The Butterfly Effect – how one small action can alter the entire fabric of your life

We’ve all seen the movies, all read the anecdotes.. The butterfly flapping its wings, the ‘Sliding Doors’ that can determine the outcome of the rest of your life…

But how often do we really, really think about the truth behind it?
I thought about it a few hours ago, when I was doing one of the most mundane, necessary acts known to mankind: buying groceries.

I was approaching an aisle in slow motion, and there was an elderly couple chatting about which gravy mix to buy, but everything slowed down — the din of the piped in music, the screaming kids begging their parents to buy them a lollipop or chocolate bar — it all faded away, and my trolley involuntarily started veering to the right.

Something higher than me was telling me to choose a different aisle.

But of course, I ignored it and headed straight down the soup & spice aisle.

Why? Because I just wanted to get home, and away from all of the people as soon as possible.

In short: I shunned my gut instinct and chose the easy way out.

Right this second, I’m thinking about what might have happened if I’d chosen a different aisle: would I have run into a friend I hadn’t seen in years? Would I have been in a position to help a mother or father at their wit’s end? Would I have overhead a conversation that reminded me to follow up on something very important I keep pushing on the back burner??

I guess I’ll never know.

But that’s the thing: those moments happen so frequently and within mere milliseconds, we often don’t realise what just played out right in front of our eyes.

Then, the questions flood your brain:

Do I change lanes to get past this heavy traffic flow?

Do I run to catch the train in time?

Do I call out to that person who looks so familiar in my mind’s eye?

Do I apply for that job?

Do I show up to that soccer tryout?

Do I buy that book / shirt / painted sea shell?

The list is endless, really.

But, the alternative to all of those scenarios is exactly the same:

OR: do I just keep doing what I’m currently doing, go with the flow and see what happens?

There are always pros and cons with both. But the big question you’ve gotta ask yourself is:

How much worse off will you be, if you take that chance? 

Playing it safe, and not going against what’s already deeply ingrained in you, won’t make you any worse off… But it certainly won’t move you forward in any way, shape or form.

Sometimes, the moments are a 50 / 50 split and you have absolutely no idea how it will turn out. Well, I believe intuition is a muscle unto itself — it needs repetition, and love, and care.

Like any other muscle, learn to test it, learn to push it to its limits, learn to develop it.

Go against the grain, because the grain is tired and boring. No matter how small and unimportant the factor may be, occasionally lean towards that which goes against the norm. You never know where that may lead you.

I’m not suggesting you sell up and start backpacking through Borneo right the fuck now: I’m just saying to start having some fun with the universe.

If you’ve got niggling thoughts, if the universe is showing you random little paths that make absolutely no sense to you right now, TRY IT!!! Plonk your toe in the water. At least you will have tested it, and if it still doesn’t feel right, remove it! Dry it off, and test it somewhere else!

Don’t stay on dehydrated, arid land; that’s not where the magic lies.

My challenge to you all:

In the next seven days, do one thing that pokes at the corners of your subconscious. Follow it, and see where it takes you.

You shan’t be disappointed, because the alternative is the norm! And, as I’ve already said: the norm blows! 

I think you know that, too 😉

I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my favourite binge shows. Ted Mosby sums it up right here.

Til next time, A-crew!!!