Did you ever heard of the butterfly effect?
According to Wikipedia:
The phrase refers to the idea that a butterfly’s wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that may ultimately alter the path of a tornado or delay, accelerate or even prevent the occurrence of a tornado in a certain location.
How do my actions affect others?
This is the question I’ve been pondering for a month now. I guess I’ve been aware of it, ever since I read the Zero Limits, the book about taking responsibility for every step of your life.
But it really hit home just after the Christmas, when my uncle died. We were not particularly close, but my cousin is the same age as me and we used to spend holidays together as kids. We lost touch in the recent years, since we both started our families. Anyway, there is a tradition in our country, that after the funeral close friends and family gather together at the lunch. So, there we sat, talking about our lives, catching up and my cousin told me devastating details about my uncle’s last 15 years. About his diseases, fights, his time spent in and out of hospitals.
What get to me was how much it all affected his family – his wife, daugter and son and their families.
You know, my uncle was always overweight, working hard in extreme conditions, eating a lot and all the wrong food as well as drinking pretty much, and smoking. And all those sins took their toll. As I said, it was not only about him, there were so many other people hurt.
My mom, his sister, is also in and out of hospitals for the last 6 or 7 years. Luckily she’s in the retirement home now so I’m somewhat calm that she’s taken care of. But I remember times, when I had to drop everything to take her to the hospital, I had to adjust my schedule to drive her to doctor’s appointments and we even cancelled our holidays one summer.
It’s not just YOU who gets to deal with consequences of your bad choices. It’s whole bunch of others you love and care about.
The biggest problem is that all those little decisions – to eat fast food or something healthier, to snack sweets or fruits, to exercise or lie on the couch, to watch TV or read and learn, to focus on your business or scroll Facebook…
All those little choices are not harming you immediately. They are not costing you anything at that moment. They are so easy to make, yet they can have devastating effect over time.
When I heard of my uncle’s struggles and all that his family went thorugh I became painfully aware of my own wrong choices (and guilty and ashamed to not taking time to ask them how they are doing, but that’s a whole new blogpost).
The words »taking care of yourself« just got a whole new meaning.
I’m raising my kids to be independent, strong individuals, yet I’m also making some choices where I’ll chain them to care for me when I’m older. Being a mom, I want my kids to be happy to see me and to have a good time when we are together, I don’t want to feel guilty for wasting their lives because of my poor choices I’m making today. Of course it can still happen, but I’ll do whatever I can to prevent it.
This awareness and responsibility can be applied to any area of your life – health, finances, relationships, business… anything!
Look at your choices! Look at your decisions! Are they driving you to be more powerful, more independent, stronger, more reliable… or are they slowly, but surely setting you up for disaster.
Don’t underestimate the power of small steps and little decisions, to bring you to your success or to your failure. Every small detail counts, and so much more when we make it day in and day out.
Even when you are not making the right choices and the smart decisions right now, start with small changes. Think about your future and the future of those you love and care. Just like the butterfly, your actions can create big difference.
What is one change you can make right now?