In the book “All In”, author Mark Batterson briefly mentions about an interesting theory called “The Butterfly Effect”. Intrigued by this theory, I decided to read further about the subject on the web. Though it is just a hypothesis, the insights can potentially change your life, so read on.
The Butterfly Effect Explained
In 1963, MIT meteorologist Edward Lorenz, in an attempt to explain why weather conditions cannot be accurately forecasted, presented the hypothesis that became known as “The Butterfly Effect”. When the butterfly flaps its wings, each flap exerts pressure on the surrounding air molecules. This pressure thrusts the butterfly upward.
Lorenz theorized that this minor event, like the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in a random place, say in Brazil, could conceivably alter wind currents sufficiently to cause a tornado in Texas.
Now each flap causes only a tiny change in the air pressure around the butterfly and the fluctuation is insignificant to cause a tornado. Lorenz stated that there is no way of knowing what exactly tips the weather system. So the butterfly is merely a symbolic representation of an unknowable quantity that poses a challenge in the accurate prediction of weather patterns.
Though the changes that make a difference are far bigger than a butterfly flapping its wings, mathematically Lorenz came to the simple yet profound conclusion: “Minuscule changes in input can make macroscopic differences in output.”
Why it Matters in Real Life?
Unlike the unknowable quantity that makes it difficult to predict weather patterns, we can intentionally plan our daily life with knowable quantities to reach a certain purposeful and meaningful goal. And like the Butterfly Effect, it’s often the little choices in life that make a big difference in the end. Now, this can be either good or bad.
A little drinking, a little taste of drugs and a little moral compromise can take you down the road of addiction. It takes a little leaven to leaven the whole dough. It’s the little foxes that spoil the vine. These are wisdom verses from the Bible warning us that if we are not careful, little compromises can ruin our life.
It takes a mustard seed size of faith to achieve great things. Jesus didn’t say you need a mountain size faith. Jesus fed five thousand people with a boy’s tiffin lunch of two fishes and five barley loaves. And there was plenty of leftovers after feeding five thousand hungry people. A little resource committed to God’s hand can produce massive results.
Now you might say, “But hey, that’s a supernatural miracle that Jesus did”. Yup, it is, but what is that you have? What are you doing with your time? Are you investing in things that will make you grow academically or professionally? What about the little you can do daily that will contribute to your character growth?
Do you have a certain skill that needs improvement? Are you putting yourself through the drudgery of daily practice to reach the level of excellence? Do what you can do, commit to it 100% and God will do what is beyond you.
Push yourself to go further
We are all busy hustling day in and day out. But deep down in our core we know that there is so much more we are capable of, so much more that we can become. We need to push ourselves. And it ain’t hard if we start doing a little daily.
It is easy to be passive and settle for less but we need to go further than most who wouldn’t. Not because we need to prove anything to anybody but because you are hungry to realize your full potential before its too late.
So what’s the little that you can do daily in your journey of accomplishing things that you are dreaming of? What’s the little you can do daily in becoming Godly in character?
If it’s a language you want to learn, start learning a few words every day. If you want to increase your knowledge in a certain subject, do a little bit of reading daily. If you fancy playing an instrument, practice a little every day. If you want to improve your writing skills, start writing a little daily. If it’s growing in love, start right where you are with the people closest to you. Start with small gestures of affirmation, care, and appreciation.
If you want to know God and arm yourself with His thoughts for the life battles, do daily devotions (Bible study) even if it is a little. Pray and spend time with Him. Talk to Him like a friend.
Of course, you can spend more time doing any of these. But if you don’t have time, push yourself to do a little consistently.
Break it down
And often it’s not that we don’t have a goal but we struggle to get started. Sometimes we start with great enthusiasm but hardly make any progress. We get overwhelmed either by the process, the difficulty or the time it takes. It could be other distractions that hinder our focus. We get slack on our purposes and settle for a second or third best for ourselves.
All it takes is that one small change. You will never reach your goals without going through a process. It’s a journey and every journey begins with simple steps, no matter how small they are.
If you break it down, practically, all you need to do is a little every day. That one small actionable step and a 100% commitment to it. And when you make it your daily discipline, you are setting yourself up for success. The little extra effort that you take daily will give you the greatest return in future.