It’s only natural that when you make a big decision or change in your life that the consequences will be of a similar magnitude. However, sometimes the small things can unexpectedly have similar results. Positive or negative, many of us have experienced drastic outcomes from things we’ve done that seemed relatively minor at the time.
One Redditor asked the community what small decisions they’ve made in their lives have resulted in significant impacts or consequences.
The responses prove that even the most insignificant things we do on a daily basis can make way for some seriously radical aftermath.
Here are 24 stories of people whose seemingly inconsequential actions ended up being highly consequential.
1. Sky Is Not The Limit: “From grade 6 to 12, my commute home on the school bus lasted about an hour. I’d often spend the morning ride in doing homework and the ride home reading. One day, I forgot my book so I ran to the library to grab anything to keep me entertained on my long journey home. I panicked and grabbed an astronomy book on a whim, From the Big Bang to Planet X by Terence Dickinson. By the end of the ride, I was already thinking about what kind of telescope I wanted to buy and suddenly realized that any 13-year-old could grow up to be an astronomer if they wanted to. I followed that dream and now I am an astronomer, and it’s all because of that one book I happened to grab in a rush after school.” (Reddit user: Andromeda321)
2. For Your Entertainment: “I’m a very shy guy normally so starting a conversation with girls is not my strong suit. However, one morning I was still half-drunk from a party and my buddy was having a really bad weekend. I decided to walk up and talk to this hot girl, in public, so he could get a laugh from my inevitable rejection. I looked like a mess and did it purely to raise his spirits. Ten years later, we’re married with two kids and couldn’t be happier.” (Reddit user: soomuchcoffee)
3. Fluke Outing: “I once worked as a personal assistant to a wheelchair-bound guy with cerebral palsy. He wanted to go out one night but was at a loss of what to do. A friend of mine previously mentioned he was going to a stand-up comedy show, which was rare in Sweden in 1989. I suggested it and we decided to check it out as we couldn’t think of another option. It ended up being an open mic so I decided to give it a whirl. I went on to do stand up comedy professionally for nearly a decade.” (Reddit user: Teaflax)
4. A Good Deed: “I used to mow the lawn and do some other yard work for my elderly neighbor who lived all by herself. My parents were the ones who initially forced me to do it but I continued on because I enjoyed helping her. She tried to pay me multiple times but I would always refuse. After she passed, I found out that she left her house to me.” (Reddit user: kebabrollz)
5. Late Breakfast: “One morning, my girlfriend and I took extra time to put together a big breakfast before going into work. We don’t normally do this and it ended up making me late for the train. It’s because of this that I wasn’t in my office on the 77th floor of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.” (Reddit user: BDMayhem)
6. Vengeful Inspiration: “My neighbor growing up was a huge tool. He was older than me and would always try to make me feel less about myself by boasting about himself. One day, he came over to my house just to show me all of the ribbons he won at a local swim meet. Right after that, I told my parents I wanted to join the swim next summer just to show him up. 10 years later, I ended up signing a swimming scholarship that paid for my college. Thanks, Travis, I owe you one.” (Reddit user: chickenboy2718281828)
7. Toy Plane: “My family didn’t have a lot of money one Christmas but my parents still did their best when it came to presents. I was pretty young and my dad gave me a cheap, plastic airplane toy that he found at a garage sale on the way home. This toy ended up being a catalyst for my love of aviation. I now work as a private helicopter pilot all because my dad ended up giving me the greatest present possible.” (Reddit user: [deleted])
8. Saved By The Flu: “My dad got into a terrible accident back in 1995. He was driving through an intersection and was t-boned from the passenger side (luckily). My brother was supposed to be in that passenger seat because it was “take your kid to work” day. However, he had gotten the flu the night before and stayed home. My brother could have died had he not caught the flu.” (Reddit user: CanadianGem)
9. Brotherly Love: “I went skiing with my family when I was a lot younger. My ski goggles were broken so I decided I’d just wear sunglasses. My older brother was having leg pain so he decided to go back to the chalet, but first, he insisted that I take his ski goggles. I ended up having this big ski tow accident. Had I not been wearing ski goggles, I would have been blind.” (Reddit user: Melosthe)
10. Ten Bucks: “Years before I was born, my grandfather and his longtime friend were working at a train station. They saw a beautiful woman and my grandfather’s friend dared him to ask her out on a date for $10. That was quite a bit of money back then so my grandfather obviously went for it. That woman ended up being my grandmother. I may not have existed had it not been for a $10 bet.” (Reddit user: InflatableOilyWeiner)
11. Got A Light? “I was waiting at a bus stop late at night and some guy asked me for a light. We got on the bus together, chatted, and decided to hang out again. I invited him to my friend’s party and he came with his brother. His brother and my best friend ended up meeting and falling in love. They have now been married for almost 10 years and it might not have happened had his brother not asked me for a light.” (Reddit user: grazingsquids)
