The Universe Is Huge, Make Your Life Huge Too

Ever felt insignificant when contemplating the vastness of the universe? You're not alone. But what if this feeling of cosmic insignificance could actually make your life better?
The Universe Is Huge, Make Your Life Huge Too

While reading physicist David Deutsch’s verbose, yet thought-provoking book, The Beginning of Infinity, I came upon an interesting passage that prompted me to reevaluate the weight of our individual struggles.

Some people become depressed at the scale of the universe, because it makes them feel insignificant. Other people are relieved to feel insignificant, which is even worse. But, in any case, those are mistakes. Feeling insignificant because the universe is large has exactly the same logic as feeling inadequate for not being a cow. Or a herd of cows.

According to Deutsch, the universe is not a looming entity designed to overwhelm us and cause harm.

Instead, It is both our home and a vast resource for us to leverage and tap into.

Upon deeper reflection on my own perceived cosmic insignificance, I realized that Deutsch’s insights offer a valuable perspective.

Here are three fundamental ways that this notion of “cosmic insignificance” can actually serve as a catalyst for optimism.

Risky Things Become Less Risky

Let’s face it, at some point, there is a 100% chance that something bad will happen to you and all of the people around you.

Friends and family will get sick and die, some of us will lose our jobs or homes, and businesses will fail. Suffering is a fundamental truth of life.

Some choose to let this be a source of anxiety to the point that they over optimize for safety. They minimize risk - they work their steady job, plan for the future at the expense of the present, and stick to the well trodden paths through life.

Then there are others who, when faced with this fact, live like today is their last day on this earth. These individuals have no care that one day they will grow up to be ill prepared for a world that no longer seems to have a place for them. They never realize that we all eventually have to pay the piper.

Lastly, there are some of us who recognize that, despite the notion that bad things are inevitable, this cannot stop us from pushing forward, challenging ourselves, and trying to live a full and well life.

Cosmic Insignificance Does Not Equal Insignificance

The fact that the universe is super old, super big, and will continue on for a super long time shouldn’t minimize the value of our existence today.

If you think about it, all of us won the cosmic lottery.

If you disagree, just consider these statements:

  1. On your biological mother’s side, you were conceived from 1 of between 300,000 and 500,000 eggs.

  2. On your biological father’s side, you were first prize in a race of over 100,000,000 other competitors.

  3. You exist on a planet in the “Goldilocks Zone” with a stable orbit around a sun that is just the right distance away.

  4. Our solar system is one among billions in just our galaxy, which is one among billions in the universe.

  5. Most of the space in our universe is empty, and a significant percentage of what remains is dark matter.

I could continue but please just take a moment to reflect on how lucky we are to be here, cosmically speaking.

This has to mean something.

Don’t Waste Your Days

Lastly, and this may seem obvious, it’s crucial to engage in activities that genuinely matter to us.

Each of us has a unique cosmic fingerprint, and it’s up to us to find our distinct purpose within this greater existence.

Aim to take steps that bring you closer to your unique purpose, rather than away from it.

Here are a few things that I consider universal to moving towards this goal.

  • Be kind.

  • Create something of value.

  • Be a mentor.

  • Fall in love.

  • Start a family and be present with them.

  • See the world.

  • Plant roots.

  • Pick somebody up at the airport who needs it.

  • Likewise, call in that favor from a friend.

  • Proactively stay in touch with people.

  • Don’t be afraid to make money.

  • Equally, don’t be scared to spend money.

  • Get up early.

  • Stay up late and sleep in.

  • Have that extra drink.

  • Practice moderation in everything you do.

  • Exercise your body and mind, ideally every day.

  • Revel in recovery & down days.

  • Minimize harm.

When you find yourself grappling with doubt or anxiety, just remember that we all already hit the cosmic jackpot simply by existing.

We’re lucky to be here in this moment.

Don’t squander it on the inconsequential.

And if you forgot, I still think you should put your phone away.

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