Harnessing the Butterfly Effect: Will You Change the World?
I’m no chaos theorist, but I’m a big believer in the Butterfly Effect – and how it can be harnessed to do nothing short of change the world. For the uninitiated, the butterfly effect is essentially this: decisions or actions we take now, no matter how small they are, can play a massive role in determining the outcome of our lives and the lives of others. We have no idea what our impact can have on others – just taking actions may start a personal revolution for some people. You can do the same – and affect more than just yourself. This is why Gandhi’s famous quote “Be the change you want to see in the world,” is so effective. It shows how one decision to change our personal world can end up inspiring others to do the same. That’s why I’m writing for you today. This is a call to action. You have a tremendous amount of influence, whether you like it or not (unless you live under a rock, of course). It’s about time you used it to change the world. You don’t have to be an A-list blogger to cultivate and use your influence for the better. Sure, it helps if you have thousands of twitter followers and a blog with 40 billion RSS subscribers, but, really – you don’t need any of that. The people who tell you that you need that kind of social media power have been selling you something all along. Don’t listen to them. That also means that you can no longer use your lack of blogging fame, low twitter follower count, your debts, your lack of “intelligence” (whatever that means), your lack of ambition, your job that you hate, your job that you like, your dog eating your homework, your lack of money, your lack of a “perfect” life, your lack of a significant other, your health, your coworkers, or anything else you can think of as an excuse. There are no excuses anymore. You must take responsbility. You must have courage.
How to Change the World On any given day, you interact with a lot of people. Where does the butterfly effect come in? Make your interactions with other people so positive that you change their lives for the better, so they can then have positive interactions which help change someone else, and so on, ad infinitum, until all of humanity has benefited from your simple decision. That’s the butterfly effect at its best. And it all revolves around small decisions that you make every day. Simple acts of kindness, no matter how cliche it sounds, can change the world. But this goes beyond kindness. This is about presenting yourself as you are all the time, without shame or restraint. This is about going out of your way to make people’s days better with the gift of a smile or with the gift of an idea. This is about refusing to bow down to the status quo, and, instead, insisting on being yourself, all the time. By being so unabashedly you, you’ll inspire others to be as authentic as you are. Lead others by example – you can’t simply proclaim the superiority of your ideas of kindess and nonconformity – you must live them. You must show them every day how to live a better life. This is why Gandhi said to “be the change…” The emphasis was on being – being a leader, a pioneer. And if you inspire them to do good and be themselves, they’ll inspire others. And those others will inspire others still. And the cycle goes on forever… But it all starts with you.
It’s All in Your Hands You are the sum of your decisions. Will you decide to start the cycle through your network to change humanity? Will you dedicate yourself to doing work that matters, instead of thinking of work as a job? Will you make it your mission to smile every day and spread positive emotions? Will you do the right thing, even if no one else will? Will you commit yourself to learning every day? Will you make the choice to make things happen, instead of talking about it? Will you make the choice to never sell yourself for anything and to never compromise yourself for anything or anyone? Will you be the change you want to see in the world? It’s all in your hands. Go make things happen. Go spread kindness. Go make your dreams come true. Never stop until you get there, my friends, and start the cycle of positive change in every one you know. Don’t tell them about it – live it. Draw on the depths of your soul to make it happen, because it requires nothing less than that. If you’re committing yourself to change the world, let me know how you’re going to do it in a comment. Maybe we can help each other!