20 Incredible Stories That Prove The “Butterfly Effect” Is Real
Have you ever heard of the “Butterfly effect”? It basically suggests that one small action/change in the present may lead to big events in the future. The universe works in mysterious ways and it has been proven time and again that everything is interconnected.
The “Butterfly Effect” is more common than you might think. It often happens with so many people and this Reddit thread is the evidence for that. The question, “What small action did you take that you later realized had a ‘butterfly effect’ that turned into something much more important?” led so many people to share their interesting stories. Scroll below to read them.
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“I was working till 11 p.m. at a restaurant managing. The midnight shift girl called in sick, so I had to pull a double. Around 5:30 a.m., a man came in with his daughter. We talked a bit, and he told me to apply with his property management company. I did, got the job in February 2020 (got out of the restaurant business just before COVID), moved, met the love of my life, got married, [and] found a stray husky that is now mine. All because the girl called in sick.”
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“Not me, but at college orientation 12 years ago, a boy came into my orientation group late because he had changed his major to the same as mine last minute. He copied my class schedule because he was late, and now he’s my husband.”
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“This past summer I commented on an AskReddit about a small donation that I made to a charity that supports foster children and young adults who have aged out of the foster system. Redditors from around the world saw my comment and made hundred of thousands of dollars in donations to the charity, allowing kids’ wishes to be fulfilled.
Reddit visitors caused the charity’s web site to crash, so Redditors with tech talent worked with the charity to make the site more resilient. I’ve never been happier to witness the goodness in people.”
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“I turned right down a hallway is never been down before in college instead of taking my usual exit. Saw a job posting. Got the job. Met a girl at said job. 30 years together this coming July. Two grown daughters living their lives. Right instead of straight out the door did that.”
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“When I was 14 I attempted s**cide. I ended up spending two years in a mental health facility where animal therapy was common. I got to know the dog therapist well and started training dogs. Left the facility. Trained our family Aussie to be a therapy dog. Took him in for a check up at the vet and ran into the dog therapist from 6 years earlier. The vet had an abused border collie puppy that needed a home, but had no one to take her. The trainer recommended that I take her as a foster to start training. I fell in love and named her Lila, we work search and rescue together now.
My s**cide attempt ultimately made me the happiest I could possibly imagine being. And, with the best dog ever, by my side through every moment of life.”
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“In early 1998 a friend of mine was working for an ISP and his boss asked him to set up an IRC server for a customer (who turned out to be Epic UK). He didn’t know how to do it so he asked if I wouldn’t mind doing it for him and just keeping an eye on things until the customer can take over. Took me about 15 minutes to set the thing up, made myself an Oper then I just hung out on that server for a while and just made sure the handful of people using it behaved themselves
Anyway, fast forward a couple of months and I’m dropping out of University, his boss is impressed enough by what I did for that customer that he offers me a job which was my first full time IT job – he took a chance on a University dropout and I’ll never forget it. Learned a ton working there, gave me the foundation I needed to go to bigger things. I stayed on that server too, ended up getting pretty close to a few people. One day I met a girl on there and we got talking. 18 months later I jumped on a plane and moved to the USA to start a new life and marry her. It’s been 22 years and we’ve got three kids now and are still happily married.
One quick favor for a friend changed my whole life.”
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“In 2003 I went to uni, but in my first term my dad died, and I ended up dropping out. I took a two-year break and decided to move to Bristol and try uni again. In the first week of the term I met a boy (let’s call him Dylan), we became besties and that led to romance, and now we’re married and been together for over 16 years. … I became a teacher. I have never been happier in a job my whole life. I love it
I had a best mate called Lilly who went to school with me and she would visit me in Bristol. Dylan lived in a shared house, and Lilly met his housemate, and they became romantically involved too. They have also been together for 16 years and have 3 kids. Lily’s parents and brother, who are all from London, decided to move to Bristol to be closer to Lilly and the kids. After they moved, Lilly’s brother met a girl, and they got married and have two kids too. If my dad hadn’t died, I wouldn’t have met Dylan, and five kids wouldn’t have been born. I would be in a job I hate. It’s the only thing that brings me peace, because I was devastated when he died. He looked out for me I’m sure.”
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“Invited someone to lunch along the Maine coast, water view, my treat. Had not seen her in over 40 years. The intention was to thank her for being fun when we were kids. I had no idea at the time, but she told me later she had been contemplating suicide. That lunch saved her life.”
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“My grandpa was diagnosed with terminal cancer a few years ago. When he called me to tell me he only had 6 months to live I stopped at the liquor store on my way home and bought a bottle of gin. My roommate came home shortly after and we drank for hours laughing, crying and sharing deep personal stories about our lives with one another.
