Our impulses guide us away from struggle, but most of the highly successful and happiest people in the world will tell you a story that involves grappling with great challenges and struggling successfully.

Have you come through a major struggle and emerged with experiences that powerfully challenge all your assumptions?

Do you know a friend, relative or mentor who has a story of transformation through struggle?

Today we’ll explore this subject, through the story of a remarkable innovator who has changed the world for children in a part of the world where a pencil is precious. His story brings you to a place where pencils, rogue wave, and purpose intersect.

Our video-share left the whole EWC team with a renewed sense of possibility and 5 new phrases as guides to our future.

This guys’s got a real story to tell! See what you think of Adam Braun’s TEDx Talk from YouTube below.

What struggling successfully looks like:

Well now! That’s a bit refreshing! Better yet: things just got better after Adam Braun’s talk. That YouTube video was Published on 17 May 2013, so I did some homework on what’s been happening in the last 2 years.

Pencils of Promise is still going strong and gaining momentum. When Adam made that video, they had broken ground on 80 schools around the world and delivered over 3 million educational hours in its first four years.

Look what they have posted on their website this morning:

In just 22 months, PoP has more than tripled its impact!

I loved that last thought that Adam left us with:

“With the knowledge that the world will change in the next 10 years, and you will change with it, how can you create the most impact for as many lives as possible?”  – Adam Braun

He also said,

“Every person is a revolution in a vessel. If your dreams aren’t scaring you, then you are not dreaming big enough.” – Adam Braun

So where is your hidden potential, the path that will give meaning to you every day?

Are you avoiding taking that path because you know it will bring you to the edge of your comfort zone?

Maybe you are telling yourself a story about how difficult it will be, but in reality, you can’t even imagine how much the challenge would expand you and others in positive ways.

Need more evidence before pursuing a struggle?

No one wants to pursue struggle, but oddly enough, many of us can attest to the fact that most of the best transformations in our lives happen out there on the edges of our comfort zone.

Maybe this is a better question:

Are you cruising contently through a patch of life and not learning much, or are you struggling and learning something from the fight every day?

Image: A child trying to figure out which way to go

Source: Pixabay

So how do we manage that quandary, trusting that struggling successfully is possible?

I can corroborate Adam’s sentiments completely. I too had to embrace some risk and struggle when I launched into creating Ever Widening Circles – the website you are on now – and I can tell you it’s never easy, but it’s always meaningful challenge, and oddly enough, the more committed I am, the more good breaks we seemed to have had.

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Adam also said,

“When you project ideas out into the world, the universe seems to organize around their eventuality.”

We can tell you from our experience that he is absolutely right about that the instances of serendipity that I have experienced over the past year are uncountable. Good things popped up in front of me just when I needed them most.

Our concept here at Ever Widening Circles was to create a place on the web where smart, nice people around the world could find and share remarkable and totally credible things that remind us all that this is still an amazing world (Our motto here at EWC).

Most of us are sick of the negativity and manipulation of the 24-hour news cycle, and the rants of people who would like us to live in fear of each other.

Ever Widening Circles is the antidote to all that craziness. Here you have found a place you can visit regularly and coming away transformed by the insights, creativity and inspiring things others have done and shared.

And just those 5 Phrases…

PoP was founded with just $25 in October 2008, and is now responsible for new educational opportunities for tens of thousands of children. That might not be your cup of tea, but anything may be possible if you follow Adam Brauns 5 phrases:

  • Get out of your comfort zone
  • Challenge your assumptions, so you can find your truths
  • Speak the language of someone who you seek to become
  • Make the little decisions with your head and the big decisions with your heart
  • How can you create the most positive impact, for as many lives as possible?

You can learn more from Adam Braun and his PoP venture by clicking the following image and checking out his PoPBook on Amazon.com:

PoP BookIf you don’t know where to start in an effort to change the world, help us! You can go to our “Jobs at EWC” page to see where possibility can start.

Lastly… we’ll leave you with a repeat of that last Adam Braun quote:

“If your dreams aren’t scaring you, then you are not dreaming big enough.”

Thanks for dropping by Ever Widening Circles. We’ll have another amazing insight for you soon.

Stay open, curious and hopeful!

~ Dr. Lynda

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  1. Braun, Adam. “The Five Phrases That Can Change Your Life.” YouTube. TEDx Talks, 17 May 2013. Web. 6 Mar. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8oE2kqVXkk>.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world. Hear her latest conversations with thought leaders on the Conspiracy of Goodness Podcast--new episodes every Wednesday!