The Butterfly Effect of Life

Have you ever experience a tiny blip in life that would trigger a big change later?

Scientist called this “Butterfly Effect”.

The theory is that a butterfly flapping its wing in Japan can trigger a tornado in North America.

I know – the theory sounds bizarre and ludicrous, but there are some truth to it.

This is the story of how a “Butterfly Effect” triggers a big change in my life.




On the last Black Friday, I missed out a deal for Walling App (a platform that lets you collect & organize ideas).

While looking for the alternative, I re-discover notion, and found out that notion has everything I need, and it’s free.

But, notion can be a little bit intimidating, especially if you’re new to the platform.

So – like any modern people, I search for some tutorials on YouTube hoping to learn some tips & tricks on how to properly organize everything in notion.

In the midst of the search, I found this YouTube channel called “Keep Productive” – which subsequently lead me to this video: “Create Your Second Brain with Tiago Forte

(Please note that priory to this, I never heard of the name “Tiago Forte” or the term “Second Brain” before)

Tiago Forte is a master of digital productivity.

He is like Marie Kondo of the digital world.

As I dig further, I found more interesting concepts from Tiago Forte, such as the PARA method, progressive summarization, full-stack freelancer, just-in-time project management, etc.

These concepts trigger a big realization for me that:

I have been doing my writing wrong!

One of the posts in Tiago’s Praxis Blog, he shared a case study video that show how he write a long form post.

The techniques he used are truly eye-opening.

Instead of staring at a blank page, and waiting for the “muse” to show up, he used all the resources he has collected, and processed in the past as the stepping stone to get him into writing mode.

Which also made me realized –

I have been doing my learning wrong as well!

You see – I have been a advocate in learning ever since I read my first thought development book back in 2006.

Since then, I’ve read lots of books, listen to hundreds of hours of audiobook / podcasts, gone through tons of online courses.

But, I have never properly organize what I learned.

Other than a few highlights here and there, I mostly depending on my brain storage to remember what I learned.

This is a great mistake, as Tiago pointed out that our brain are not meant for storing things.

Our brain are bad at memorizing information, but it’s great at execution (based on the information presented).

That’s why Tiago Forte introduced the idea of building a “second brain” that would mainly serve as the knowledge management system, while reserving our primary brain power for taking actions.

I could have collected all those knowledge I learned in the past and organize it properly using the “second brain” method.

Imagine the library of knowledge I could build if I have done this since the beginning – my life would have be very different compare to now.




The Takeaway of this Lesson?

I just told you the story of how I went from missing out a Black Friday deal (the tiny blip) to completely reorganize my projects & priorities (the big change) in life.

Life in general is full of butterfly effects.

Good things happen to bad people.

bad things happen to good people.

Yet, good or bad, it could be just a tiny blip / bliss that is a sign of bigger things to come.

It’s up to us to interpret the meaning of it.

Therefore, it’s important for us to look at life in a “Big Picture” perspective, instead of focusing on a tiny blip.

If we look at life from the 30,000ft view, maybe the tiny blip wasn’t really that hurtful.

Maybe the tiny blip is just a minor dot in a bigger picture.

Maybe the tiny blip is a bless in disguise – a stepping stone for something great.