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The Butterfly Effect 

The Butterfly Effect - Small Edits lead to big results 

By Trevor Coltham

You may have read the book The Secret. It was (likely still is) a huge bestseller, as it promised a quick fix way to manifest wealth, health, great relationships and more. The book promises;

“If you see yourself with what you want, think positive thoughts, you will attract those things into your life.”

This advice is part of a great success strategy but is also misleading. The key missing ingredient is you must take continuous action once you are clear on what you want. There will be resistance, challenges, adversity, and you are likely to fall over before you finally win.

Sometimes success is also a game of probability. If you’re in the game taking massive action, anything can happen – there are many variables.

What can you do to influence the probabilities in your favour?

By doing more work, more activities, that are aligned with your purpose (what it is that you want.)

What’s this got to do with the Butterfly Effect?

It is all about how a tiny change in a complex system can equal results that are virtually impossible to predict.

So, the way I see this is, if you change nothing in yourself, then the system will give you more of the same or at random throw an unexpected bouncer. Either you get by hit or nick it to the keeper - both painful.

What if the real secret was to place ‘small edits’ into the complex system that increased you chances of success?

Finding the little techniques and strategies that often provide an edge, those activities that tip the scales in your favour if you were to do them over and over again.

For example, a sales professional who networks weekly, engages decision makers, gets out to see more prospects, asks quality tension questions, reads self-development books, seeks respect rather than approval is much more likely to get lucky.

The above are a few higher-level sales activities of successful sale people. What's is interesting is what happens when you implement some of them and further tweak or edit until you get the result you want? Often the butterfly effect spills out into other contexts of life too?

“After the coaching session, I did one simple thing this week. I challenged myself to make 10 new calls before I had my morning coffee. I have more meetings next week than ever before – thanks for the tip”

“I was amazed when I started to look for the different personality types. I can now communicate with difficult clients. More importantly, I was able to communicate better with my wife once I knew what she required in order to make a decision.”

“Today I decided to be ‘100% responsible for the result of my communication.’ A client said no to my proposal and rather than walk away, I stayed and asked more questions. I realised I had not communicated well enough, I challenged his thinking which helped him change his mind. One of my biggest deals yet – thank you”

There are so many ‘edits’ that can tip the scales in your favour. Following are a few less obvious ones that I live by:

1. Get 8 Hours sleep – It’s an illusion that you can sleep less to achieve more, and you’ll be less likely to develop dementia.

2. Move your body – make time to exercise, walk, run, go to the gym. More oxygen in your brain helps you solve challenges, also the endorphins help with mood and reduce stress.

3. Turn off the TV – and read for 30 mins or more every day.

4. Smile more - There is a famous yearbook study that demonstrated how a simple smile can affect your relationships from a Forbes article“…By measuring the smiles in the photographs the researchers were able to predict: how fulfilling and long lasting their marriages would be, how highly they would score on standardised tests of well-being and general happiness, and how inspiring they would be to others. The widest smilers consistently ranked highest in all of the above…”

What are some of your edits?