This is a guest post by Julian Reisinger , co-founder of LovelifeSolved.com.
In 1961, MIT meteorologist Edward Lorenz was working on a mathematical model to describe how air moves around in the atmosphere. But soon, he discovered that the weather didn’t always behave as predicted. Small events, like a butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon, could set off a chain reaction and theoretically build up to a Hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. This phenomenon later came to be known as the butterfly effect.
But the butterfly effect has many more applications than meteorology. Seemingly tiny decisions in your own life can have huge effects on your career, circle of friends, and romantic connections. And it’s important to harness this power to trigger positive ripple effects instead of negative ones.
The social butterfly effect in action
Let me illustrate how this works through the story of my friend Steven. Steven was your typical nerdy, insecure, 15 year old loner. And he loved volleyball. One day, he mustered up the courage to attend a practice at my volleyball club. Then, one practice turned into two, and soon enough he was a regular on our team. He was disciplined, focused, and always on time.
After a while, he started making friends at the club. They were older, “cooler”, and higher up on the social ladder. They respected Steven’s effort and enthusiasm for the game and took him under their wing. They started hanging out with him outside of practice.
Over time, Steven’s confidence grew. He was no longer the new guy. He was just as social as everyone else.
With his newfound self-esteem, he started to coach other players. He entered several beach volleyball tournaments. He met a ton of new people who also shared his passion. His circle of friends grew dramatically and he met his current girlfriend at a competition.
Within two years, the insecure, awkward guy had discovered his passion, loyal friends, confidence in himself, and a cute girlfriend – none of which would have happened had he not joined the volleyball club.
He made a tiny decision – attend one volleyball practice – that eventually changed every aspect of his life. And that’s the social butterfly effect at work.
I’m sure you know other people with similar stories. Just in case, I encourage you to read up on how the son of an Austrian police officer used bodybuilding to go to the U.S; became a successful businessman and famous actor; married a Kennedy; and got elected governor of California.
Triggering a social butterfly effect
Now, the question is, was there a repeatable formula behind my friend Steven’s story? Is there something you can do to maximize your chances of starting a social butterfly effect? I believe so.
The Passion Phase
The first part is finding an activity that you feel passionate about.
Create a list of activities that sound interesting to you. It doesn’t matter what you write down as long as it is something that you think you might enjoy doing. For example:
– “I always wanted to try rock climbing, it looks awesome.”
– “I love seeing my friends play ultimate frisbee. I want to learn, too.”
– “I have a lot of knowledge about online poker. I could create an eBook and sell it on the Kindle store.”
– “Knitting my own clothes allows me to express my creativity. I could join that Meetup group and share that or learn from others.”
If you’re having trouble with this step, ask friends and family for their suggestions on fun things they do. Research local events and meetups online. Read a list of hobbies and pick a few ideas that stand out.
Take action by trying everything on your list. It’s time to find out which activity is your favorite. The only way to do that is through real-world experience. So, over the course of a few weeks, try all of them at least once.
Take your time. Discovering a new passion isn’t easy. If you just pick something to check this step off, then you will fail later on in the process. Search for an activity that is truly rewarding and you’d enjoy on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter what it is, but you have to love it deeply.
Sometimes activities don’t reveal themselves as passions until you have done them a couple of times. That’s because joy comes with skill. It’s a lot of fun to hit a baseball out of the ballpark, striking out a dozen times in a row isn’t.
At first, I thought disc golf was the stupidest sport on the face of the earth. Then I tried it once and I thought it was ok. But the more I played, the more hooked I got. Last week, I played seven out of seven days and I am currently helping a friend set up a disc golf store in Austria. Repetition and skill often lead to passion.
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs
- Focus on the activity you like best.
Stick to that activity to begin with and forgo the rest for now. This will make it easier to become better at it rather than spreading yourself too thin.
In turn, you’ll be more likely to trigger a chain of positive events when you’re good at what you do. You can always pursue other activities once you’ve got this one down.
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” – Bruce Lee
Join a group. For this process to work, you should share your passion with like-minded individuals.
A while ago I worked as a photographer in addition to my studies. I did weddings, bands, calendars for grandmas, and the occasional young woman who wanted photos for her boyfriend.