Drunk, confident, and armed with the knowledge that we could die at any time I went in for a kiss. I was surprised she reciprocated and after that night we began dating. My grandpa died before our wedding, but I attribute the beautiful life that I have now to him.”
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“I was due to leave for school one morning but decided last minute that I needed the toilet, a bus crashed into the area where I would have been walking had I not turned back. My mum’s annoyance at me for stalling going to school instantly turned to relief.
Turns out the driver of the bus had a heart attack at the wheel and crashed into the buildings across the road from where I lived. From what I remember no one was seriously injured but am unsure if the driver made it.”
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“I was in a weird point in my life and suffering from agoraphobia so I never left the house. As you can imagine, I was getting pretty lonely and wanted someone to talk to. I made a random Reddit post and someone responded. After a few weeks of talking he convinced me to not only leave my house but fly out of state to hang out with him for the weekend. We had an amazing weekend and many thereafter. We’re now engaged and our son is 14 months old. I also was encouraged to seek out a career that was meaningful to me and found something I really love and have moved up significantly within my company.
So basically a Reddit post made me a mother and gave me a partner, career, and life that I never thought I would be able to leave the house to have.”
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“I was taking a very important exam, and I was debating on two possible answers. I wrote down A, and at the last moment before turning in the exam I used white out and wrote down B instead. The answer was A. I was devastated.
When I got my exam back, it turned out that because the white out was so last minute it wasn’t dry. The paper on top of mine rubbed it off so my answer remained A.
That question was worth 3 points. I got into my dream school with just 2 points over the line. If I had lost that question I would be going to an entirely different and lower rated school.”
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“I was waiting tables at a restaurant and I picked up a shift on my day off. During that shift one of my friends who recently quit came in to get his last check, so I got talking with him and asked about his new job, then asked if they were hiring, which they were.
He set me up with an interview, I got hired and trained on how to use CAD, and after being there for four years I got hired at a bigger company making more….which is where I still am today.”
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“My grandfather … went to school during the second World War in Estonia (pre-deportations), and once he didn’t go to school because he couldn’t find his hat. Apparently, the same day some kids had found a grenade in the school’s attic and blew themselves up.”
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“My mom made me go to a football game for my school when I was in the 8th grade. I didn’t want to go but I eventually caved and went. I ended up talking to a random person, and down the road he became my best friend. My friend introduced me to another friend, who introduced me to yet another friend. That friend eventually set me up on a date with my future wife. Now I’m married with kids. Who knows what would have happened if I didn’t go to that game.”
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“I made an off-handed joke to a coworker who responded with his own off-handed joke. This caused me to spiral for over 24 hours thinking that nobody liked me, my career was over, and I was a detestable human being. I recognized that my state of emotions was irrational, so I accessed my work EAP to go to counseling.
My therapist gave me three sessions before she told me that my fiancé was too dependent on his drinking and it was ruining my life as well as his. I left my fiancé. Started getting promotions (one of them led to me meeting my now-husband).”
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“I had broken up with my first serious boyfriend and was having a really difficult time back in the dating game. … I was supposed to go to a party later that night after work, but was asked to stay late. … Usually one of my duties is taking the garbage out, and I do it right away to get it over with, but I delayed doing it for some reason. When I finally did get to it, I was unloading it in the shared garbage disposal room (I worked in a mall), and a guy walked in (another retail worker from a different store). Normally I’m very shy, but for some reason I just had this gut feeling and instinct and started chatting. Anyway, we’ve been together for three years.”
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“In college someone asked to swap seats in psychology so he could sit next to his friends. I moved and sat next to someone I’d seen in another class but never spoke to. Well we started talking and became best friends. Then started dating. Married for 5 years now with a child. All because I swapped seats.”
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“I was too nervous to be first row clarinet in high school, so I switched with a friend to be in the second row. There I met my best friend, who introduced me to a friend of his (who lived out of state, so we never would have met without him), and now we’re married 14 years! All because I had anxiety about sitting front row.”
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“The year was 1972 and I was being drafted into the Army. If you know anything about the Army, the very most thing you will be doing is waiting. Waiting for everything was the way it was. So I’m in this big room with maybe 200 guys and maybe 25 chairs in which to sit. Of those 25 chairs, maybe six were lounge chairs. The others were metal folding chairs. I was one of the lucky ones who somehow got a stuffed chair. So, we all sat and waited. If you left your seat, too bad. After about five hours, I had enough and needed to stretch my legs and got up to walk around. About that time, a door opened up and two sergeants began counting down guys to get on a waiting bus to be processed. The guy who got my chair was one of those chosen. After they took and loaded about 30 guys onto the bus, someone sticks his head in the door and says, “You should thank your lucky stars you’re not on that bus because they are heading to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina to become processed into the Marines.” The Army was bad enough but the Marines were 100% heading to Vietnam. I thank my lucky stars for giving up that seat to this day.”