Decisions, decisions

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Tiny decisions can make such a big difference.

I’ve been thinking about the everyday choices we make, pretty much automatically, which have the potential to change our whole direction in life.
Not whether we choose coffee or tea (although now I come to think about it, this also could be important – oh dear, he’s going to start rambling again), but very slightly larger ones: when I leave the house, do I turn left or right? Which side of the road do I walk on? Today if I decide to turn left for a change, I could meet someone I may not have met had I turned right. They might want to mug me/offer some work/just want a hug*.

So the result could be good or bad, but it will have an impact, however small.

Then there’s the knock on effect to the next decision, and so on. And there’s no way to see the impact of these decisions until after they have been made. And no way to know what the alternative would have been, as there’s only one future; and a multitude of possible futures. That’s just for one person. When you add everyone else into the mix, the possible futures are too hard for a small mind like mine to calculate.

Whenever there is a major event or accident there are stories from people afterwards who would have been on that train/plane/street, at that particular time, on that particular day. And for some small reason they walked the other way, picked something up, missed a bus, ran out of coffee or whatever. Otherwise they would have been there. And then there are the people who were there by accident, for similar reasons.

It’s not a new subject, it’s been covered in books and films alike many times (Sliding Doors, Limitless and The Butterfly Effect to name a few, and I’m sure there are loads more I’ve forgotten) but I find it intriguing that it doesn’t get discussed more often. Maybe it’s just me – why am I thinking about this? – why do I find it such a compelling and enchanting prospect? It could be that we just don’t like to think about how deciding to turn left or right could have such an impact? Or perhaps our brains just can’t cope with the limitless possibilities that accepting this scenario will bring?

What’s my point? Well I just find it a scary prospect that, even with planning, we may well have no real control of the path which our life takes.
Or more positively, small things we do can have a big positive impact on others as well as on ourselves.

*select as appropriate for your frame of mind today. Random acts of kindness including hugs are always a good thing I reckon.

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