Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.~Vincent Van Gogh
A couple of weeks ago, I attended the annual Business Networking International Conference in Long Beach, California. Founder Dr. Ivan Misner gave one of the keynote talks. At one point, he talked about the Butterfly Effect – how small actions in one place can lead to larger actions (or unpredictable results) in another place. He used an example from his own life to describe how a series of seemingly random events, starting with doing a favor for a friend, led him to be sitting in a hotel lobby on Necker Island where he was about to participate in a seminar with Sir Richard Branson.
He asked us to trace successes in our own lives back to that first flutter of butterfly wings. I remembered when I lived and worked on a project in a major west coast city. One of my co-workers attended a weekend seminar. She came to work on Monday morning with a completely different attitude than she had left with on Friday afternoon. The shift was so dramatic that I couldn’t help but ask her about the seminar and what happened that affected her outlook so profoundly.
She told me about it and then she invited me to attend a guest event with her. I wasn’t much interested in attending seminars back then, but the changes she experienced intrigued me and so I agreed to go. My own life wasn’t going so well at the time and I was curious to see if these seminars could help me.
I was so impressed with what I learned that I ended up registering in the course. That led me to other courses that led me into coaching as a volunteer. That in turn helped me realize I’d found work I loved, and from there I got curious about how to make a career transition to coaching. Now here I am several years later, doing something I didn’t know then was called an Encore Career. I just knew I was doing something fun and exciting with my life that may never have occurred had I not accepted my co-worker’s invitation.
Follow the Ripples
Dr. Misner’ s suggestion to follow the ripples of your own personal butterfly effect can take you on an interesting journey. It’s a way to either acknowledge your journey, or you can use it to help you identify your vision or mission. Here are a couple of things you can do to get started:
1) Where has the Butterfly Effect worked for you? Look back at your life’s most rewarding achievements. Can you follow the ripples back to an originating event or action that started the butterfly wings fluttering? Can you see how seemingly random events don’t seem so random in retrospect?
2) Pay attention to times you have felt a nudge inside or when your gut told you to go in a particular direction, meet or contact a particular person, or try something you’ve never before attempted. Did following those urges lead you to a new job, new relationship or some other unanticipated but rewarding result?
Create Your Own Ripples
I have observed the Butterfly Effect at work in the lives of my clients. They don’t always see it themselves until it’s pointed out, but they are quite often astonished and delighted when they discover how the Butterfly Effect has operated for them. Seeing the Butterfly Effect at work gives them clues about how to move forward to create a new vision. They begin to understand that they already have the power and freedom to intentionally create their own ripples and generate their own Butterfly Effect in ways they never could have imagined. Complacency and resignation give way to passion, excitement and creativity. Rather than waiting for life to happen, they begin to design it and act with intention and purpose. The result for them is a richer experience of living that fulfills them and blesses others.
Are you curious about how you can use the Butterfly Effect to design your Sexy Second Act life or career? Call Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 or email [email protected] to schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” coaching session