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Seemingly Insignificant Decisions That Changed The Course Of People's Lives

Reddit user This_Check_4267 asked: 'What's a small, seemingly insignificant decision you've made that ended up having a huge impact on your life?'

Man hitting a fork in the road hiking
Photo by Caleb Jones on Unsplash

Not a day goes by when we won't have to make a decision of some kind.

On rare occasions, we might even have to make an extremely serious decision which we know will have major consequences down the line.

These might include accepting a job that would require you to move cities, whether or not staying in your relationship is good for you, or almost literally life or death decisions about your own health.

Most of the time however, the decisions we are forced to make day in and day out are fairly minor, such as whether to walk or take the subway, or coffee or tea with your breakfast.

Whatever we choose, it won't end up having any major effect or ramifications on our lives.

Or will it?

Redditor his_Check_4267 was curious to hear if anyone ever made what seemed like a minor decision that ended up having a major effect on their life, leading them to ask:

"What's a small, seemingly insignificant decision you've made that ended up having a huge impact on your life?"

When The Wrong Train Ended Up Being The Right One...

"Took the wrong train in a new city to a job a minimum wage job that I didn't want but needed at the time."

"Asked a random guy for directions when phone GPS still kind of sucked."

"He happened to be going in the same general direction."

"We rode a train together and nerded out on films we were into."

"He was an aspiring filmaker (very beginnings of aspirations), and I was just a film nerd without any post high school education or thought of 'breaking into the industry'."

"We ended up becoming roommates and collaborators eventually."

"Sold our first film to IFC like 2 years ago."- SrgtSquarePants

Right Place, Right Time

"Worked in a kindergarten during my gap years between high school and university."

"I didn't even plan to go at the time."

"A kid with speech and social issues happened to take a special liking to me, resulting in me agreeing to work closely with his speech therapist, despite only being the teachers assistant."

"This reignited my interest in language and made me apply to be a linguistics major."

"My high school grades made it a long shot, but it turns out that very year they tested out a new system of accepting 50% of students based on motivational essays, to try to combat a high drop out rate in linguistics."

"I made it in on that, they ditched it the next year cause it didn't work."

"I now have masters in Language Psychology and start teaching at the same university this semester."

"If I had applied literally any other year, my chances would have been like lottery odds."- MonsieurRud

Graduation Graduate GIF by Reba McEntireGiphy

Secret Setup Maybe?...

"Me and 2 other coworkers decided to grab some dinner after our shift."

"One ended up cancelling, so I thought my other coworker would cancel too."

"We were both hungry, so we decided to still grab dinner together."

"We'd been coworkers for over a year and have always gotten along, but this dinner truly felt like a first date."

"It was so enjoyable and we talked so much that we didn't realize the restaurant had been closed and that the workers had been cleaning up around us."

"Servers were too nice to interrupt our conversation."

"Him and I ended up falling in love soon after that."

"Been together for over 6 happy years and wouldn't change a thing."- stereotypedhonesty

Cracked The Code

"I had a blog where I couldn’t figure out some HTML code, so I emailed the blog of another person who had figured it and they sent me the code."

"They lived about 1,000 miles from me and had never spoken before."

"Four years later we’re married, bought a house, and have a child together."- Manejar

art evolve GIF by ashleyrobertsGiphy

Some Bad Habits Pay Off...

"Was at a conference and stepped outside for a smoke."

"Bumped into a friend of mine who introduced me to the man he was walking with."

"That man encouraged me to apply for an opening in his office and, six months later, he hired me."

"It was the job that jumpstarted my career, changing my trajectory."

"And all because of a bad habit."- The_Dude311

Closer And Closer To The Action

"I took a job in an Emergency Room doing insurance paperwork."

"I thought 'Okay but what happens before they get to the hospital?"'"

"That exposure lead to a career as a 1st Responder."

"I never would have imagined I would be helping people in Emergencies been doing it every day for decades."- YerekYeeter·

There Is Always A Way Back...

"I went to prison for a robbery."

"I did it."

"I was a heroin addict."

"After almost 5 years in, at a work center, I got a write-up which would make me stay in for a few months longer."

"The warden offered a deal if I would paint a mural at a local high school of their mascot, they'd forgive the writeup."

"I had always been good at drawing (they knew that which is why they asked) but had never done a mural."

