The Butterfly Effect in your life

by Deon Du Plessis

We all know the much overused cliche of "taking baby steps" in order to achieve big things. Maybe that is why so very few people apply this amazingly powerful principle in their lives. I call it a principle because it is absolute and universal. If you look closely at anything in nature you will notice how physically big plants for instance only consist of a number of smaller parts. It is the culmination of all the parts that make up the "bigness" that can only become and exist through a process of growth.

Tony Robbins often talks about the power of making small incremental changes in our lives. The reason why most people never succeed is because in planning on doing too much all at once, they never take the first step in doing something small. Incremental advances taps into one of the building blocks of our universe called compounding. Modern science attributes the principle of compounding to the very existence of our universe.

The principle of compounding simply means that growth is incremental. One becomes two, two becomes four, four becomes eight, eight become sixteen ec. This is the way the universe "expands" and this is the way your life expands.

If a big oil tanker sets off on a 5000 mile journey halfway across the globe, obviously it wants to take the shortest route by going in a straight line. Now what if the navigation system wasn't properly calibrated? What if his course was off by just half a degree? The answer is simple: the tanker would end up at the wrong continent. The moral of the story is that we need to really take control of the small things for they are not just important but they are everything. When it comes to fulfilling our dreams or achieving our goals the one very important aspect to keep close to heart is the fact that it only takes one idea to transform everything. It takes just one small adjustment that over time can have a great effect in our lives.

In the movie The Butterfly Effect with Ashton Kutcher, this principle is beautifully illustrated. The butterfly effect refers to the knock on effect that is created in the universe by a butterfly flapping it's wings. At first is seems almost entirely unimportant and insignificant, but over time this can actually create a hurricane or something of great effect by the accumulation of a small effort.

It is the seemingly insignificant steps that eventually create the significant leaps in our lives. We often avoid taking the very actions necessary to make our lives extraordinary because we see these actions as insignificant. Never underestimate the power of the butterfly effect. Always reinforces your decisions with actions and keep taking action towards what you do want instead of what you fear.

Tony Robbins often talks about the same principle. He calls it "global changes." Global changes refer to the effect of making just one change that has the power and effect to change a lot of other things simultaneously. The challenge is that this is different for every person and most people "give up" after "failing" with two or three attempts. Know this: giving up and calling something a failure also creates a butterfly effect.

Consistent and congruent action towards the attainment of any goal is the key to building momentum. Every small action accumulates and builds on the ones before until you create a snowball that will eventually be unstoppable. It is likely that whatever challenges you are currently facing, it could have been avoided by some simple decisions and actions previously.

James Allen pointed out that our thoughts are "things" and that our thoughts manifest themselves in our lives through circumstances and events. It is for this reason that we need to guard the doors of our minds for every thought will create a butterfly effect which at first might seem insignificant, but can eventually have great results and consequences in your life. Entertaining negative and destructive thoughts will only serve to strengthen this effect.

Don't ever take the apparent small things for granted. It all has an effect and it all builds on past effects to shape and direct our lives. Use your time and your mind wisely and above all take positive and constructive action everyday towards becoming the kind of person you ultimately want to be.

Filed under: Behavior , Goals
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About Deon Du Plessis

Deon Du Plessis is the creator of A Course of Action, a free e-course designed to empower you to break through your limitation, take action and transform your ideas into reality.

Recent articles by Deon Du Plessis

Apr 5, 2008 3 Great Lessons In Living Your Life Purpose
Feb 3, 2007 Three Truly Liberating Procrastination Tips
Oct 9, 2006 Great Expectations?
Jul 31, 2006 What would you attempt to do if you know you could not fail?
Jun 14, 2006 When thoughts become things
View all of Deon Du Plessis's articles »
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