Today you paid an awesome compliment to a random shopkeeper who served you. She really needed it. She was depressed and suffering in silence – possibly even suicidal. Unbeknown to you, it was something you said in your compliment that really resonated with her. Your compliment inspired her to seek help or enroll in that course or call a family member or friend or apologise to their partner or give up drugs or a toxic relationship . Whatever it is, you helped her and all you did was pay a genuine compliment that made her feel good and valued as a human. You made her feel like she mattered. She went on to become a photographer or a dental nurse or a mother. She read more books, took better care of herself, started a business, employed people, had kids of her own and her effect on the world cascaded outward and touched many lives.
This ‘butterfly effect’ demonstrates the chaotic world we live in and the connectedness of each living creature on the planet where one seemingly unrelated event could impact the lives of many, even for generations to come.
What is Your One Thing?
Yes the butterfly effect shows that we are connected in a complex web of events that is chaotic, sometimes cruel, sometimes beautiful but in all cases perfect in its equilibrium. It scares some into inaction and others into action because it can make you feel like nothing you do matters, or it can make you feel incredibly hopeful that chaos can sometimes work in your favour if you take action. One is negative, the other positive. There is no surprise here. Glass half full or half empty. Whatever camp you belong in, I want you to think about this next point.
The butterfly effect means that even just one change in your life can have far-reaching effects on you and the people around you.
Many people walk around thinking that there is a myriad of obstacles standing between them and the life that they want and crave. Consequently they take no action and make no changes in their daily rituals. They say, “It’s pointless right.” “I mean it is insurmountable, yes?” “Why even bother? It is just too hard.”
But what if I told you that in my 20+ years of success coaching it almost always came down to just one obstacle. Only one!
So all you have to do is go searching for that one thing that’s holding you back. Sometimes the search is within you and sometimes it is external. It could be a food you need to eliminate that unburdens your body and unleashes your energy. Or it could be a fear you need to face and courage you need to show. Or it could be as simple as making that phone call.
One client I had eliminated coffee and alcohol. He stopped being anxious during the day and depressed by night. He looked better, smelled better, smiled more. And his energy shifted so much that his sales went up by over 200%! This built his confidence so much that he started working out. He changed his hairstyle, dressed more stylishly. By week 8 I was thinking, “Who is this guy?” I could not recognise him. He was transformed from just one change! He never returned to finish the coaching program because he found his mojo.
Another client changed his exercise routine from weight training to yoga and meditation. He was more relaxed, more energetic and more confident. It showed in his performance at work. He was more upbeat and enthusiastic. He was more focused. At home he was happier. It changed all areas of his life.
Another client merely changed the time of day she worked out. It made all the difference. She eliminated her headaches and no longer had an energy slump in the afternoon.
Another started working from home one day a week. Improved his relationship with his partner. It became their ‘date day’. They were more intimate. Life was happier. And everyone at work the next day wondered why he was so much more upbeat.
Another started waking at 6am instead of 7. She was in control for the rest of her day. Her kids were happier. She was more organized in her business. She started feeling more attractive because she had more time to dress up and present herself the way she always wanted to. Consequently she started winning more clients.
In all these examples the transformation was significant and immediate and it came down to the butterfly effect of that one thing. SO, what is your ONE THING that is holding you back from greatness?
How do you discover your one thing?
Answer: By micro-managing every aspect of your life and every minute of your day. In Part 2 of my book A Higher Branch, I call this the Circle of Conscious Living. In it I outlinea five step system for living by design where you become your own ‘Life Architect’. When you live every minute of every hour of every day by planned actions, you become completely aware of your strengths and your weaknesses. You zone in on your ONE THING. Only when you live with self-awareness can you examine your life with clarity and critical analysis.
Some of my clients feel that planning every minute of their day kills spontaneity and fun. But the reality is that there is no freedom and excitement in spontaneity. It’s a trap. People’s idea of spontaneity leads to drifting aimlessly in the direction of their biggest weaknesses. Whether it is binge eating or binge TV watching. And they waste so many hours in the day.
If you waste only two waking hours per day, this adds up to 14 hours per week, or 728 hours per year. If you have 16 waking hours per day this waste in time amounts to 45 wasted days per year! That’s over 6 weeks! Imagine what you can achieve in that time.
The more you are in control of your daily schedule and your daily to do, the more the butterfly effect will work in your favour. Every dawn and dusk is in reality a birth and death experience. We wake, we go about our day and then we sleep. So, every day is a chance for each of us to start fresh. You can literally change your life overnight by deciding to doonly ONE thing differently.