"I figured out how to scale it up in my head and did it."

" I got out about 6 months later and made it my career."

"I'm now married, happy, and fully booked until summer of next year for work, owning my own business."

"In September, I will have been out for 10 years."

"I also hid my initials in the high school mascot mural."- therealbiggravy

rainbow painting GIFGiphy

Home Is Where The Heart Is

"I was flying to Costa Rica to go backpacking south from there, my sister told me to fly into Guatemala, I had to see it."

"So I did, and here I am still 10 years later, with a son and a life I never imagined."- Old_Insect

Some Things Are Worth The Risk

"I was doing online dating with no success and I was ready to give up."

"I almost canceled my date just out of pessimism but figured it was already scheduled, I’ll just go and if it doesn’t work out I’ll just take a break from dating."

"The date lasted about 8 hours and 15 years later we’re still together."- Rolling_Beardo

Hey, You Never Know...

"Entered the green card lottery."

"Friend was trying to figure out how to do it, so I downloaded the instructions and completed an application to show them how."

"Since it was easier than asking them for all their info, I made a dummy application using my own info."

"When I was done I thought 'meh, might as well' and dropped my application into the outgoing mail."

"Then forgot all about it."

"I was highly confused when, nearly a year later, I got a letter from the state dept."

"I’ve been in the US for 20 years now, married, kids, the whole thing."

"Biggest change I ever made, and it was just a random 15-minute thing I did to help a buddy."- dbpnz

Lottery Lotto GIFGiphy

It Pays To Share

"On a night out I went to Burger King and at the last second decided to get chicken nuggets with my burger instead of chips."

"I ate the burger but didn't feel like the nuggets by this point (and wished I'd gotten chips instead) so I asked the person opposite me on the bus if he wanted them."

"My exact words were 'ay lad do you want my chicken nuggets?'"

"He said yes and we got talking."

"That was 16 years ago and now we are married with a beautiful daughter."- gembob891

Even when it seems like it doesn't matter in the moment, it's always worth thinking carefully before making any decision.

As sometimes, taking the long route or ordering a second round could end up being the very decision that changes your life forever.


Brands That Abandoned Their Core Audience And Paid Dearly For It

Reddit user Fflewddur_Fflam_ asked: 'Who abandoned their core audience and paid the price for it?'

As the saying goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Nonetheless, several brands and businesses will sometimes make noticeable changes, be it to reach a wider audience, or simply to shake things up a bit.

In some cases, the effort pays off, like Dunkin' Donuts, who decided to stretch beyond simply selling doughnuts and coffee, eventually even dropping the "Donuts" from their name, but losing none of their popularity.

Other times, things don't go as smoothly, such as when IHOP (an acronym for the International House of Pancakes) temporarily changed its name to IHOB (International House of Burgers), which turned out to be nothing but a weeklong publicity stunt, but was met with anger and vitriol from it's fanbase during that controversial week.

Redditor Fflewddur_Fflam_ was curious to hear what other brands the Reddit community thought betrayed their core audience to disastrous results, leading them to ask:

"Who abandoned their core audience and paid the price for it?"

Humans Are Technically Animals...

"Animal Planet."

"Their tagline became 'surprisingly human.'"

"Nobody wants to watch ANIMAL Planet for people."

"They have other channels."- rainbirdmelody

You Could Say Their Mission Slipped Through The "Cracks"...

"Cracked.com."

"There were a couple years there where they transformed from a second rate Mad knockoff to some of the smartest, funniest stuff on the internet."

"Then the people who held the purse strings decided listicles and photoshop contests were more profitable than a writing staff."- MichaelMyersResple

"StumbleUpon."

"It was a small website giving you randomized internet pages which I used to browse for hours as they were so fun."

"Now it turned into Mix and I have no clue what it is."

"Pretty sure no one uses it and it makes me sad."- MightyDaisy

Working On It GIF by KAT BALLGiphy

Less Handcrafted, More Hand-Me-Down

"Etsy."

'Used to be a fairly cool place to buy and sell mostly handcrafted stuff and items to make handcrafted stuff."

"Now it's basically shady Amazon with worse shipping."

"Everyone seems to be drop shippers and a lot of the more niche crafter/artisan things are pushed out and overwhelmed by cheaper, mass produced goods."- THIS_IS_MY_JOYSTICK

The Dreaded Paywall...

