Most of us know the movie the Butterfly Effect with Ashton Kutcher and Amy Smart or simply hearing it in regular conversation. Here is what Wikipedia has on it. Essentially it is the concept that making a small change in one area can have much larger ripple effects in another. "A butterfly flaps its wings in California and a hurricane happens in Bermuda" type of analogy. Both positive and negative changes might occur as I see it. I just found this very cool video that was very creative and in a way encapsulates the idea that our perception is so tied to belief. We must consider that sometimes what we believe to be true may not always be as real as we think.
I am a glass half full person and always have been. So I usually look at the positives in any scenario first. I was talking to a friend a few years ago and they mentioned this idea of doing something differently every day, that you would not normally do. He said he was working on his own life path and was experimenting with ideas, facebook videos and his own really cool new form of exercise on the beach using a kit surfing parachute. I had never heard it put so simply.
He said just try it out for a bit. So I did. For about a year, and still do to this day. I drove to work on a different route each day. I tried shaving left handed. I brushed my teeth left handed. I squeegeed the shower differently and tried using different directions and different hands too. Here are a few other ideas I have randomly tried. I also do try to keep it random. More fun that way and also forces me out of my comfort zone immediately.
Changed up my usual coffee shop.
If you are the coffee type, you probably have a specific coffee shop that you tend to visit. Do you normally go to Starbucks? Try a local coffee shop, even if it’s an extra few minutes further away.
Commute a different way to work.
Try taking a scenic route to work rather than the regular that you generally use.
Socialize with different people
If you normally socialize with the same people, try heading outside of your comfort zone and meet different people.
So, after trying this for a few months, I did learn some interesting things about myself and had new ways of thinking as a result. Both of these are good things. Self analysis is hard. Thinking in new ways is also hard as we tend to do things in routines and loops. At least I do.
I learned that I was not good at doing things left handed. No surprise as I am right handed. But after a few days, I could shave, squeegee the shower and brush my teeth with my left hand effectively. Not perfect, but I got the job done. I learned that my shower glass door leaned a bit to the right and that water dripped down unevenly. I learned that, based on the number of for rent signs I saw on a different route to work, open commercial space had nearly tripled since I last looked, if I really ever had.
So I learned some new things that I would not have known otherwise. The left handed thing was a skill that I know is lacking but now I know what I am capable of and could train myself better if I wanted. I learned that my shower door was just a tad crooked. I adjusted the hinge and fixed it. I looked at the cost of rent for commercial space and saw it was going down, and realized that now would be a good time to rent a shop or office if I wanted.
A note for the pessimist. This goes both ways. You make negative small observations, and suddenly everything is multiplied to the negative. If I looked at the rental signs and said to myself that the economy is going down the tubes and we are all screwed or if I said my left-handed skills were not worth doing as I was just not as good enough, then that is the reality that I would create for myself. I don't think like that but many people do. Perception, perception, perception is our own reality.
Nothing surprising here but worth doing and I highly recommend incorporating this type of exercise into your life. These small little things that I do as often as I can multiply my life's possibilities and I firmly believe they will for others as well. How much? No clue. But there is no point in limiting yourself. Again a "butterfly flaps its wings then...."
Love to all. Here is some more on self improvement.