What are you willing to take on (or give up?) for the next 30 days?

Choose your commitment.

  • Choose one. Doing something positive is always better than nothing. Do not worry about making the perfect choice. Perfectionism nourishes procrastination and can keep you stuck. Choose one thing you are committed to do (or give up) for the next 30 days.
  • Choose simply. By “simple” I mean “do-able.” Your daily commitment must be manageable in the face of the unexpected. 30 minutes a day was “do-able” and “simple” enough that I believed I could accomplish it on a daily basis no matter what for 30 days (and I did).
  • Choose now. Now is the time, this is the place, you are the one.

I took the road less travelled, now I have no idea where in the world I am.” –Anonymous

Once you have chosen what you are committed to your ripple has begun. The road ahead will undoubtedly contain many twists and turns; unexpected pain and exciting breakthroughs; victories and defeats. Honoring your commitment isn’t always easy. Your ripple will subside very soon without:

Follow through. Don’t let your ripple die the death of most New Year’s resolutions. Choose everyday to find a way to just do it! I have found the following invaluable:

  • Use pain and pleasure to motivate yourself. Scott recommended a daily dose of pain if I did not fulfill my commitment (I chose to make this monetary) and a 30 day reward upon successful completion (I made this a nice dinner with an important person in my life).
  • Get an Accountabilty Partner. Scott became mine. I committed to report in every day when I had completed my commitment.

Track what is different in your life since you began your 30 day commitment.

  • How do you feel? What experiences have showed up? What results, people, places or things? What other choices have you made? What is different in you and in your life?
  • Keep a journal- acknowledge yourself each day you complete your commitment. Write about your challenges, your accomplishments, your breakthroughs, and how you have affected others.
  • Share with others what you are doing and what has happened in your life because of it.

For those of you who like formulas (I am one of them), here it is:

Inception (think, choose, commit), Follow through, Track, Repeat.

Your inception point, if you choose, is now.

  • I choose to____________ for the next 30 days.
  • _____________ is my Accountabilty Partner.
  • _____________ is my daily pain.
  • _____________ is my 30 day reward.

Please include me in the sharing of your experience with The Ripple Effect. I really want to hear from you.

“You may find yourself making more empowering choices  
You may find yourself turning your business around  
You may find yourself alive and excited each day  
You may find yourself in extraordinary places with extraordinary people  
You may tell yourself, well I know how I got here”  
-The Ripple Effect


About Doug Grady:   For over 16 years, Doug has been engaging audiences from coast to coast with his wit and wisdom. Exciting, entertaining and enlightening are words invariably used to describe his unique seminars and workshops. As a business owner, professional speaker and musician, Doug is a jack of many trades and a master of one: helping you master yours. He has been privileged to share the platform with legends Brian Tracy, Tom Hopkins, Tony Robbins, and Denis Waitley. The companies he has trained include Sprint, AFLAC, Bank of America, BNI and State Farm.  Mixing practical sales wisdom with parody songwriting, Doug delivers a performance to remember. Sales teams across the country leave laughing, inspired and in Superior Sales action.  For more information about Doug, go to
So, now that you’ve read about The Ripple Effect, how are you going to use this information to make 2010 a fantastic year for your life and/or your business?

Please take a moment and share your ideas in the comment section below.

Enjoy the rest of your day!  ~ Kris


About Kris Cavanaugh

Kris Cavanaugh, owner of ShiftTM, is a Speaker, Author and Coach who specializes in helping others cultivate a C.E.O. mindset in every area of their life so their businesses, careers, and personal lives thrive.  She is an expert strategist with an amazing ability to pull her clients through difficult challenges to obtain the life they truly want.

If you have a desire to live your life “on purpose”, so you wake up every day excited about the possibilities and maintain an unwavering belief that you will overcome any obstacles to achieve your personal and professional goals more easily, call Kris at 404-551-3601 or go to to schedule your complimentary meeting today.

Kris is author of “Stuck to C.E.O.” (available on Amazon) at

Need a Speaker?  
Kris Cavanaugh is a Professional Member of the NSA (National Speakers Association).  If you or people you know are seeking speakers, panelists, or workshop instructors for any type of association, corporate, nonprofit or industry meeting, please contact Shift, Inc., at  You can learn more about Kris’ presentations at