The Butterfly Effect (The Smallest Decisions Matter)

Author Demez F. White

Author Demez F. White

One of my favorite movies, not necessarily because of the acting, is the Butterfly Effect with Ashton Kutcher. A quick synopsis of the movie is: A professor or Kutcher builds a time machine and the machine allows you to go back and fix the smallest mistake that changed the course of people’s lives. It could be something as simple as going home instead of to the park or calling one person to hang out instead of another.

The movie got me to thinking about the decisions I’ve made in life. Now I won’t pretend that I’ve been to prison or made mistakes that will haunt me but I do think about small things that happened that may have seemed small but in reality they altered the course of my life. Whether it was not re-taking my SAT’s to get a better score or not doing a semester at sea.

There are so many and to think about them all would not make much sense but it doesn’t mean that occasionally I don’t wonder. It’s such an old concept that never really gets old when you think about it. Like what if great generals would have gotten shot right before the war started. What if Rosa Parks wouldn’t have gotten on that bus because she got a phone call that her sister was sick. The effect that one decision can make on who we become and our legacies are exponential.

If I’m being honest I can’t say I regret a lot of decisions I’ve made but I can say that as I get older I regret missed opportunities and where those opportunities could have taken me. The good thing about the Butterfly Effect and life in general is that with each day comes a new opportunity to make decisions that will shape our lives and effect not just us but so many people around us.

Struggle is sort of a foreign concept to me. I’ve had disappointments and setbacks but I can’t say I’ve ever really felt helpless or thought that things wouldn’t work out. That’s mostly because of family and the people I’ve had on my life but struggle scares me. Death doesn’t, we all have to die, I just hope I die accomplished and loved. But struggle, that’s not something I ever want to experience. It’s okay to lose occasionally, you aren’t going to win at everything you do in life but struggling and losing are just different. Losing means you gave your all and you have to formulate a new plan. Struggling is losing on a consistent basis. It’s feeling as though no matter what you’re doing things just aren’t working. That haunts me, the idea that anyone could get comfortable with struggling and not want to fight. Not want to win.

Whatever You Did to Get Her: Do That to Keep Her

20140422-013941.jpg This weekend I saw a lot of people celebrating life. Weddings, engagements, people uplifting their fathers and grandfathers. There’s one common dominator in all of this. It all starts with a man and a woman.

Too many people get complacent once things get comfortable. I hear guys say it all the time, “I have her on lock, she loves me, she isn’t going anywhere.” At first glance you’d think they were just talking but the truth is most men believe this.

It’s a dangerous way of thinking and living and let me tell you why. The courtship process, the making her fall in love with you process is fairly simple because you can’t fake chemistry or fate. It’s also pretty simple to keep her happy, just do what you did to make her fall in love. This is the dangerous part; if a woman falls out of love with you the odds of you getting her back are so small.

I don’t know how many of you have heard this phrase but it’s much easier to build a house from scratch then it is to fix the house someone started working on and abandoned. That’s pretty much how relationships work.

When you build that foundation from scratch and do everything the right way you have few worries. All you have to do is maintain. Sure, they’ll be problems but easy fixes. Once you start to let things go downhill, once you stop maintaining, you’re opening up the door for everything to collapse.

People love to say, “You don’t know a good thing until it’s gone.” I don’t think that’s true. Most men are fully aware that they have/had a good woman; they just never thought they would lose her. That’s why so many men are genuinely devastated when women leave. I’ve never been involved with someone that didn’t warn me she needed more. Whether it wasn’t me calling enough or spending enough time or being affectionate enough.

Rarely do women just wake up one day and say, “This is over.” There are always signs. All those signs usually start around the time men stop being the man they were when they courted her. If you bought flowers and candy while you were dating, why stop now? If you went on real dates and always had a fresh edge up when you were dating, why stop now? By being the man she fell in love with, she’ll probably never fall out of love.