11/22/63 is one of Stephen King’s most fascinating stories. It centers around a young man named Jake who discovers a portal in a pantry that leads back to 1958. Eventually, after a few visits to the portal, Jake decides he can alter history by preventing the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. He believes that if JFK is not killed it will greatly benefit the United States and all of humanity. In the portal and back in the past, Jake stalks Lee Harvey Oswald and manages to prevent him from shooting Kennedy.
Unfortunately, when he returns to the present instead of finding a world improved, Jake realizes the opposite has happened. His old home has been destroyed, earthquakes are much more common, and worst of all, nuclear war has destroyed much of the world. Distraught and saddened that his work in the past has done so much harm, he returns to 1958 to reset history.
The Urban Dictionary defines the butterfly effect as the scientific theory that a single occurrence, no matter how small, can change the course of the universe forever.
1. A man travelled back in time to prehistoric ages and stepped on a butterfly, and the universe was entirely different when he got back.
2. The flap of a butterfly’s wings changed the air around it so much that a tornado broke out two continents away.
The term ‘butterfly effect’ was coined in 1972 by Edward Lorenz who theorized a tornado (its exact time of formation and path taken) being influenced by minor variances in the atmosphere that could have been caused by the flapping of a butterfly’s wings weeks ago and several thousand miles away.
What does the butterfly effect have to do with changing a culture? Everything! Making sure your team is doing the little things every day is not a good thing, but mandatory. The color of the carpet is minutia that can bog down and even splinter organizations, but the daily fist-fight to make sure your athletes are finishing through the line is one of the things many coaches must deal with. Finishing a drill is the flap of the butterfly’s wings that lead to the fumble or penalty we all know is the difference in a win or a loss.