A Butterfly Flaps Its Wings…


A Butterfly Flap Its Wings

The Butterfly Effect is a theory that illustrates how seemingly small and insignificant actions can have a profound effect elsewhere. Popular imagery depicting the effect: a butterfly in South America flaps its wings, which then causes a storm in North America.

The idea is that if just a tiny part of a long string of events went another way, it all could’ve played out differently. Small, seemingly inconsequential things leading to major events.

I finally took the leap to start this website when I saw a promotion on DreamHost where it cost only $1 for an entire year of web hosting. I ran into that special while browsing Lifehacker. How different would my life be if I were still procrastinating on starting Self Stairway?

If I hadn’t been on Lifehacker that day, I wouldn’t have landed my dream job. And because of the frequency of how often they publish new articles, I might have missed seeing that specific one if I had been on the site at a different hour.

Similarly, I found my dream job while sitting in my room browsing Twitter, something I rarely do. What if I had missed that simple tweet back then in the wave of all the others? Would I have built my own business or met all the amazing people I did? Would I have been able to spend a year in Southeast Asia and experience exponential growth in all aspects of my life?

We could go back even further. If my parents hadn’t pulled me from my private school in 5th grade and placed me in a public school, I wouldn’t have met a close friend of mine who introduced me to location independent entrepreneurship.

And further… If my mom wasn’t mad that I had been hiding the amount of problems I got wrong on homework, she wouldn’t have remove me from my old school in the first place.

It keeps on going. Series of chance and coincidence, all building upon the last to get me to where I am.

If my 10th grade English teacher hadn’t told me to avoid using large words where a small one would do just fine, you might be reading an article I wrote while consulting the thesaurus every other sentence. Would this site have reached its current state if my writing was that dry?

Every action you took, all the small events that occurred, and the external influences around you shaped you into who you are today. That includes both the good and the bad things.

You may be twice the person you were three years ago because of some horrible experience in the past that changed your perspective on the world.

How many experiences do you have where you once wished you could take it back? Those same experiences are the ones that helped you grow and become better.

It won’t always be good, but you’ll live a much more rewarding life if you know how to roll with the waves that drag you down. Know that waves which push you further from the shore force you to swim that much harder. That energy spent getting back to dry land built your body just a bit more than if you were able to simply walk back.

Make everything that happens to you a lesson so you can be more prepared the next time around.

Life’s not so bad. Remember that. It’s beautiful and your perspective changes everything.

The following two tabs change content below.
Vincent Nguyen is the author of Self Stairway and founder of Growth Ninja, a digital marketing agency that specializes in Facebook Ads. Voted "Most Guapo" five years in a row (lost during 6th year to a hand model.)

Latest posts by Vincent Nguyen (see all)

22 responses to A Butterfly Flaps Its Wings…

  1. Beautiful!

    I can relate:
    I had an experience once. I was on reddit, reading front page threads,then I stumbled upon something that helped me a lot. I have had issues with my mom for years but did not know what to do.
    The subreddit made me realize that my mother had NPD (narcissistic personality disorder).
    It was gut wrenching and terrifying to realize but it was also freeing because now I know what to do.

    The thread did even last long on front page.
    If I had been there a little later…

    You are so on point with this.
    It matters the little thing we do.
    It really matters.

  2. Very good post my man. Sink or float or swim in life. Nothing stays the same. You do good work. Keep it up!

  3. great post vincent, I like the way you write, so tell your 10 grade teacher I said thanks. if a bad experience helps you grow then awesome 🙂

  4. However I would like to see you write thesaurus-like words… What kind of words did you use in 10th grade? 🙂

  5. Small things can make huge differences. I worked on a large sailboat some years ago. It went down in Hurricane Mitch two years after I’d left it. All of the crew left on board went down with the ship. One crew member, who had been on leave, was late getting back because his plane was delayed. It saved his life. What a difference that delay made.

    • Wow, I’m sorry to hear about the crew. I’m glad he survived because of the delay.

      There are several stories that are very similar to the 9/11 incident. Many people who would’ve been in the towers if they hadn’t missed their alarm, weren’t late for X reasons, etc.

  6. Very interesting reminder . Things happen due to some reason . Sometimes those reasons seem painful if we think of some of the problems we had to bear . Sometimes things get normal as time passes but if something good follow after struggle we feel happy and very happy in later life . Keep the good work going…. you write amazing truths of your progress . Good luck !!

  7. Beautiful article! I can relate with the statement: “You may be twice the person you were three years ago because of some horrible experience in the past that changed your perspective on the world.”

  8. Beautiful ! Loved the analogy of the ‘waves that drag you down’ !

  9. Thanks for the article, it is so inspiring to learn that all we have been through can be used to benefit our growth in life.

  10. Hi Vincent

    Strangely enough I ran across your blog while just randomly searching the net.
    I don’t regret ever taking that step, putting in my email and subscribing to your website.

    I honestly look forward to reading your messages.. my inbox may be flooded. BT guaranteed on a Monday evening I look for your email. If i don’t find it.. I am sure by Tuesday I would have read it.

    This article touches me personally. I avoid writing feedbacks. BT I had recently just underwent the worst heartbreak I had thought imaginable. Part of me still believe I am in shock. And strangely enough, it was that change in perspective that helped me recover. I m not saying I am perfect. Bu your words just encouraged me. I am encouraged to change my perspective on all I see in life..

    It’s true.. life is not hard. The challenges are there to build, strengthen in all way.

    Thank you. Jeep doing the good work.

    • *keep

    • So glad you’re here, Natasha! Quick note, new articles are published Monday and the emails are sent out Tuesday afternoon (1PM Arizona time).

      I’m sorry to hear about your heartbreak. It’s a life-changing lesson for you that’s currently in-progress.

      As with all things, this too shall pass.

Leave a Reply

Text formatting is available via select HTML.

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>