we all own our personal butterfly effect

The power of positivity: we all own our personal butterfly effect

By Joseph Story on March 24, 2020

At a time when the world needs a bit of a pick-me-up, Peak's Joseph Story shares his thoughts around the butterfly effect, explaining his belief that a little bit of positivity goes a long way...

The ‘butterfly effect’ is a term used to describe the concept that small changes can have big impacts. The name comes from a metaphorical example of how a tornado’s path could be influenced by the beating wings of a butterfly, weeks before.

I have always been interested in this concept, and how it applies to humans’ interactions with one another. How do we impact each other with our words, our emails, our posts on social media, or any other in which we communicate?

Can small changes in how we behave result in greater global impacts beyond our usual sphere of influence? If they can (and I genuinely believe that this is the case) then we all have a responsibility to choose net-positivity over net-negativity. How could you kick-start a chain reaction of ‘nice things’ happening around the world?

I can understand how some might see this approach as consciously choosing to ignore reality and shoving our heads in the sand. We all need time, space and a forum to vent at the best of times. I have decided to make a mindful and reflective decision as to when, how and with whom I will share my concerns and fears – and when I do, I will always consider the wellbeing of my family member, friend, colleague or whoever it is that I’m talking to.

However, I’m only human. I am sure I will slip up and fall short of this preferred behavior at some stage or another, but that’s OK. I will still have credit in the Global Positivity Bank! I will catch myself, pause, course-correct and find something exciting, innovative or entertaining to share.

As the world around us faces a time of great chaos and concern, and as I personally adjust to a new way of working and new daily routines, I wanted to share some positivity.

Three things that have made me smile in the past few days:

  1. My son announcing, full volume, whilst my wife was on an important work video call – “oh no, my willy’s stuck to my bum!”
  2. An elderly neighbor bringing my children a pack of dominoes to play with due to schools being closed
  3. The guy who works in my local garage insisting that I take his personal pack of paracetamol as he had none to sell to me. His reasoning being that he doesn’t have kids, and I therefore need them more

Three things that have kept me relatively sane during the past couple of weeks:

  1. New music – great new albums from the likes of U.S. Girls, Christine and the Queens and Caribou  are lighting up my life
  2. Romantic comedies – You simply can’t beat a rom-com for an uplifting mood change. When Harry Met Sally is still no.1 for me, but there’s some great stuff on streaming services to check out at the moment
  3. My (very make-shift) garage gym – I was about to sell my weights, and I’m so glad I didn’t, with working from home now in full swing

What about you? What’s triggering your butterfly effect?

You can reach me on LinkedIn here – I’d love to hear from you.

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