"Photobucket!"

"Back when forums were still a thing, Photobucket would host your images for free."

"Then one day they decided EVERYONE would have to pay monthly, no free tier, nothing."

"We all collectively agreed we would not be paying, and that was that."

"I feel like it may have contributed to the death of forums."

"Ruined a few of my car build threads, that's for sure."

"To this day they still send me emails a couple times a year threatening to delete all my photos if I don't come back."-pr0b0ner

Arguably, All For The Best?...

"Yik Yak."

"It was a way to have conversations with people in the area anonymously (really popular on college campuses)."

"They made an update to create user profiles and pretty much everyone just stopped using it because anonymity was the whole point."- Fakjbf

episode 16 moe GIFGiphy

Chocolate Lovers Revolt!

"This is incredibly niche, but in Norway there used to be two providers of chocolate powder, the kind you mix with hot or cold milk to make hot chocolate or chocolate milk."

"They were O'Boy brand and Nesquik, equally loved and enjoyed a healthy fanbase 'rivalry'."

"O'Boy is a Swedish product sold in Scandinavia and the Baltics since the 50s, Nesquik is of course Nestlé brand and sold all over the world."

"Sometime in the 2010s Nesquik decided to change the formula of the choco powder."

"I imagine to save money."

"And for making hot chocolate the new recipe was fine."

"What Nestlé underestimated, however, is that most Scandinavians drink their choco powder cold to make chocolate milk."

"The new recipe had a different type of sugar in it that wouldn't dissolve in cold milk, leaving a crunchy powder in the milk."

"Norwegians outraged, Nesquik was deemed useless, nearly everyone in the Nesquik camp migrated to O'Boy, and Nestlé lost almost all its market share overnight."

"A few months later, Nesquik is gone from the shelves nearly everywhere, never to recover from the blunder."- -Yngin-

Tornados Filled With Sharks Are Not For Everyone...

"Sci-Fi Channel."

"At some point there was no sci-fi on it."- AlienBeingMe

Tara Reid Storm GIF by SYFYGiphy

Not Everyone Can Keep Up With The Times...

"RadioShack."

"They went from selling electronic components, little gadgets, and interesting tech bobbles to nerds to trying to sell expensive cell phone plans and sh*tty batteries to a different audience."

"We saw that the customers who came to RadioShack shifted from middle/upper-income engineers and tech geeks to lower income people in a six year period."

"Then we saw the geeks stop coming in at all because they would come in for some capacitor or breadboard, and the person there wouldn't know what that was."

"If it wasn't a phone, they didn't know."

"Even if it was a phone, they probably couldn't tell you anything about it."

"Old RadioShack employees were knowledgeable and well paid."

"New RadioShack employees didn't give a sh*t about technology."- 001235

Seems FittingThat Their Old Audience Is "History"...

"Anyone else remember when The History Channel was about history and not about aliens?"- rienjabura

Found Footage Video GIF by Eternal FamilyGiphy

There's A Reason They're Not So Well Known For Their Food...

"Every restaurant that opens in the UK goes through the cycle:"

"New and interesting food."

"Very different from most British food."

"Becomes very popular."

"Owners sell to a large company."

"Large company decides that being popular isn't enough, they want everybody to eat there."

"Make the food more British."

"Looming failure is hidden for a while because they attract new customers at exactly the rate they lose old customers."

"New customers have tried it, realize they can get that food anywhere, stop going."

"Chain closes and is replaced by a Greggs or Nandos, depending on the size of the location (not dependent on how far away the nearest Greggs or Nandos is."- skztr

Money Doesn't Solve Everything

"Quora."

"There were excellent groups with intelligent discussions."

"Then it became monetized and people submitted 100s of questions a day."

"'What time does the Walmart close in Boise?'" "

"'My 16 yr old came home with an A- so I took away their phone for 6 months'."- JanuarySoCold

Bored Sales GIF by EGiphy

Success can be a very dangerous thing.

As it can make you think about nothing but getting bigger, often resulting in your leaving people behind along the way.

A cautionary tale for young entrepreneurs.


What makes someone a 10?

It ain't all about looks, baby.

Looks are fine.

But charisma is everything.

There are a ton of ingredients that make up attractive, though.

That's why it's good to know your strengths.