12. Lucky Break: “I hated sports but my parents would always make me try different ones to keep me active. When I was 12, I ended up in wrestling even though I had absolutely no desire. I had to wrestle one guy who was way out of my weight class one practice. The match resulted in me landing on my wrist and breaking it. This led me to learn guitar to “strengthen my wrist.” Fast forward 11 years and I’m now a full-time musician/professional guitar player. I had never even considered the instrument before it was recommended to me.” (Reddit user: game_3)
13. You’re Welcome I’m Late: “My friend had just gotten laid off from her job of 10 years and was looking to distract herself. She invited me out to dinner with her husband and as I was on route, the subway was stopped due to a medical emergency. I was underground so I had no way to communicate that I’d be late. The place we were going only would seat you if the whole party was there. My friend’s husband decided to go pick up a scratch ticket to kill the time. They ended up winning $100,000.” (Reddit user: blameitonthewater)
14. Name Twins: “I was walking downtown Montreal when I found a wallet on the sidewalk. I looked for identification to return it to its owner only to find that they had the exact same first and last name as me. My name is pretty rare so it was very strange. Found the person on Facebook and we ended up becoming best friends.” (Reddit user: emphase)
15. Coin Toss: “I literally tossed a coin to choose an answer on a test when I was applying for university. I ended up getting admitted by one point. It was at that university that I met a friend who helped me start a small software house. 10 years later, this start-up ended up evolving into a successful IT company. Lucky coin toss.” (Reddit user: MarshalByRefObject)
16. Travel Bug: “I was never one to catch the travel bug. In fact, the idea of leaving the country kind of terrified me. However, my ex texted me one day and his poor choice of words completely set me off. Coincidentally, in that 10-minute time span of rage, I was asked if I wanted to do a student exchange. I said I’d go as far as they can send me. Ended up having the best 6 months of my life.” (Reddit user: Citrus_supra)
17. Potato Salad: “When my grandmother was a kid, she and her family would take a ferry to a beach house island of the coast of Long Island. One year, they were about to board the ferry when they realized they’d forgotten my grandmother’s bowl of potato salad. They went back to get it and caught the next ferry. The ferry they were initially going to board ended up sinking and killing everyone on board.” (Reddit user: [deleted])
18. Bar Switch: “A good friend of mine was a regular at this bar and knew everyone. He rarely would even fathom the idea of going somewhere else for a drink. One time, he clogged the toilet really bad because he got food poisoning. He was too embarrassed to go back so he decided to go to a new bar. It’s at this bar he met his future wife.” (Reddit user: abishekjamez)
19. Patron To Manager: “I was in a terrible marriage by the time it was my 24th birthday. Friends came over and forced me to go to this seedy little bar. No one was there but us. The bartender was pregnant and complaining about working 6 days a week. I drunkenly offered to fill in once a week to help her out. She and her boyfriend ended up getting fired for stealing and I was promoted to full time and eventually became the manager. The friends I met at that job helped me build up the courage to leave my abusive marriage.” (Reddit user: ShutUpJane)
20. Best Wing-man: “Went to high school with this guy named Eddie. We met when we took driver’s ed together. A year later, he asked me if I wanted to join this film class they were introducing. I agreed and ended up meeting my now best friend, Matt. Years later, I bump into Eddie at Best Buy and he gets me a job there. Working there, I meet a guy named Brian who eventually introduced me to my wife. Thanks, Eddie.” (Reddit user: Meh_Turkey_Sandwich)
21. Bad Friend Benefits: “I didn’t want to take my purse out drinking so my friend let me put my money and phone in hers. She ended up leaving with some guy without telling me and I was stranded. This resulted in me meeting my future fiancé, who offered me a place to stay and slept on the couch like a gentleman.” (Reddit user: lateafterthought)
22. Radio: “I had to complete my obligatory high school community hours before graduation and I was cutting it close. My guidance counselor suggests that I complete the hours at this volunteer radio station nearby because I had a tendency to talk a lot. I wasn’t interested in it at all but tried it out and ended up loving it. I now have a successful radio station of my own.” (Reddit user: Michalefthoursago)
23. Bittersweet: “I moved in with my parents instead of moving back to Colorado after my divorce because I was too heartbroken to return to my life. In that period of time, my dad found out he had late-stage renal cell cancer and passed away two months later. Had I moved to Colorado, I would have missed those last weeks with my dad.” (Reddit user: chinpangfi)
24. Uninstall: “Fed up with how my life was going, I decided to uninstall World of Warcraft and order a road bike online. This all happened on a whim and in the span of two minutes tops. I was overweight and in a dead-end job and this decision resulted in me becoming active and confident. I met the love of my life biking and ended up finding my dream job.” (Reddit user: Elinim)