The Concept of “the Butterfly Principle”

Have you heard the phrase “the Butterfly Principle”? Originally the term was “the butterfly effect,” but the significance behind the expression caused much attention and the phrase morphed into “the Butterfly Principle”.

Were you aware that by understanding and applying “the Butterfly Principle,” your creativity changes tremendously? Realities grow from your dreams, you know. And by understanding simple, but true principles your creative flow will increase.

A bit of history and why this principle matters. As with many things, the concept started with a science fiction short story written by Ray Bradbury. His creativity within the story spoke of a corporate guy being offered an adventure beyond comprehension: travel back in time to hunt dinosaurs. The only caveat was that in the time travel trip, he must stay on a specific “sidewalk” so that he would not leave any indication of his presence. In the hunt, they could only kill animals that were in the process of already dying.

The fictional company responsible for these trips, Time Safari, thought they had ensured all safety measures. But “Eckels” (the corporate schmuck) couldn’t handle the pressure. In the face of an honest-to-goodness Allosaurus, Eckels flees Time Safari’s carefully conscripted path. By leaving the path, Eckels unknowingly crushes a butterfly in the mud. That one little butterfly, it turns out, made all the difference!

This one event, discovered upon Eckels return, creates havoc of all kinds. Eckels finds the English language twisted into different letters, fascists are now in control (good-bye to freedom), and all kinds of architecture has changed. The entire premise of the short story was that seemingly insignificant choices cause changes leading to significant outcomes.

You can put this premise to work for you. The smallest things in life in reality can have huge impact. Think about it. Maybe it’s an event similar to a stranger smiling at you on a hard day. Or maybe it’s that another person pays your toll on the freeway. Or you decide to get extra sleep, which makes the difference in your response to your boss the next day in a heated meeting (thereby saving your job).

I’m going to be exploring the Butterfly Principle in ways that make sense to you in regards to your creative projects. Why not make your dreams for the future a reality today? It’s easy when you put simple principles to work for you. Come back often for the latest posts. But in the interim, here are some fun links to hear various voices speaking on their understanding of the Butterfly Principle (and how it applies to emotional resiliency–an essential characteristic for creative individuals):

Bob Hyman
Resiliancy as a Butterfly Principle
Butterfly of Life (cancer survivors’ take on butterflies)
West Indian community

Make sure you bookmark this blog, “The Message from the Grove” (in the upper right corner), so you can check out the creative principles we’ll be discussing. They’ll be here to help you meet, reach and then surpass your current goals.

(The beautiful butterfly picture above is from an adorable site for kids: Insect Lore. Check out their fun learning games and store.)


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