Have you ever taken a moment to consider how truly interconnected we all are? Think about how your ability to make someone laugh or cry, feel safe or insecure, or appreciated or neglected not only affects them, but their interaction with others. And each person with whom they interact, in turn, connects with exponentially more. And if just one laugh, one smile, one compliment can literally impact hundreds, if not thousands, of people in a single day, think about what each of us can do for global connectivity if we take purposeful action.

The basic concept of the Butterfly Effect is that even the smallest change to the state or condition of one thing can lead to seemingly unrelated, large-scale, unpredictable variations in other systems. This principle has been mathematically proven time and time again. And we see the practical impact of it first hand when it comes to the volatility in the stock market, impacts on our ecosystem, and incidents of social unrest. And if the smallest of unrelated actions can have such significant global implications, just think what impact purposeful decisions can have on both a small and large scale.

Right now we face a particularly polarizing time in our world. Opinions about how to handle COVID-19 are split. Some kids are back to normal life while others are in limbo with school and socializing restrictions. Some businesses are struggling while others are flourishing. And tension over civil rights are palpable. Combine these nearly unprecedented times with the normal stresses we endure and it is a recipe for chaos, or an opportunity to grow and flourish.

With so much dichotomy and uncertainty, we can choose to ignore it, be overwhelmed by it, or embrace it and create our own small positive ripples. Here are five ways to make meaningful local and global connections.

  1. Foster your relationships and welcome new, healthy ones. We sometimes tend to take our most dependable and important relationships for granted. Be sure to re-engage emotionally with the relationships that are important to you. Your actions will encourage others to do the same. Likewise, complacency can be the enemy of growth. When we stop seeking out new relationships, we close ourselves off to new opportunities to grow from and positively impact others.  
  2. Connect with compassion. Whether you are trying to negotiate in the boardroom or bond in the bedroom, trying to appreciate, understand, and acknowledge the needs and wants of the other person will help you better connect. In many cases of malcontent, there is a disconnect between people because they fail to compassionately understand the other person’s perspective.
  3. Focus only on what you can control. This is a great strategy to positively impact others. So much of our frustration and anxiety can come from what others are or are not doing and how they are doing it. We can’t control any of that. So focusing on it and letting it monopolize our attention and influence our feelings is a waste of time and energy. Instead, releasing yourself of that burden lets you direct your attention to the things you can control, affords you more positive energy, and lets you be proactive rather than reactive.
  4. Lead by example. If you want to feel inspired and appreciated by others, then put that energy into the world by inspiring and appreciating others. What we put into the world generally comes back. Not necessarily in direct reciprocation, but most certainly in other ways. A positive attitude is infectious, good for your personal health, and improves productivity.
  5. Quality over quantity. In our fast-paced society, we spread ourselves thin trying to do more, faster. We end up compromising quality for quantity. It is better to slow down, prioritize our efforts, and engage in the moment so that your connections and efforts will be more impactful and longer lasting.      

Global connectivity isn’t about a single raindrop hitting the water and creating ripples that reach far and wide. It is about millions of raindrops that we can each create all reaching and overlapping and interrelating. It begins with those closest to us. When we maximize those opportunities, the reach of that positive impact is limitless.

For more information about this subject and all aspects of The BUILD Framework®, consider getting a free copy of my book: https://johnpeitzman.com/free.