Grateful People Share The Small Innocent Choice They Made That Changed Their Lives Forever

Almost like a butterfly-effect, seemingly innocent choices made by people can have a profound effect on their lives for good or for worse. Here, we take a closer look at how some innocent choices ended up changing lives forever.

1. 3:00 flight or 6:00 flight.

Took the later one, bumped into a long-lost friend at the airport during my layover. Stopped her from committing suicide.


2. I was sitting my favorite spot on the beach waiting for the sunset when some some guys came and ruined the mood by hitting on me in a really inappropriate way. Decided to go home, then while walking, I changed my mind and resolved that I wouldn't let them keep me from enjoying what I had waited for all day. I found another place to sit, not knowing it was somebody else's favorite spot. I met the love of my life that day.


3. I started a forum and a wiki for an indie game I liked when the game had a few thousand players. I paid $20 for the domains and thought nothing of it.

That game now has over 20 million players, the forum and wiki have around 100,000,000 page views each per month and have had over 2,500,000,000 page views total. A million+ members, 30k posts per day, largest forum on the internet (traffic) and in the top 5 for activity. They are now my full time job and it's a great job.

My life is awesome, all because I made a forum on a whim.

That game is Minecraft btw.


4. In 2004 I was walking through a music festival to see a friends' band, heard drums and thought "wtf, lot of drums??" ... drifted over to check it out. (to get the full picture you need to know I was not a drummer at all, just a kind of nerdy middle aged woman.)

It was a Brazilian samba band... coolest ever thing! I chatted to one of them after, they invited me to rehearsal, next Tues I'd joined up, month later I'm in a parade, year later I'm addicted to drumming, year after that I quit my job and move to Brazil, end up playing in a bunch of the top Carnaval groups there, go to the diciest favelas you can imagine, study my ass off!, finally parade in a top group in the Sambodromo on snare drum (not bad for a 40yo white American chick), learn to speak Portuguese, also go to Europe just to play music there, buy an apartment in Brazil, end up teaching percussion professionally, also learned to be a sexy ass dancer at last, also learned to surf, etc etc etc.

Biggest change in my entire life. Just cause I heard drums one day and veered over to check it out.


5. Reading changed my life tremendously! When I was 20, I hated reading. Consequently, I struggled with English classes and flunked out of college. My writing skills we're terrible as well. During that summer, I also got a DUI, so I was not in a good place in my life.

While visiting a friend of mine, I was playing a lot of Starcraft at his apartment (he was at work, had an internship with intel) and I eventually got bored. Out on the coffee table was a book. In my boredom, I dared myself to read the first 10 pages. The book was A Game of Thrones, by George RR Martin. Two days later I finished the book and it turned me into a reading junkie ever since then (I think I have read over a 1000 books). My writing skills improved considerably and I eventually went back to college to finish my degree. I am currently in an MBA program and will be flying to Budapest and Prague for an international business trip this summer. It would have never happened if I had not picked up that book.


6. Sophomore year of high school, there was this dude in like 2 of my courses who never spoke. Being the chatty guy I am, I blabbed on and on to people around me, and to him, but he rarely if ever responded. In fact, he responded so little that I decided I'd stop wasting my time speaking to him. Especially since I was just talking about experiences in my life, and I got silence or two words in return.

But I just kept talking, because I can't shut up for the life of me. And also because some "voice in my head" told me to keep talking, that this guy was different. Anyway, I end up in some classes with him next year, and now he says hello and stuff. Little bit more talkative, which is cool. End up in a physics class with him, which turns into me doing a physics project with him and 2 others, which turns into me opening up about the hardships of my life (there we a lot, and still are), which got a "wow" out of him. And he told me about a bit of his life's difficulties. And it was a nice day.

He's my best friend now, has been for years now. He's helped through so many down times, has been there for me when no one else has, and is still deeply involved in my life. We managed to help each other out of our lowest lows in high school, and still keep in crazy close contact. He's pretty much the only person who can make me smile on a shitty day, even if he's not around. I love that kid to death, and would go to the ends of the earth for him.

And get this: all those stories I told him, when he didn't respond? He remembers them. In detail. Even stories I don't remember telling. I can't imagine how poorly I'd be doing if I hadn't continued to speak to the silent kid.


7. A friend told me she had a breast lump but wasn't going to bother getting it checked. I'd seen all the ads about getting these things checked so told her she should go, kinda flippantly offered to go with her, she said ok.

