Have you ever asked the question, “what if” about your life, your choices? Normally, you go about your life doing your thing and making things happen as best you can. Every once in a while, this question pops into our heads.
The Danger of “What Ifs”
I don’t believe in regret. Yes, I could have made different choices and maybe taken my life in a different direction. When it comes to the big rock moments: our career, our family, even where we live, our big choices are an accumulation of a smaller choices leading us down a certain path.
Change One Thing, Change Everything
When we play the “what if” game, it is based on fear, speculation and doubt. It shows up when things are not moving as quickly as we’d like them to or not in the direction we’d prefer. We are unhappy or unsatisfied with where we are right now, so we ask, “What if I’d done one thing differently? Would I be here right now in this situation?”
The Butterfly Effect
What is the butterfly effect? Besides a 2004 Ashton Kutcher movie, it’s metaphor for the principles of Chaos Theory that says that insignificant events (butterfly flapping its wings) can have long-term results. Interestingengineering.com explains that it reflects the idea of “expect the unexpected”.
Loving the Unexpected
We like to think we have control over our lives. We have some control. We control what we say, eat and can even, with awareness, control what we think. What we think about is true. Therefore, if we think we are successful and take actions to make that true, then it becomes true.
I used to describe myself as a “fly by the seat of my pants” person because I changed many things in my life on whim. Taking a new job, moving to a new apartment (when I rented), even buying a car. In my corporate career, my openness to opportunity led to new, exciting challenges and eventually led me towards a very good corporate job managing a technical administrative team.
Hating the Unexpected
This randomness often does lead to upheaval, costly choices and sometimes negative results. As an entrepreneur, I utilize much more strategy in my business than I ever applied to my corporate career. When we look at our life and our work like this, it is not about randomness but about creating events and situations to connect me with people who want author coaching, motivation, productivity and so much more. It is setting the intention of success, living with this mindset
Embracing the Unexpected
As a small business owner, we need to be aware of those small choices, the butterfly effect choices, that build to long-term results. For example, how much do you show up in your work? Showing up is not punching the clock or simply counting minutes until the end of the day. Especially working for someone else, sometimes we can do this more often than our employers might like! But when you are a freelancer or an entrepreneur, to get the results you want, to create the life you desire, takes effort and truly showing up as much as possible.
When you show up, you put yourself fully into your work. It can be challenging at times, but it is worth the effort. When you make those series of small choices: choosing to make that phone call, send that email to connect with a potential client, even writing a blog post that can affect even one person who reads it, that is where the butterfly effect takes hold.
Your small choices lead to big results because it is an accumulation of those choices that brings it altogether and grows your business.
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