The Inescapable Enormity of it All

 

Nothing you do in your lifetime will matter.

Think about that for a second.

No matter how hard you try, no matter how much you want it, no matter how much sacrifice and hardships you suffer through, it’s all for naught.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? I hope so.

WHAT A RELIEF!

Thank whatever god you prefer (or none at all if that’s more your speed…thank…I don’t know…science) that you don’t have that kind of pressure.

If nothing in your life matters – if it will all be washed away by time and mold and bacteria and the water cycle – you don’t have to worry about screwing up and ruining everything.

You can afford to take risks!

So what if you’re the head of the football team? Mix things up, try new plays. What’s the worst that can happen if you fail? Ooooo, you might lose a game. Scaaaaary.

So what if you’re the keynote speaker at a major event? Make some radical statements that the audience may or may not get behind. What’s to lose? Maybe you’ll get a bad review or booed off stage. Who cares? No one will remember you or that event or your life’s work in a couple hundred years (if that long) anyway. Go nuts!

So what if you’re the President of the Frickin’ United States? Do what you think is right, damn the consequences. Everyone’s going to judge you anyway, and then you’ll be forgotten, just one more name among others like…oh I don’t know, one of those Presidents no one can remember. See? Already no one cares. I sure as hell don’t. Use this to your advantage.

The sad, sick, awesome fact is that no matter how great an impact you have on humanity or the world, your contribution will eventually be rubbed off the face of the Earth, so you might as well enjoy yourself and try to make the life you live as epic, interesting and full as possible.

Be decisive and make tough decisions. Be unpopular if necessary, but shape your environment to the best of your ability.

Make sure the time you spend on this Earth is worthwhile for you and those around you because really that’s all there is. Lay the groundwork for better things for the future, sure, but don’t pave the road to success with your happiness.

No one will remember your sacrifice, and honestly you can serve yourself and the world better by pursuing your passion and encouraging others to do the same.

43 comments

  1. I pretty much agree but we shouldn’t discount the impact we have on each others lives. All of our lives are special and it would be wrong to deliberately hurt people for personal gain just because nothing really matters. Although you probably weren’t hinting at murdering people for the insurance money…

  2. I pretty much agree but we shouldn’t discount the impact we have on each others lives. All of our lives are special and it would be wrong to deliberately hurt people for personal gain just because nothing really matters. Although you probably weren’t hinting at murdering people for the insurance money…

  3. Shift the focus from leaving an impression for the sake of marking your territory in time to acting out of a need to improve your life in the now, define a path you’re eager to walk down, goals you’re excited to achieve and serve yourself. In serving yourself through those ambitions (that aren’t sacrificially focused) you creating a thriving environment that fosters similar ambitions in those around you.

    Yes. Don’t give yourself up for others; do your thing and watch others be inspired by it and we all lead more fruitful lives. Well said, boy.

  4. Shift the focus from leaving an impression for the sake of marking your territory in time to acting out of a need to improve your life in the now, define a path you’re eager to walk down, goals you’re excited to achieve and serve yourself. In serving yourself through those ambitions (that aren’t sacrificially focused) you creating a thriving environment that fosters similar ambitions in those around you.

    Yes. Don’t give yourself up for others; do your thing and watch others be inspired by it and we all lead more fruitful lives. Well said, boy.

  5. Dude, this is so true. We are all so small. And with it being 2:39 a.m right now I don’t want to get too philosophical, so I won’t.

    But I’ll say this as a person that’s been an introvert for way to long: live life outside your comfort zone, it’s actually way more comfortable.

  6. Dude, this is so true. We are all so small. And with it being 2:39 a.m right now I don’t want to get too philosophical, so I won’t.

    But I’ll say this as a person that’s been an introvert for way to long: live life outside your comfort zone, it’s actually way more comfortable.

  7. I tend to think everything matters. We pale indeed when you think of the enormity of life itself and of the world we belong to. Compared to that, we are as small as grains of sand.. But we matter, because we create, we create the possibilites of today and the consequences of tomorrow, just like grains of sand create vast beaches and bacteria create colonies. We may live in the present but our heritage lives in the future.
    So, everything matters but it just shouldn’t be taken too gravely. When, as a person, one will start taking both success and failure lightheartedly and as half chances, that’s when one will realize that everything matters. Just not in the way one thought all along.

  8. I tend to think everything matters. We pale indeed when you think of the enormity of life itself and of the world we belong to. Compared to that, we are as small as grains of sand.. But we matter, because we create, we create the possibilites of today and the consequences of tomorrow, just like grains of sand create vast beaches and bacteria create colonies. We may live in the present but our heritage lives in the future.
    So, everything matters but it just shouldn’t be taken too gravely. When, as a person, one will start taking both success and failure lightheartedly and as half chances, that’s when one will realize that everything matters. Just not in the way one thought all along.

  9. I loved this post! It’s a great reminder to not take ourselves so seriously. Yes, life can be long (for some), but at the end of it, none of us are getting out alive. Everything that we have created or done will be forgotten (eventually).

