In 1961, MIT meteorologist Edward Lorenz was working on a mathematical model to describe how air moves around in the atmosphere. But soon, he discovered that the weather didn’t always behave as predicted. Small events, like a butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon, could set off a chain reaction and theoretically build up to a Hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. This phenomenon later came to be known as the butterfly effect.
But the butterfly effect has many more applications than meteorology. Seemingly tiny decisions in your own life can have huge effects on your career, circle of friends, and romantic connections. And it’s important to harness this power to trigger positive ripple effects instead of negative ones. It can potentially change your life in a matter of days if not months. But definitely it will.
The good news is, yes there are ways that you can harness this power to use at your own will or lets just hope you are building positive vibes enough to build that positive ripple effect.
Let me illustrate how this work with the example of my friend Leon, he was a 14 year old guy, introvert, shy, insecure nerd who loved to play games and engage on computers all day long. One day in school, he decided to take part in a dance competition. He got in touch with the coach, gave the audition and to even his own surprise. Got into the competition. He was really disciplined, focused, always on time and down to earth. He genuinely wanted to learn dancing.
Days turned into months and he won the dancing competition, he was respected among the school students now, and got the part in inter school competition and won many of them. He was now known across the school and faculty for his dancing skills and amazing performances on stage. Even the senior dancers respected Leon’s effort and enthusiasm and took him under their wing. They started hanging out with him outside of practice.
Over time, Leon’s confidence grew. He was no longer the new guy. He was just as social as everyone else.
With his newfound self-esteem, he started to teach other students. He entered several competitions. He met a ton of new people who also shared his passion. His circle of friends grew dramatically and changed his life.
Within two years, the insecure, awkward guy had discovered his passion, loyal friends, confidence in himself – none of which would have happened had he not decided to audition for that dance competition in the first place.
I’m sure you know other people with similar stories. But its still as effective as it can ever be.
How to trigger the butterfly effect:
Now comes the important part, how can we replicate what we learned from leon’s story and apply it in real life. Is there something you can do to maximize your chances of starting a social butterfly effect? I believe so.
The First Phase: PASSION
Create a list of activities that sound interesting to you:
This is a very critical question to ask yourself, look for things that raise curiosity in your life, something that you would love to try but don’t want to or are afraid to do. Those are usually the best ways to begin. Learn to question your understanding of what you love and explore that to the end. Once you find something that brings deep joy into your life. Follow that activity and learn more about it. It can be anything from an outdoor sport. But do make sure that its something that brings you closer to people. An outdoor activity or even in-house which involves other people.
Take action by trying everything on your list.
As the say, without action. Its just another idea that won’t matter. Action is your top priority at this moment. Focus on one thing at a time. Give it a week at least before you take the decision to move on to the next one. Most fun or passionate activities are usually very hard in the beginning. Because it has a leaning curve, once you learn the basics; you will definitely get more deeper knowledge.
Focus on the activity you like best.
It’s time to get on it, once you find out that one thing which really moves you from the inside and gives you new perspective at looking towards things or is more challenging. Something that pushes you to the limits. That’s when you will find out that you have found the one. Focus on the activity for around a month, learn about it, research about it, talk about it and engage more.
Join a group.
This is where the fun begins, once you have enough knowledge and the knack to learn more about that one thing. You can go out in the open to connect with like minded people in the same genre. Lookout for meetup groups, circles, groups on Facebook. These are good places to begin and start connecting with people who are as passionate about it as you are.
The Respect Phase
Ask experienced people for help.
Always remember to be a student when it comes to learning from others, let them teach you, guide you. Focus on embracing those wisdom and build meaningful connections. More experienced people usually love to help newbies because it gives them a chance to teach and interpret what they have learned. Most of the time just because they know what its like a newbie. Always be the first to ask them and don’t expect them to come to you. Be enthusiastic to learn and be early for any of the meetings. Slowly with time, you will definitely be appreciated into the internal group.
Don’t be an asshole
That goes without saying, never be an asshole or bitch about anyone behind their back or even on their face. Everyone hates that guy who talks negative about anyone. If someone is being bad to you for making your way into a new group. Ignore them or try to talk to them and understand what makes them uncomfortable. but don’t be an asshole.
Persistence and Consistence, thats the two key concept that can help to learn anything and everything. When it comes to butterfly effect, its much more deeper then that. We are not learning just for the sake of learning. It’s not a duty, not a pressure. Learn it because you want to learn it, because it will make you better then the former you. There’s this rule if you haven’t heard about ‘the 10,000 hour rule’, it means that if you spend atleast 10k hour learning any one activity, you will be an expert. That’s all it takes.
The Social Phase
Take part in activities outside the class or club
Once you build that connection with your newly found friends and mentors, get engaged with them on daily basis and make sure to go out with them. The more informal the meetups are the better. It will give you time to really devour yourself into the conversation and explore the possibilities. You can start taking your newly found passion to the next level.
Go from local – to regional – to national – to global.
Group such as toastmasters for public speakers, BNI for business groups, and many other local groups are formed for almost any kind of activity that you may love. Socialize with them, learn and grow. Always focus on growing, from the base to the next level. Never skip a step, because shortcuts never helped anyone in the long run. Besides the fun is in the journey, not the destination.
The butterfly effect is an amazing concept, the best part about it is you don’t have anything to lose. If will give you a chance to explore the unknown and find out what you really love and what you don’t. In the end, the better you know yourself. The faster you can understand your goals and the kind of people you wanna attract in your life. Life gives you what you need, not what you want. If you need positive people around you, because your energy demands it. It will give you. Good luck on this amazing new journey.