Nothing Like a Great Story

Posted on September 28, 2015 by Dr. Lynda
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The best stories can offer us a little journey. They can be a time machine or a crystal ball. Better yet, the wonder is often magnified if the story is true and backed up by compelling images or audio. Those aspects are all a part of this circle of great stories. All will leave you a little more informed and transformed. Have fun with these, even if you don’t think you’ll be interested. You might be pleasantly surprised. I was!

Paul Nicklen’s “Tales of an Ice-bound Wonderland”

Posted on January 3, 2016 by Dr. Lynda

This one is goose-bump material folks! Even if you think you have no interest in this subject, hang on to your hats!

Image; Paul Nicklen and Leopard seal
Source: Paul Nicklen

The video we are referring you to today is awe-inspiring throughout and culminates in one of this National Geographic photographer’s greatest personal and professional moments: swimming and actually “getting to know” the extraordinary leopard seal.

These majestic beauties have a deadly reputation, but when Nicklen swallowed his fear (after a bit of self-pep talking) he jumped into the frozen waters. You won’t believe what happened to him over the course of four days.

So let’s get to this remarkable photographer’s adventures.

He starts the talk with his photographs and experiences filming the elusive Spirit Bear (breathtaking) and other Arctic wonders and then shares a story that is a real paradigm shift, involving the infamous leopard seal.

We sat transfixed through this. See what you think!

Via: TED 1

Fabulous, isn’t it? Such passion, so many questions raised, and even humor!

Today, we brought you this EWC favorite for several reasons. First, this is one of my very favorite TED talks. Do you know about If not, we have a great place for you to put a toe in the water there. Curl up with some articles from our “Best TED Talks” page! has gotten pretty big now. It’s still wonderful, but a bit hard to know where to start and our top picks are some of the best of the best.

The other reason we love this article is that it remind us that there is a world of things the news media is not reporting on: extraordinary insights, places, innovations and people leading us forward. We’ve written over 700 articles now to prove we could be celebrating…

Image: Collage of Positive things in the world

Are you just discovering We are in 190 countries now. People all over the world seem to be ready for some news that is not ratcheting up fear and anger.

If you are curious about finding more web content that’s this positive… 

Welcome to Ever Widening Circles!

Our goal is to be the polar opposite of the negative 24-hour news cycle. We are curating the positive, possibility-filled news from the web for smart, curious and still hopeful people. You’ll find articles on any subject under the sun here…

Collages Pizza Oven

Head home and check out our “circles” of thought navigation tool, or scroll through our hundreds of articles that feature the world’s thought leaders, innovation, beauty, and wonder.

You can join us daily for a boost and an “I had no idea!” moment.

Most of our regular visitors subscribe, so the link to our daily article is waiting for them in their inbox. People tell us the email tends to remind them to take at least a few minutes each day for something positive and wonderful.

Meanwhile, don’t let anyone tell you anything different: it’s still an amazing world!

Stay open, curious and hopeful.

~ Dr. Lynda



Long Walk Off a Short Pier

Posted on August 16, 2015 by Dr. Lynda

As the long shadows of hot summer evenings come earlier, I’d like to share with you a brief story I heard on a truly fabulous podcast by Sam Mullins at ThisAmericanLife.Org.

Anyone who has ever been 14 years old will surely relate to this podcast by comedian Sam Mullins, about being an awkward, mid-teenager. This short, true story is about as close as you can get to universally humorous – albeit cringe-worthy – material.

If you give it five minutes of your undivided attention, you won’t be disappointed… lovely, funny, and so reminiscent of moments we’ve all had! Just listen and enjoy!

Image: dock at sunset. Beautiful purple and pink sky, sun shining on the lake, now a light pink shade because of the sunsetMake it a great day for yourself and some others.

Remember: happiness is something you choose ahead of time.


Head to our homepage to check out our latest articles, circles, and archives! Even better, subscribe below to receive the latest from EWC right to your inbox!

Or just scroll down to the bottom of this page where you’ll find a few more incredible articles like this one!

Stay open, curious and hopeful!

~ Dr. Lynda



Karen Thompson: What Fear Can Teach Us!

Posted on October 25, 2015 by Dr. Lynda

“Imagine you’re a shipwrecked sailor adrift in the enormous Pacific. You have three choices to try to save yourself and your shipmates – but each choice comes with a dreadful possible outcome. How do you choose? In telling the story of the whaling ship Essex through her TED Talk, novelist Karen Thompson Walker forces us to imagine our possible futures and decide how to cope with them.” 1

Image: Engraving of the Whale Ship Essex

Let’s start with a couple better questions:

Is fear a bad thing? And what role do the stories we tell ourselves have to play in our decisions?

To come to some new insight on that, treat yourself to this thought exercise: watch Karen Thompson Walker’s TED Talk below and PAUSE the talk at exactly4:45. That’s just after you understand the choices that the sailors faced. Then really think about which option you would choose. Really… process your choices and jot down your decision BEFORE listening to the rest of her presentation.

Watching this along with someone else makes this even more insightful because the most amazing debate about your choices will arise. See if you can round up a companion to enjoy this rare bit of fun insight.

It’s fascinating and if you are like us, this powerful insight might change the way you consider your options almost every day. Enjoy!

Via: TED 2

Well… how did you do?

It seems like such an obvious insight: Author Karen Thompson Walker simply reminds us to listen to the stories we are telling ourselves. That’s not rocket science in theory, but it is so hard to actually practice.

So how often does irrational fear force us to make bad decisions?

Image: Kids with pots on their headsWe’ve just come back from the most extraordinary “ideas conference” called PopTech.

Everyone we met at the conference is working out on the edges of possibility in their fields, just as we are here at But no one we met had heard of this concept of what fear can teach us, so we thought we’d share this talk today.

