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Know That You Matter and Imagine the Ripple Effects

Is it possible that everything you do matters? A  number of years ago social scientists Nicholas Christakis, M.D., Ph.D., and James Fowler, Ph.D., conducted a study that found obesity is contagious by up to three degrees of separation. Then later found that loneliness is also contagious by three degrees of separation and it matters if you have people in your life who feel happy. In 1951 David Bohm wrote a book with a theory that if you split an atomic particle into two sub-units and sent them to opposite ends of the universe, if you gave one a spin, the other would spin too. Neuroscience shows us that how we pay attention and what we pay attention to effects neural growth in our brains. What would be different if we understood that our actions matter?

Here’s a picture that says it well:


Life is a paradox. On the one hand we are these infinitely small beings walking around on this tiny spinning rock in a vast universe that spreads out farther than our brains can even imagine. On the other hand, we are all connected in a way where are very actions create reactions that affect other people and the way life unfolds in the following moments.

Consider for a moment that you actually matter. If that is true and you had the power to influence this world, what might you be doing differently on a daily basis? If you spin one particle at one end of the universe and it spins another, imagine the ripple effects of your meaningful actions.

How can you make that happen?

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Source: The Now Effect: How a Mindful Moment Can Change the Rest of Your Life

Know That You Matter and Imagine the Ripple Effects

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is creator of the six month online program A Course in Mindful Living, author of the book Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion, The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler: Quick Exercises to Calm Your Mind, the premier eCourse Basics of Mindfulness Meditation: A 28 Day Program, the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations. Join The Now Effect Community for free Daily Now Moments and a Weekly Newsletter. Dr. Goldstein is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles.

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APA Reference
Goldstein, E. (2013). Know That You Matter and Imagine the Ripple Effects. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 20, 2019, from


Last updated: 3 Jan 2013
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