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The Butterfly Effect: How Your Life Matters Hardcover – August 29, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 721 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Hailed by a New York Times reporter as “someone who has quietly become one of the most influential people in America,” Andy Andrews is a best-selling novelist, speaker, and consultant for the world’s largest corporations and organizations. He has spoken at the request of four different United States presidents and recently addressed members of Congress and their spouses. Andy is the author of three New York Times bestsellers. He and his wife, Polly, have two sons.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; 1 edition (August 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1404187804
  • ISBN-13: 978-1404187801
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.4 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (721 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Monty Rainey on August 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I want to say up front, some people are going to be disappointed by this book, because they are going to measure it by volume, not by content. THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT by Andy Andrews can be read cover to cover in fifteen minutes, but I have read 1,000 page tomes that did not contain a fraction of the message and meaning of this tiny book.

If you have seen Andy's DVD, The Seven Decisions, this is the same message Andy presents regarding the butterfly effect, specifically where he talks about the actions of Col. Chamberlin and Norman Borlaug. These are both incredible stories everyone should hear. I have used both of these stories to close training meetings and they are always met with tremendous emotion.

I want to take just a moment to place my own little spin on the butterfly effect. Things happen for a reason. God has a Divine plan that is beyond our comprehension. Have you ever known exactly where you were going but for some reason took a wrong turn? You've made this same journey 1,000 times but for some reason today, you weren't paying attention and turned left instead of right. What were you thinking?

Some people might slough this off as nothing, but I don't believe that. What if you had turned right as you always do? Perhaps by turning left, you avoided an accident and in that accident a young girl might have been injured or killed. Whose to say that young girl might have one day given birth to the person who someday cures cancer? By making a wrong turn, that tragedy was avoided.

Now Andy's message here is much more deliberate and is more centered on the importance of every action we take, or don't, but the concept is the same. Actions matter. Actions make a difference and sometimes a much greater difference than we will ever be aware of.
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Format: Hardcover
Andy Andrews' book The Butterfly Effect: How Your Life Matters is one of those small gift books that will take you about 10 minutes to read (if that), but that has an interesting message that will tweak your viewpoint on life. You've likely heard of the "butterfly effect", where it's said that the beating of a butterfly's wings can stir air modules that will stir other air modules, until you end up with a hurricane in China. While taking that scenario literally might be hard to accept, the underlying truth is valid... a small action taken at one point in time can ripple out and have enormous implications.

Andrews tells the story of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, a college professor who was also a colonel in the Union Army during the Civil War. At the battle of Gettysburg, he was told that he had to hold the end of a 80,000 troop line strung out across miles. His platoon repelled a number of Confederate attacks, but attrition took its toll and they were without ammo (as well as most of the soldiers they started with). As the Confederate soldiers reformed for what would be the final attack, Chamberlain found out that all his commanding officers had been killed, and if he failed to hold the line, the Union Army would likely have to surrender or face mass slaughter. Faced with the choice of doing nothing or doing something, he ordered his ragtag band of soldiers to fix bayonets and charge. The Confederates, shocked at seeing an offensive being launched at them, figured the Union side must have been reinforced, and started to retreat. In short order, they ended up surrendering to Chamberlain, and he carried out his orders to hold the line.

Andrews then plays the "what if" scenarios out... what if Chamberlain had given up?
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By H.Gray on August 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I love to flip through gift books so I jumped at the chance to review another book for Thomas Nelson Publishers. The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews is a small, hardcover, coffee table style book with the reminder that every person, living, passed on, or yet to be born, has value. It's an interesting short story about the ripple effects of our actions. The author uses historical events to illustrate the fact that every life is meaningful, and often in ways that each person may never know in their lifetime. The fact that life matters and that no action, seemingly large or small, goes unnoticed by the universe is the recurring theme.
There are two quotes that I found particularly moving:
"Every single thing you do matters. You have been created as one of a kind. You have been created in order to make a difference. You have within you the power to change the world."
Who wouldn't feel inspired by that, right?
Here's a follow-up:
"Know that your actions cannot be hoarded, saved for later, or used selectively."
I found this book to be an inspiring and thought provoking read and it is a book I would feel comfortable giving as a gift.
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Format: Hardcover
To be honest with you, I didn't really pay much attention when I requested this book, so I was a little shocked when I received it and saw just how short it was. I literally read through the entire thing in less than 20 minutes. Even though it was such a quick read, and I had already heard many of the stories it talks about before, it was a very inspirational book. It's one of those that you find on someone's coffee table, and after reading quickly through it you feel like you have a slightly different, and more hopeful outlook on life. Just like Andy's other books, this book will make you see things in ways you may not have considered before. It tells us that even though we may never be in the spotlight, the smallest things we do can have the biggest impact. That's what the butterfly effect is. To think that something as small as a butterfly could cause a hurricane seems impossible, but this book will make you reconsider the impossible. It'll be sitting on my coffee table from now on!
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