Redditor Overall_Wish_912 wanted to hear about how hot everybody thinks they are and why, so they asked:

"What is the most attractive thing about you?"

I think my eyes sell the whole package.

Light blue with a slight dusting of gold.

Connections

Yoga Anatomy GIF by YOGABODYGiphy

"More than a few radiologists over the years have told me I have nice connective tissues, ligaments in particular. Makes a fella kinda proud."

Southern_Snowshoe

Lashed

"I have exceptionally long and beautiful eyelashes. I’m working on my flutter. I’m also a guy."

bleepbloopmunchmunch

"I get complimented on my eyelashes too as a guy! Women often tell me they’re jealous. I never had a clue that was something women noticed until I reached college/university."

EasterButterfly

"I started getting compliments in high school. I remember freshman year, I was sitting at a round table and this really cute girl at the table just randomly asked me to close my eyes. I thought it was weird, but I did. Then she told her equally cute friend to look at my eyelashes, that they were so long and pretty like a girl's. At the time I wasn't sure if they were being nice or making fun of me (since they compared them to girl's lashes). I now get the compliment, though, and appreciate it."

DesertRat012

Beauty

"I'm not totally hideous, but easily the most attractive thing about me is my kindness. I hear all the time that people are just magically drawn to me/feel comfortable with me/like being around me. I'm charming, I guess."

StrangersWithAndi

"That’s such a good quality."

Overall_Wish_912

Look Up

"I'm 6'2 and the internet tells me that's like the most incredible and attractive thing ever apparently."

ConflictFast8743

"I’m 6’6 and wish I was shorter. My long-term girlfriend tells me I get checked out all the time but I literally never notice, I’d give up all the attention if it meant I’d never hit my head on a doorframe again."

CaptainLongshorts

"I'm only 6', but a woman and I have a 36' inseam. I love having long legs, they walk so fast and are my favorite physical feature!"

abqkat

Light as a Feather

the office therapy GIFGiphy

"My therapist said I’m a good egg, so there’s that."

CheddarBurgers

"Mine told me she never feels heavy when I leave her office. We’ve talked about some heavy sh*t so I took it as a compliment."

random_username3184

Not being the scariest and worst patient is definitely a gold star moment for the mind.

Perfect

Regular Season Sport GIF by MLBGiphy

"I’ve been told I have the most perfectly shaped head for a bald man."

KilnMeSmallz

"My dermatologist recently told me I had a great shaped head if I were to ever shave my hair off. It really got me thinking."

Weeziir

For the Boys

"The only attractive thing about me is my hair. Even that is debatable since most women don't like men with long hair."

SlayzorHunter

"Haha for me it’s my bald head! I look a million times better without hair than with it even when my hairline wasn’t balding that bad. I think the pics of me at 28-30 I look better than my 18-25 pics."

OkSwitch470

"Some men just have the cranial and facial structures that make them look better with bald head. I shave my head every 3 years, so I know how I look with every single hair length there is. It only starts looking decent after at least 9 months of growth."

SlayzorHunter

Share With Me

"I'm very nonjudgemental; it's amazing the things people will share with me!"

PeterGivenbless

"Same. I've had people share some pretty personal things with me soon after meeting them."

Krissyfox_7

"Yup, same. I have 'tell me all your secrets' stamped on my forehead. I do like it, though. Nice to get to know who people actually are and what they’ve been through, as opposed to the robotic small talk. Makes me happy that people see me as a 'safe' person."

East_Satisfaction242

Streaks

"I have bright blue eyes that get me plenty of compliments. The only other thing that gets close is my beard, and now especially the silver streaks lacing it."

fuqaduck

"The Silver helps. I was accused of dying it to look more dignified by a coworker, which was puzzling. Not quite a compliment, but compliment adjacent I guess."

604Ataraxia

The Nuzzle

"My long nose, it’s perfect for nuzzling the bean while dining out 🤤."

sussyboingus

"I had an out-of-the-blue compliment about my nose. A woman approached me and said I had an envied Roman nose. Noticing my confusion, she explained she was an art historian, and my nose was in the mold of Roman marble statutes. I've never heard another compliment about my nose, so who knows."

TWH_PDX

The Body

The Simpsons Dance GIFGiphy

"I’m short but I have a very nice figure. I get complimented for my butt a lot. I’m 5’2." I like attention so I don’t mind the compliments for the most part. I don’t get bothered by that as easily as some people do. But I have no respect for men that complement my body when they’re in relationships."