Every week here at EWC we feature numerous innovators who are telling themselves a different story than the one that would make them quit. They are dealing with the fear of failure in a healthier way.

Since watching this TED Talk, I have thought of the cannibals on the island a thousand times and turned my back on them. Instead, I stayed with the facts and made decisions without fear as a motivator.

But why do we gravitate towards telling ourselves the most emotionally charged story of all the possible outcomes? We don’t even stop to ask ourselves how likely that particular outcome is.

We do it in our families, businesses, and communities. It seems to be a leap our brain performs automatically. 

Take a look at the following photo. What’s the story that jumped into your mind about what’s going on there?


Are you telling yourself a negative story, perhaps something a bit fearful? It’s an impulse that is irresistible, isn’t it?

Well, actually, this is our 11-year-old daughter sitting by a campfire in our back yard, pouting a bit because we wouldn’t let her have a 20th marshmallow.

Let’s sort this impulse out in our own lives…

First we have to acknowledge that fear is an entire system of brain pathways, and one of the most important responses that has kept humanity from going the way of the Neanderthal. Yet today –  when we do not have to fear a saber-toothed tiger behind every tree – we are still telling ourselves that a critical level of danger may be right around every corner.

Now our stress is social, ethical and financial, but our brain elevates the challenges to that same fear center.

How often do we have difficult family situations that need attention, but we avoid wading in because we are imagining the worst possible outcome?

How often are our business decisions based on avoiding the worst possible outcome?

And most importantly, have you ever told yourself a scary story ahead of time that caused you to pass up a good opportunity?  (Yikes! That’s the hardest one for me to ponder.)


Dean Potter Rope Walking Over Rocks With Moon Behind

Or do you work in an environment that is so “Risk Conservative” that very little that is meaningful gets done?

Some interesting things to consider. See where this new insight takes you.

If you’d like to see an article that shows us how innovation works when fear of failure is not a part of the equation, check out an article we wrote called DARPA: Removing the Risk of Failure. DARPA is one of the world’s most important centers for cutting-edge technology research and innovation.

Have a great week… and watch out for the stories you are telling yourself.

Scroll down to the bottom of this page to find 6 more articles featuring innovators out on the edges of possibility!

Stay open, curious and hopeful.

~ Dr. Lynda

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.


  1. Thompson Walker, Karen. “What Fear Can Teach Us.” TED, June 2012. Web. 26 Oct. 2015. <>.
  2. Thompson Walker, Karen. “What Fear Can Teach Us.” TED, June 2012. Web. 26 Oct. 2015. <>.



Autism: Amazing Things We’ve Forgotten

Posted on August 23, 2015 by Louisa Ulrich-Verderber

So many of our most challenging problems in society have spiraled into unproductive myths that impede progress.

Do you love a good story?

How about the tempest surrounding the thought that vaccinating children will cause autism?

Image: Boy looking through patterned glass

Simply understanding the history of autism could set us on an entirely new path towards working with this matter to a very positive end for everyone. But first we have to completely extinguish the accidental fires that often engulfed and sidetracked positive progress.

And off the topic of autism: could this concept of “understanding where we came from” inform the other debates that swirl in society, often hindering potential solutions?

Today on we will again bring you good news and prove this is still an amazing world. (Our EWC motto) I had no idea how history can inform many of the unnecessary and dangerous debates our negative news media likes to promote. History can help us move on safely.

Take a look and then we will consider how we can harness this example to solve other great debates. First, let’s experience a paradigm shift…

Via: TED 1

After I finished this TED Talk, I have to admit I was a little miffed. Why doesn’t everyone in the throws of this particular debate know about this video? Where is the news media in responding responsibly to this tempest? There was a time when “the newspeople” would do the research that Steve Silberman has done: publish a story to set the record straight and then we would all move on sensibly.

Now it seems the role of “the news” is to fan the flames of fear and shame.

I don’t know if I’ve ever run into a better example of this unfortunate media development in modern society. How about you?

Can you think of an example of an issue like this, where cooler heads have not prevailed, and an emotionally driven story has trumped history at the expense of positive progress? Maybe something to do with your specialty or profession?

Image: Optical Illusion painted onto the street. It makes the street look like tiny platforms just above a deep pool of water

Fabulous insight here into the power of story telling and misunderstanding. This TED Talk made me pause to questions so many things we are squabbling about in society. Now, whenever I’m being drawn into a conversation where others are raving about some injustice, I sit quietly and ponder how much I actually know.

In many of the most heated debates in society – political, public health, religious, environmental, social – what do you really know about the details? The science, or the motives of the folks who are sponsors of “your side” of the debate?

When I was visiting relatives recently, I was caught up in many, many conversations about the complexities in our world. I was dumbstruck by how eager I was to throw my strong opinions into the ring, but I’d already seen this video, and it reminded me to keep my comments to what I knew only from my own experience. The rest of my “knowledge” might be something I heard on a biased news report, or a left or right leaning media piece. Those might just be stories.

The rest of my “knowledge” might be something I heard on a biased news report, or a left or right leaning media piece. Those might just be stories.

Maybe when we start to feel our blood boil on an issue,  it’s healthier to keep calm and ask ourselves how much we really know. That would make us thought leaders in almost every situation and encourage others to find a positive role in the way forward.

I can feel my blood pressure and peace of mind improving already!


Head to our homepage to check out our latest articles, circles, and archives! Even better, subscribe below to receive the latest from EWC right to your inbox!

Or just scroll down to the bottom of this page where you’ll find a few more incredible articles like this one!

Moving our impulses from joining in, to asking questions, is a great way to stay open, curious and hopeful.

Have a great day!

~ Dr. Lynda



Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.