Figured I may as well get checked while I'm here, doc found a lump, ended up being diagnosed with stage 2 cancer. After they got it I was told if I'd waited a few more months to be checked I'd likely have a much worse diagnosis. All healthy now, I figure my friend inadvertently saved my life.


8. August of 2011, rolled out of bed on a dreary Saturday morning and made my way downstairs. I passed my dad - fast asleep on the couch, per usual - and made some breakfast before heading up to the shower. After the shower I hastily got dressed for work and headed for the door, already running late. I paused on the porch and thought to myself "I'll grab one of dad's smokes for the drive," even though I had my own pack waiting in the car. Something compelled me to turn back.

I approached him quietly and snatched a cigarette out of his pack on the end table. "Dad, I have to leave for work now...I love you." I muttered with the cigarette dangling between my lips. My father, lying there with his eyes closed and his hand tucked underneath his head, didn't respond. I stood there for a few seconds, observing him, how still he was. "Dad, wake up." I reached out and touched his shoulder - cold. I remember shaking him and telling him to wake up, louder each time, tugging at his shoulder more violently. "Dad, Jesus Christ, wake up!"

It was a few minutes before the paramedics arrived, and a few more before a young man in his late twenties rested a hand on my shoulder and told me "Your father has passed on." He had gone in his sleep, sometime in the middle of the night, when his heart had unexpectedly failed him. I remember collapsing to my knees next to my father's body and telling him how sorry I was; I don't know for what.

I managed to compose myself and phoned my older siblings to deliver the news; they all set out for the house immediately. The paramedic, now one of a dozen emergency responders hovering around my living room, asked if there was anyone else in the house. "My little brother. My little brother is still asleep upstairs." I trudged up the staircase, eventually coming to rest at the edge of my younger brother's bed. He looked up at me with sleepy eyes and asked "What's wrong?" I told him not to worry and get some more sleep, that we'd talk about it when he woke up.

If I hadn't turned back that morning, it wouldn't have been me tugging at the old man's shoulder, asking him to wake up. My ten year old brother would have woken up and found his daddy - his favorite person in the whole goddamn world - dead. He's a quiet, fragile little boy, a real sweetheart without a bad bone in his body. Can you imagine? I don't know that I'll ever do anything harder in my life than holding him in my lap and listening to our eldest brother tell him that "Dad had to leave for Heaven this morning. He loved you so, so much." But I do know that the impulse to turn back that morning spared my baby brother from a lifetime of shouldering an unbearable god-awful memory.


9. My last semester of college I had some extra space in my schedule for another class. I didn't need any more credits, but I decided to take something that would be easy and interesting. I chose Chinese (I'd already studied it at another school I went to, so I thought this would be a cakewalk). Plus, the teacher's name was 'Wang' and I thought that was hilarious.

Doctor Wang ended up giving my information and a pretty swanky recommendation to a university in China. Two months after I graduated, I was on a plane to teach English at this university.

I've only been here a year, but I've fallen in love and have a hard time imagining what life would be like back in the states, fighting tooth and nail for minimum wage jobs until I find something related to my major. Because of the people I've met, I plan on backpacking through Europe in August, taking a free meditation retreat in India and I realized that it's actually possible to live like a nomad and travel the world for a few years until you decide to 'grow up'.

Good class.


10. Not me, my older brother. We decided to go sledding one day. Twisted his knee climbing back up the hill. Years later, jacked up knee prevents him from joining military. Gets a job at a gas station instead. Gets promoted to manager. Has to drive to next town over to manage new station. He gets hit head on by a car on his way to work one morning. Dead. Silly sled.


11. I was on a pretty long bike ride with my friend, and we were in a rural area. I stopped to take a picture of some cows, and as I finish, a car comes speeding round the corner about 10 meters away. The car loses control, drives over the path and flips into a field. If I didn't stop to take a picture of those cows I could be dead right now, or at least incredibly injured. Here is a picture of the aftermath:


12. While blindly walking through a career fair as a Lazy Senior at college, I said screw it and went to the booth of one of the companies that I thought was impossible for me to get a job with. When they offered me a job two months later I thought it was a joke, now I live in DC and make a solid living. If it wasn't for them, I'd still be in Pittsburgh and not have nearly the same career I have now.


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