DrWiskers

Well, there are a lot of definitions for attractive.

Thank goodness.

a man and a woman walking in the desert

NEOM on Unsplash

When you're in a relationship, the things your significant other—or sig-O—does hit different.

Teasing remarks you'd laugh off from friends can feel like a knife in the heart when your romantic partner says it.

Minor slights can easily become major issues in your relationship if you feel vulnerable.

Keep reading...Show less

There's this ongoing, universal joke that no one reads user's manuals for new items, so often items aren't built or used quite the way they were intended.

But some products, whether there's a user's manual involved or not, will be used for activities that they were in no way designed for.

Redditor OfficialDampSquid asked:

"What product is rarely used for its intended purpose?"

Clothespins

"Clothespins have spent years keeping bags of chips closed in my house, not a minute hanging up clothes."

- jpiro

"Great in the shop as mini clamps, specifically when gluing the linings to acoustic guitars."

- Fluffy-Anything-5528

Free Parking Corner

"The corner that says FREE PARKING on the Monopoly board."

- DanielleAntenucci

"I don’t know one single person who plays that game correctly. It’s insane how house rules caught on and became almost universal."

- Dr_broadnoodle

Cotton Swaps

"I’ll be deep in the cold, cold ground before I use a Q-Tip correctly."

- PM_DEGRADING

"95 percent for cleaning electronics. Five percent for cleaning your ears."

- Fried-Pig-Dogs

Bubble Wrap

"Bubble wrap. It was invented as a wallpaper in the 1950s."

- fuzzysarge

"Just mist down your windows with plain water and the bubble wrap just sticks by itself."

"I didn't know this trick when I had to make a bathroom more private. As a stopgap, I just sprayed the windows with fake Christmas snow."

- RedditZamak

For Surgical Purposes

"K-Y Jelly was originally developed as a surgical lubricant."

- JiveChicken00

Fixes Everything

"Duct tape. Works on everything but ducts. (They make a special tape for that, and it’s not called duct tape.)"

- ImpliedSlashS

From War to Screen Doors

"WD-40 was originally created to stop nuclear missiles from rusting."

- ShoopufJockey

Great for Kids Crafts

"I want to say pool noodles. I see a new craft for them weekly and rarely see them actually in a pool."

- gigieileen

Baking Powder Uses

"Not 'rarely used' per se, but the amount of baking powder not used for baking things is quite high."

- DayOk6350

"You can use it to instantly set super glue and create a stronger bond that is as hard as plastic and nowhere near as brittle as a regular superglue bonding."

- Happy-Personality-23

The Question Is In the Name

"Glove compartment in a car. Who actually has gloves in them? I think they are a throwback to when people had driving gloves."

- Urbanredneck2

Yardstick Purpose

"Yardsticks."

- procrastinatorsuprem

"When I was in school, all the teacher ever used it for was to smack the chalkboard to get everybody's attention when the class was acting up."

- Rich_handsome

"We use it to push the button on the smoke alarm, get spider webs on the ceiling, and every once in a while measure how deep a snow storm is."

- procrastinatorsuprem

Treadmill... Closets

"Treadmills at home."

"Or any exercising equipment at home... ends up being a clothes holder."

- shubidoobie

Mouths Instead

"Listerine was originally sold as a floor cleaner."

- mtgkajhit

"Listerine was one of those products which was marketed to do literally anything to do with clearing."

"It was also used as a medical antiseptic during surgery."

- Woffingshire

Great for Crafts

"Pipe cleaners."

"Does that count if they’re called “chenille stems”, brightly colored, and for sale alongside kids’ craft supplies?"

"Because if that does count, so should Play-Doh. It was originally invented to clean wallpaper, but once kids started playing with it (it had been nontoxic from the beginning IIRC) they changed the marketing and sold it in lots of colors."

- DBSeamZ

Cell Phones

"Mobile phones, used for anything, except for making phone calls."

- FatCat_85

"Mobile phones are used for their intended purposes, but that purpose has just changed over time."

- Reddit

These products are all a great example of how products can have multiple purposes, which technically means we can have fewer items in our homes, which means fewer things to clean!

And if cleaning the floor is a concern, apparently we can use the Listerine... while brushing our teeth. Who knew?