butterfly effect.

March 6, 2008

Chaos Pattern

Butterfly effect:  “…the idea that a butterfly’s wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that ultimately cause a tornado to appear (or prevent a tornado from appearing)…had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the trajectory of the system might have been vastly different.”  (from Wikipedia)

This post is about choices.  Small choices we make – what we eat, what we do, where we live, how we act, what we say, what we write – can have far reaching effects on our lives, and the lives of others.

This post is also about change.  It is never too late to change.  The path is not set in stone.  This I believe to be true.

We all make choices, practically every second of our waking lives.  Perhaps many, or even most of them may not seem important.  I ask you to take a moment, to pause and think again.

Small choices can and do lead to monumental changes.

A long time ago, I had a simple choice to make.  A friend asked me if I wanted to go to a party.  I met my wife at that party, and today we have four beautiful children together.  Those children would not exist today, had I made a different choice in that split second, and stayed in that night.

My life was forever changed by that simple choice, and for that I am grateful.

No matter how small your choice, how small your action may seem, it can have far reaching effects.  It can totally alter your life course.

And this is a beautiful thing.  It can start simply with an idea.  A positive idea for change.  A kind word to someone you know.  A helping hand.  And it can grow exponentially, into something much bigger than all of us.

More recently, I made another small choice.  For some time, I knew I was missing something.  I was not doing what I am meant to be doing.  I decided that I wanted to start writing again, for pleasure.  I started writing in my spare time, and I had some ideas, but I did nothing more with them.

At the beginning of this year, I decided to start participating actively in the blogging world, by commenting.  Just a small step.  The flap of a wing, so to speak.

Slowly, the wind started to pick up.  The leaves in the trees started moving, back and forth.  I started the blog you are now reading.  People started to encourage me.  And that is a great thing.

One small choice has made all the difference.  I decided to change, at that moment.  My path is forever altered, and for that I am grateful.

Decide, right now, to make a positive choice and take one small action.  It will forever change your life path.

Perhaps you agree with what I have said, or not – that is up to you.

I choose to believe that life is what we make of it.  And the small things can make all the difference.

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55 Responses to “butterfly effect.”

  1. Francis Kopke Says:

    Hah! I’m the first to comment!
    Its amazing how sometime two people can be on the same page at the same time.
    Check out my blog. I posted my wedding speech, in which I mention the same story as you did about meeting Cathy.
    Weird, cool, karmic.
    Good choice.

  2. brettlegree Says:

    That’s right, you should scream out “FIRST!” :)

    I think it is a sign of “ordo ab chao”.

    Thanks for reminding me about that (and giving me the link to your blog, again… my mind is going…)

    It just shows, yet again, how the small choices make all the difference.

  3. Monika Says:

    Hi Brett,
    That is a very insightful post you made here and I totally agree with you. You do have an amazing gift to phrase emotions into word and will go a long way (virtually ;-) ) in your life with your dreams and aspirations.


  4. [...] blogs, as well as here lately which is the greatest gift a reader can give to a blog owner. His butterfly effect post is a must read for all of you who like to appreciate things in [...]


  5. My wife and I were discussing changes last night during a long drive, and how my own life in particular truly hinged on one afternoon 15 years ago. We turned down one of the sidestreets of Naomi’s “E” back in October, and everything is rockin’.

    Thanks for this post.

  6. brettlegree Says:

    Hi Monika,

    Thank you very, very much for your kind words and encouragement – and also for the mention on your blog today.

    It is people such as yourselves who have been showing me the way, helping me step by step with advice, or a kind word – sometimes, without even knowing it.

  7. Amy Derby Says:

    By the title, I was worried this post was going to be about the movie Butterfly Effect. Very disturbing movie, if you haven’t seen it.

    But this was better. Whenever I catch myself regretting something I’ve done in the past, I remind myself that if that one thing hadn’t happened, this other thing wouldn’t have happened. Then this other good thing wouldn’t have happened, and so on. I’d never heard it called the butterfly effect before, but I like that.

  8. brettlegree Says:

    Hi Amy,

    Thank you for stopping by today, and thank you very much for your support.

    Most of all, thank you for helping me in my learning process, as this blog is my test environment while my real page is being finalized by Harry & James. I have seen the movie, and I agree with you that it was disturbing.

    It was good to have some feedback from you today as I’d not thought too much about the pop culture reference to the title, having encountered the term years ago.

    I’ll be dropping by your place soon to visit. You have some really inspiring words over there. It is people like you who encourage me to go further.

  9. John Hoff Says:

    Hey Brett. I one day decided to put my profile on match.com. 6 years later I have a 2 year old boy and one on the way.

    I always look at that choice to go on match.com as a miracle from God.

  10. brettlegree Says:

    Hey John, that is a *wonderful* story – thank you for sharing it. That was truly meant to be.

    This is why I always hold that door for someone, or ask the person at the variety store, “how is your day going?”

    One small action can make all the difference to a life.

  11. Jane Says:

    Hi Brett,

    I found your blog through a comment you made on Skellie’s blog earlier this month. – Just one of those little choices again, and I’m really enjoying reading what you have to say.
    My butterfly effect was getting glandular fever 20 years ago and ending up with CFS. I know that if that had not happened, I would not have moved in the circle of friends where I met my husband ten years later.
    We have now two beautiful children and while I can’t say I’m happy about my assorted health issues, I thank the universe for the love that surrounds me every day.
    Sometimes the effects of events won’t be felt for decades…

  12. brettlegree Says:

    Hi Jane,

    Thank you for your kind comments, and thank you for stopping by.

    The small choices do have the greatest effects. We had set out to have only one more child and we were blessed with three more. I couldn’t imagine life without the four. And health issues for us are also the reason we have been blessed. So in some way, it was meant to be.

    Thank you, also, for your wonderful blog page. I am off this week (March Break) with my children and I think I can take a few ideas from you!

    This will be a fun week for me. I am treating it as a preview of how I want my “work” to be. A prototype of sorts, much like I did a few weeks back.

    One thing is for sure – I’m feeling that I am where I should be, rather than in an office…

    Thanks again for the words.

  13. brettlegree Says:

    @ Stephen,

    Thank you very much for stopping by, and apologies for not responding to your comment sooner!

    You were the first lucky “victim” to get caught by akismet… :)

    It is simply amazing what you find on those side streets. This little blog is the result of my explorations, and I am so happy I made that choice, as I am getting to meet great people like yourself.

    I am just having a look at your blog right now, and it is absolutely great stuff.

    I’m glad you took the time to say hello. I will be sure to do the same.


  14. [...] have written about the small choices we make in life at butterfly effect, how they have far reaching consequences, and the responses I received were encouraging.  [...]


  15. We truly don’t know where the small choices that we make daily will take us. Earlier in the day, I read 2 interviews by Stephen Hopson at Adversity University that he did with Harry and James of Men With Pens. I went to their blog and clicked on one of your comments to come and read this article. I really like the sense of humor and wisdom of your words in the comments that I have read from you today. I will be back to read more of your articles.

  16. brettlegree Says:

    Hi Patricia,

    Thank you for taking the time to stop in to visit, and thank you for your words of kindness. I saw your comment over at MwP and I was immediately attracted to your blog and your writing by the title alone. I am also really enjoying what you have to say. The small choices we make, even as simple as the words we choose in a simple sentence. The way that we greet a person at the supermarket, or a coffee shop. It can affect a person’s whole life.

    I believe that is why it is so very important to be positive and treat others with kindness. We are all very important parts of a complex machine.

    I will look forward to seeing you again and chatting with you!

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