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Right Moves: The Butterfly Effect

Do you believe that small changes can lead to big outcomes? What small changes can you make today that will promote what you’re working toward?


I only recently learned about the butterfly effect, which is the idea that even the flap of a butterfly’s wings can change the course of a hurricane on the other side of the world. When simplified, it has the most eloquent and thought-provoking meaning: seemingly insignificant changes can lead to significant outcomes.

Although this is mainly in reference to Edward Lorenz’s chaos theory (which just sounds absolutely terrifying), I like to go off on a limb and apply it to just about everything. Specifically, I like to think of it in terms of diet and exercise.

Have you ever pushed yourself to do one more repetition or run for ten more seconds when you feel like quitting? If you’re like me, you might wonder if either of those would make any difference. Then I started actually doing one more repetition or running for ten more seconds, even when it seemed useless and impossible.

This a short list of my usual thoughts afterward:

  1. Wow, that actually wasn’t useless and impossible.
  2. I have a new finish line, and its further ahead of the old one.
  3. I can do more than I think.
  4. If I can  succeeded in this challenge, although minuscule, what else can I succeed in?
  5. How much further can go I next time?

Sure, doing so didn’t make me burn 100 more calories, or sweat that much more, but I proved to myself that my limiting belief is wrong. And to me, that is more rewarding than anything. 


Like the flap of a butterfly wing changing the weather, pushing yourself to do one more repetition can make a lasting difference for your mind and body.


-Aly Fuller, BA Psychology

Energy Krazed Coach