I have lived my life by one simple belief – you matter. Whether you are a stranger I meet on the street, an organization I help in my business or a friend I have known for years, I hold a belief that you make a difference.
You make a difference to your family, to your friends, to your communities, and to the world. You just do. You may not know it, or believe it, or ever see proof of it, but it is a truth. You matter and have an impact on the world.
But, here is the cruel twist of life.
You are also incredibly insignificant. In fact, you probably have no idea just how insignificant you are. The other truth of life is that you are little more than a speck of dust aimlessly floating around the universe. And that is probably being generous.
Think of as much of the universe as possible – your town, your state, your country, the world, our solar system, the BILLIONS of stars in our galaxy, the neighboring galaxies, the BILLIONS of galaxies our telescopes are discovering every year – the vastness is immense to say the least.
If you think of all of that, you begin to realize just how insignificant we are. I don’t care how important you think you are, or how famous or successful someone might be, we are all just specks.
But wait! This gets even more incredible!
All of that – everything you just thought of – it accounts for a whopping 4% of what we know exists out “there.” Four percent!!! The other 96% is considered dark matter and dark energy. We know it is something, we just don’t know what. We can’t see it, but astrophysicists know something is there. As vast as we know the universe to be, everything we know is only 4% of it!!!
And therein lies the conundrum.
How do you balance the truth that you are incredibly important and meaningful, while at the same time knowing you are nothing more than an infinitesimally small, insignificant speck?
Now before your head explodes trying to understand this, here is why it is worth thinking about this conundrum and struggling with it. If you can allow both of these truths to coexist in the same space and time in your life . . . well, that is where peace lies.
To master this conundrum is to finally find the peace that many of us so desperately search for in our lives.
For those who will go on that quest for peace, here are two thoughts to consider to get you started on your journey.
- Live for others as if you know you matter, but never think so highly of yourself to think you are the world.
- You definitely matter, but never take anything in life so seriously that you think it will impact life a few billion galaxies away.
“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves.”
– William Shakespeare
Whether you like it or not the above are truths.
What matters most, however, is not that they are true, but rather what you choose to do with those truths – and your life – is up to you. The ultimate beauty of being human is that we can create our own lives to look like whatever we desire most in our hearts. We are the creator of our life. Destiny is in our hands. Not anyone else’s . . . or the stars.
Want to get a sense of how small the Earth and our problems are? Take a look at this video.