At first, I was just a guy with a camera who walked around in the forest in search for an interesting mushroom or a well lit spider web. But that all changed when a teacher of mine invited me to a meeting at the local photography club.
The people there had a ton of experience and taught me about the golden ratio, how to use Photoshop, when to use glossy paper, and when to use matte. It was an invaluable education. They even let me access their photo studio for free – something that would have cost me hundreds if not thousands of dollars had I rented it myself.
Joining the club made the difference between being just a guy with a camera and being a guy with a camera who got paid $140/hour as a 19 year old. I never wanted to join the local photography club but when I did, the benefits were astounding.
Benefits of a group:
– They hold you accountable. (“Why didn’t you show up last Friday? We missed you.”)
– They expose you to new ideas and points of view. (“Have you ever tried a fisheye lens? Look how I used it on my sailing trip.”)
– The group allows you to meet many new people naturally. And because you have a mutual interest, it’s easy, even for shy people, to have interesting conversations.
– They can help you out with resources that you don’t have.
The Respect Phase
Now that you’ve found something you love, it’s time to earn the respect of other people doing that activity. Here’s how:
- Ask more experienced people for help. You’re probably the new guy. That’s fantastic, because the new guy can always approach more experienced people and ask them for help. And these people will gladly help you because by asking them for help you make them an expert which strokes their ego.
Always be the student. Surrounding yourself with skilled and seasoned people is the best way to improve.
- Don’t be an asshole. This should be obvious but I’ll mention it anyway: don’t be an entitled, arrogant, know-it-all who badmouths others and is negative all the time. No one respects someone like that.
- Become skilled. The better you become at your activity, the more respect you’ll receive from others. Practice hard and stay disciplined, this will show others that you are committed and they’ll respect you more for it – even if you suck at first.
Some tips for becoming skilled fast:
– Immerse yourself in everything related to your activity. If there are videos about it, watch them. If there are underlying principles behind it, study them. Then take those ideas and experiment endlessly in the real world.
– Seek out experts in your activity and learn from them. Try to imitate what they do.
– Get the best feedback possible. In sports, that’s an experienced and knowledgeable trainer. In business, it could be a coach or mentor. In online poker, it’s an analysis software. And in some other cases, your best feedback is a video of yourself. Whatever activity you end up doing, you need to gather the highest quality feedback possible and review it regularly.
– Rome wasn’t built in a day. Accept that in the beginning you’ll suck. You need to follow a natural progression from terrible to skilled. And the fastest way to skilled is by taking one step at a time. Shortcuts will only slow you down in the end.
The Social Phase
This is the phase where all the magic happens. Here you’ll build a large social circle and meet a lot of women in the process. Women are attracted to men who are competent, skilled, and social.
- Take part in activities outside the class or club. If someone goes to the bar after a meet-up, join them. If someone’s throwing a party, of course you’re down. Better yet, be the one to invite people out to do things with you. You’ll soon convert acquaintances into friends.
- Go from local – to regional – to national – to global. Being a well-respected person in your club, class, or community is fantastic. But what’s even more fantastic is to be known and respected on a larger scale. If you have reached this step, it’s time to participate in tournaments, attend conferences, go to seminars, and check out other events where you’ll meet like-minded people from different geographical areas.
That’s it! If you can make it this far, then your life will never be the same again.
Making the connection to becoming better with women
You might ask yourself what all of this has to do with dating beautiful women. It has everything to do with it!
Your lifestyle makes you healthy or unhealthy, educated or uneducated, lonely or surrounded by loving people, rich or poor, confident or insecure, and ultimately attractive or unattractive to the women you like.
The process laid out in this post is not a get laid quick scheme. It’s a new way of self-improvement that uses activities such as surfing, photography, or cooking as catalysts to connect you with friends, beautiful women, and make you more fulfilled.
Trigger your social butterfly effect now and go places you would have never thought possible.
Julian Reisinger co-founded Lovelifesolved.com to give men and women the education in dating and relationships that Julian wished he had when he was struggling to find love. Julian has been featured in TIME, Inc.com, Business Insider, Thought Catalog, Huffington Post, Lifehacker, and more. He has also written a short ebook titled “Basics of Attractiveness”, that will give you a jump start in becoming physically and emotionally attractive. You can get it for free here.