You're a Tiny Speck Buried in the Universe, But Your Actions Still Matter

Max Phillips

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Within the Milky Way Galaxy, there could be 40 billion Earth-sized planets orbiting in habitable zones, based on data from the Kepler Space Telescope.

In comparison to the known universe and beyond, you and I aren’t even ants among giants. We’re smaller still.

Coming to terms with our size and subsequent insignificance is a peculiar realization. If we’re barely even a speck, then why should any of our actions matter? After all, there are only a select few people remembered throughout history.

Your boring routines make no impact on the universe, but they make an impact on you. And that’s what matters.

Routine Can Become the Stuff of Legend

Meet Sisyphus. According to a Greek myth, Zeus eternally condemns Sisyphus to push a boulder up a mountain, only for it to fall back down every time.

Sisyphus was a cunning man. He managed to evade death twice until Zeus confined him to a lifetime of arduous work. For Sisyphus, there was never any end in sight.

Yet, he became a legend. There’s a lesson there.

Your boring routine, even though it feels meaningless at times, means something to you.

That’s the great thing about humanity — our ability to find meaning in everything.

You might find waking up at 8 am, taking the same commute, and doing the same job every day pointless, but it all serves a purpose. Even if you don’t realize it in the moment, your future self will be grateful.

Self-Importance Is Vital to a Sane Existence

Last September, I quit my job and began writing full-time. It took a few months to get going, but I eventually started making a sustainable income. I enjoyed the success.

However, in the last month, I’ve fallen off the workhorse. For weeks, my work hasn’t felt like it mattered, which has led to intense procrastination and feelings of inadequacy.

In the months prior, every day felt like it mattered so much. I had to write the best article I’ve written every time. Otherwise, my decision to quit my job wouldn’t be vindicated. Once it was, I slipped and lost sight of my ‘why.’

We have to feel like we matter, or else life becomes too open-ended. Actions are always more positive when a purpose drives them.

Your Boring Routine Matters Within Your Universe

The famous Neil deGrasse Tyson once said:

“There’s as many atoms in a single molecule of your DNA as there are stars in the typical galaxy. We are, each of us, a little universe.”

Even if your actions don’t affect the broader cosmos, they still impact your little universe. It’s your duty to remember that.

You control your life. I think a lot of people forget that these days.

Governments have used Covid to tighten their grip around people’s freedom, and we’ve gotten so used to it that doing anything normal feels somewhat wrong.

But you have more control than you realize. You can quit your job, leave a relationship, move cities, and go on holiday if you want. All it takes is a little understanding.

Your actions are essential. They need your attention.

Make Your Actions Feel More Important

Sometimes, the most mundane of actions feel like a waste of time. For example, I prep a few meals in advance on a Sunday or whenever I need to throughout the week. It can be a pain in the ass, as I don’t like cooking.

But, when I don’t do it, the rest of my week drags on even longer. I’m forced to cook every meal every day, and I waste even more time.

Sometimes, you don’t know the value of something until you don’t have it anymore. So if you want to see the importance of your everyday routine, change it. Skip out a task, and then you’ll see how vital that cog was to the machine.

Take a Leaf Out of Sisyphus’ Book

Life can sometimes feel like you’re endlessly rolling a boulder up a steep hill, only for it to fall back down, forcing you to start over. Alarm after alarm, commute after commute. Boring, boring, boring.

Yet Sisyphus kept going. Yes, Zeus eternally condemned him, but his story provides a valuable lesson.

Although our actions feel infinitesimally small compared to the greater universe, that doesn’t mean they’re pointless. They affect your little universe, and when you fail to remember their importance, you could cause a seismic level event.

So, from time to time, remember the power in your hands.

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