The butterfly effect. T-SQL Tuesday #115


T-SQL TuesdayThis month, our host Mohammad Darab (b/t) has given us an interesting subject. Dear 20 year old self. Where we are supposed to write a letter to ourselves in our early twenties. For me one of the most interesting and enjoyable things about #tsql2sday is that I don’t select the subject. It’s given to me and then I have to come up with a post that fits. It’s a challenge, and this one was particularly challenging in an odd sort of way. I couldn’t think of what to write. Normally I have a subject and title in mind by Thursday/Friday and then write it over the weekend. This time I just kept going round and round and couldn’t get a starting point. It’s not that I don’t and didn’t have flaws. I have and had plenty. Lots of easy advice for my 20 year old self.

  • Stop getting in your own way.
  • Fear of something without consequences is kind of stupid.
  • Bad habits now become really bad habits later.
  • The longer you enforce a bad habit the harder it is to break.
  • Buy Dell NOW. Every penny you have.
  • People are hard to understand, but it does become (somewhat) easier with practice.
  • When offered an opportunity to learn a skill take it. There is no useless knowledge.


With so many things I’d want to fix why did I have such a hard time getting started? I finally went for help. I asked my wife for help. Being the amazing person she is, she got me back on track. She told me two things.

  1. I love my wife and kids more than anything.
  2. Why would I want to change my past? It might change my present.


We have a theory in my house. Any change to the past might change our present. It’s the butterfly effect. Just a small change. Buying some Dell stock in 1990, even if I didn’t sell it until my present, would dramatically change how I view things, how much money I had for various things, etc. I might never have met my wife. Even if we did, would we have gotten married? Would we have the kids we do now?

So no. I wouldn’t change a thing from my past. I love my present. That said, what about that list above? The more I thought about it, the more a thought crystallized. I can’t change my past, but I have lots of things I’d love were different. (Losing 150lbs for a start.) I can however change my future. All the things I wish I could have changed in my past (with the exception of that Dell stock of course) I can still change now.

So while this isn’t a letter to my 21 year old self, it is a letter to present (almost 50yo) me.

Today is a great day to start making a better future.

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