The Chain Reaction

I was watching an episode of How I Met Your Mother and in this episode a series of events triggered by one single innocuous event snowballed into an undesirable outcome for everyone involved. Ted found a nickel on the subway from 1939. He thought it was worth something so he went to a collector but got something like 20 bucks for it. He and Robin went for hotdogs with that money and walked past a wedding dress camp out. They told Lily about it and since she needed a wedding dress on a budget, they camped out. But some guy’s car alarm kept going off all night and they couldn’t sleep. So Robin went to crash at Ted’s place next morning where Marshall, who was training for the New York City Marathon, was in the bathroom applying lotion on his chaffed nipples. He slipped, broke his toe and couldn’t run the next day but bet Barney 50 bucks to run instead since he claimed you don’t need to train for a marathon, you just run it. Barney finished the race and was in the subway to head back but his legs stopped working because that’s what happens when you run without training. He ended up riding the subway end to end and called Ted to come and physically pick him up. But Ted reached a bit late and had to jump the turnstile to get to Barney. However he was tackled to the ground by a cop. He had a court date in the morning and hence he reached the airport late and missed his flight.

Is there a way to control this influence that pours into other people’s lives? it got me thinking if it can be done.

You can get influenced from anyone and anywhere but those who are around you probably influence you the most. If you e got roommates or flatmates or if you live with your parents, their actions, their words and their demands from you influence what you end up doing, saying and even thinking. And these days it has transcended over to social media as well. People you’ve never met in real life try to tell you how to live your life better. They influence your decisions and you end up doing things you wouldn’t normally do. It can be for the better or for worse but that’s not the point. We’re familiar with the butterfly effect and who knows which single event in life would trigger a chain reaction that will transform into a storm. For instance, I met a guy in late 2005 and he told me about merchant navy. I hadn’t even thought about this as a career but here were are 15 years later and I’m studying to become a Chief Engineer of cargo ships. I don’t even know where that guy is now.

So how do we control these influences and stop them from turning into chain reactions? I wouldn’t say they’re all bad. I mean I started running since my brother got me into it and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. I guess we get influenced by people. Not just anyone, someone we look up to or envy or love. We wouldn’t normally get talked into doing something or being somewhere for someone if they didn’t mean something to us. So if you remove that attachment, that might be key. If you distance yourself from social interactions and keep people at a distance from where it’s fine to communicate but none of their words or actions end up influencing your life in any way. The chain reaction stands broken and you end up doing exactly what you want to do. Not what someone else expects you to do or wants you to do.

There’s this cute girl and I find ways to talk to her making up excuses. But if she wasn’t in my life, I would’ve been doing something else entirely rather than wasting my time going through her Instagram stories and coming up with lame excuses to talk to her. Clearly she’s not interested. And it’s my fault that I waste my time. I end up doing things I wouldn’t ordinarily do. And that’s on me. I’ve let this chain reaction go on. But if I distance myself from her and others who add nothing to my life, I take back control of my life.

Something to think about.

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