• Posted: October 2009
  • Comments: 3

The Butterfly Effect, how one decision changed my life

When I was 21, on way to a party, in celebratory mode, I crossed the road and walked into car which was moving very quickly. Up to that point, I had a lot to celebrate that Saturday night. The following Wednesday I was leaving for America on a travelling stint. I was a crazy 21 year old enjoying life..and its all excesses, and that March night, as luck would have it I got hit by a car and broke my leg very badly.

I was brought to Mayday Hospital in Croydon. Several doctors examined me throughout the following day. The diagnosis was my femur bone was so badly fractured - the only way to for the bone to heal, was to be in traction for a period of six months. They screwed a bolt through my knee to hold my leg up in a contraption that resembled very dodgy scaffolding. I don’t know what was worse the intense pain or the thought of being on my back for the next six months.

My first response was to feel sorry for myself.  After all I had a right to feel sorry for myself, didn’t I? I had no job, I missed out on the trip of a life time, I was in pain and I was going to be on bedridden for six months. Two weeks into my hospital stay, I had a huge argument with my father in the hospital ward who told me in his own unique way, that I should be up and about by now. My response was sharp along the lines “how the f**k can I get up, my leg is in traction”.

After my Dad left the hospital, I thought, “what if there is a different way to fix my leg, and I could be mobile?”

This thought was accompanied by a very strong feeling in my solar plexus. I immediately asked the ward sister for an appointment with the most senior orthopaedic surgeon in the hospital. My request was initially refused. I didn’t give up, I kept hassling the ward staff to get me an appointment. Every time I asked for the appointment the feeling in my solar plexus would be there. Eventually I succeeded; the senior orthopaedic surgeon came to see me. He was surrounded by 8 or 9 junior doctors at the time, and as they all pondered over my notes and talked medical jargon some words came from the surgeons mouth that caught my attention – “this man doesn’t need to be in traction, we can operate”

The feeling in my solar plexus was very strong when I heard those words.

Two days later, I was in theatre. The surgeon conducted an operation where he shored up my broken femur bone with a steel plate. Three weeks after my initial admission I left the hospital. I was a happy young man; I was mobile again, albeit on crutches with my leg in plaster. This was much better than six months on my back. During my hospital stay, I used the time to reflect on my life and where I was going. At that time, I was all over the place and going nowhere fast. My attention was on short term enjoyment (or what I thought was enjoyment). I had left education, the jobs I had taken were certainly not careers. While lying on my back pondering, I realised I was unfulfilled. I thought something has to change for Michael Carroll; the thought was accompanied by that feeling in my solar plexus.

That small decision to request a meeting with senior surgeon had a big impact on my life. It was the beginning of a different attitude and chain of events that led to huge changes. I had challenged the recommendations of doctors. Why shouldn’t I? It was my leg up in the air not theirs. I didn’t give up when brushed of my ward sister, why should I? It’s my life. I stopped feeling sorry for myself, I realised it achieved nothing, I developed a strong focus.

I left hospital with a new zest for life. Mentally I was very different. I walked six miles a day on my crutches; I read lots of books to learn new things. During the period on crutches, I made another key decision, and that was to change career and make some really good money. Needless to say the thought was accompanied by the feeling in my solar plexus. I liked this feeling; it let me know when I was doing the right thing for me.

That decision to stop feeling sorry for myself and challenge the diagnosis of a doctor was an example of what I call the ‘Butterfly Effect’. It was small shift that led to something big. The feeling I experienced in my solar plexus was the bigger part of my mind (unconscious mind) saying you are on the right track Michael. 

To be successful in life, it’s important to have your awareness set at level so you can detect when your unconscious mind is saying ‘yes this is right for you’. When you have this level of communication with your unconscious it’s obvious to you the right track. You then make the small shifts that will have a huge effect in your life.

So, I would like to hear about your Butterfly Effect. What is the decision one action you took that led you down an exciting new path? How did you know if it was the right path? You can post your own Butterfly Effect experience in the comments section below.

If you would like to experience more of the ‘Butterfly Effect’ in your life and develop your levels of awareness with your unconscious and click this link http://www.nlpacademy.co.uk/courses/view/the_butterfly_effect/

Anyway, I did change career, I did make a load of money (and kept it) ....and then it was time for another change, and another, and another. I will share more in my next blog about the changes. Life is change, enjoy yours.

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12 October, 2009 - 5:46pm

Nice blog Michael, I’m looking forward to your next one. One evening about a year ago I was feeling very fidgety and I made the decision to call the gym and arrange to go and find out more. I had an amazing chat and went down that afternoon. Before I knew it I was signed up and I have lost 3 stone since then! The power of those seemingly small things can be immense! Thanks


Dan Casey

13 October, 2009 - 2:57pm

Thanks for sharing your story Michael. I find the the way you use the ‘Butterfly Effect’ an interesting way for thinking about personal change. I presume the concept is based on the Buttefly Effect in chaos theory - where it is said one wave of butteflies wings in one place can cause a tornado thousands of miles away. I think I get the conenction in your story but would like to know more.


03 December, 2010 - 2:35am

Hi Michael , very impressive story, I really liked it, i will be in trainers training on July, as i have a plan to start my own center here in Egypt train NLP.

And i would like to share my Butterfly Effect story, it is an event , an incident which changed my life totally, and took me completely to a different direction.

i really dont know what can i name it exactly , one day 6 years ago,  i suddenly got a panic , my heartbeat increased, all my body was trembling and i did not find anyway to calm myself , i spent a bad night without knowing to stop this , that’s simply because i hadn’t access to my unconscious mind , because i hadn’t that connection between my conscious and unconscious.

I spent the whole night awake trying to sleep, i started losing my mind, then in the morning i decided to to go to a psychologist , famous one ,  i expected from him to help me getting rid of this state quickly , but all what he did with me is just writing a prescription, and unfortunately the medicine he gave has a bad effect on me, on my focus , on my brain , so i decided to stop it, two days later , and to face my problem alone , as i discovered that the psychologists are illusion.at least in my case

the panic started come to me from time to time, I spent very bad and tough times fighting with myself, reading books , attending seminars, trying to find a solution and i finaly found it.

it is simply forcing myself to be optimistic , this word “optimism”  saved me. then i started my journey taking courses and now i plan to open my center soon.

now when i remeber that memory i feel thankful for it , it made a huge change in my life, it learned me how to control my feelings and emotions , it learned me how to communicate with this powerful part which so-called unconscious mind, i can now gives me unconscious mind requests, and he always does it for me , he is my good best friend ever.

this is my butterfly event , which will enable to make alot on money by helping NLP academy .

thanks Michael , see you on July grin