    Just this weekend, I was writing a new article for my site and was almost paralyzed thinking that it had to be absolutely perfect as I didn’t want to disappoint my readers. Then, I started to think of the bigger picture – would one post of the thousands that I intend to write really mean so much overall? Does it really have to be absolutely perfect before I hit the publish button? I was happy with what I posted and was able to get something accomplished, instead of panicking that this one post was my legacy or something idiotic like that.

    Love this: “The sad, sick, awesome fact is that no matter how great an impact you have on humanity or the world, your contribution will eventually be rubbed off the face of the Earth, so you might as well enjoy yourself and try to make the life you live as epic, interesting and full as possible.” Very, very true.

    Great insight, as always.

    Karen

  10. I loved this post! It’s a great reminder to not take ourselves so seriously. Yes, life can be long (for some), but at the end of it, none of us are getting out alive. Everything that we have created or done will be forgotten (eventually).

    Just this weekend, I was writing a new article for my site and was almost paralyzed thinking that it had to be absolutely perfect as I didn’t want to disappoint my readers. Then, I started to think of the bigger picture – would one post of the thousands that I intend to write really mean so much overall? Does it really have to be absolutely perfect before I hit the publish button? I was happy with what I posted and was able to get something accomplished, instead of panicking that this one post was my legacy or something idiotic like that.

    Love this: “The sad, sick, awesome fact is that no matter how great an impact you have on humanity or the world, your contribution will eventually be rubbed off the face of the Earth, so you might as well enjoy yourself and try to make the life you live as epic, interesting and full as possible.” Very, very true.

    Great insight, as always.

    Karen

  11. My mother is absolutely horrific that I want to be a forensic pathologist after 6 long years of medical school. HAHA! But I’m adamant. I love dealing with corpses, and I’m SO heading towards that field. :)

  12. My mother is absolutely horrific that I want to be a forensic pathologist after 6 long years of medical school. HAHA! But I’m adamant. I love dealing with corpses, and I’m SO heading towards that field. :)

  13. Ooo why did you have to pick such a deep topic on day one. True, when we die, we are forgotten, but I have always believed. “What we do in life echoes in eternity.” – General Maximus Decimus Meridius

    Not everyone believes that time passes into eternity, but that is for their musing not mine.

    I also think that the whole world shifts with a single thought or even the movement of a butterfly. If we are truly creating our world with thoughts. Then every thought has an impact on what is. Has anyone heard of the butterfly effect?

    I understand. In the pursuit of perfection we prevent ourselves from doing many things. Most live in fear of failure and never dare anything great.
    “Don’t fear failure. — Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.” -Bruce Lee

  14. Ooo why did you have to pick such a deep topic on day one. True, when we die, we are forgotten, but I have always believed. “What we do in life echoes in eternity.” – General Maximus Decimus Meridius

    Not everyone believes that time passes into eternity, but that is for their musing not mine.

    I also think that the whole world shifts with a single thought or even the movement of a butterfly. If we are truly creating our world with thoughts. Then every thought has an impact on what is. Has anyone heard of the butterfly effect?

    I understand. In the pursuit of perfection we prevent ourselves from doing many things. Most live in fear of failure and never dare anything great.
    “Don’t fear failure. — Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.” -Bruce Lee

  15. I see your point. But I don’t completely agree. What you do CAN matter – potentially even change the world (I could think of a thousand examples). Though, in order for that to happen you must take risks, and risks are less likely taken when you worry too much and get too hung up on details, such as the question of whether or not it will matter in the end.

    I think that’s sort my understanding of what you were getting at. Not that it matters. ;)

  16. I see your point. But I don’t completely agree. What you do CAN matter – potentially even change the world (I could think of a thousand examples). Though, in order for that to happen you must take risks, and risks are less likely taken when you worry too much and get too hung up on details, such as the question of whether or not it will matter in the end.

    I think that’s sort my understanding of what you were getting at. Not that it matters. ;)

  17. @Andy: Haha, definitely not implying that you should become a murderer, for fun OR profit. That’s why I made sure to mention other people in the second to the last paragraph, because honestly we all live better lives by helping each other out, and even if it’s not going to be something that will last forever, in an astronomical sense, it’s great for us right now!

    @Kristin: Well said! Thanks Kristin!

    @Remco: Ha! Indeed!

    @Cameron: It’s true; what I really wanted to get across is that you don’t have to be frozen into inaction by concerns over what COULD happen. Go out and DO and you’ll do just fine.

    @Elena: Everything does matter to someone, and I’m anything but an existentialist, believe me, but the main point is that though there are important consequences to what we do, the enormity that we apply to small, petty things is silly and holding us back from really enjoying everything life has to offer.

    @Karen: Thanks Karen :) It’s always a shame when the pursuit of perfection gets in the way of shipping something really, really good!

    @Lissa: You go girl!

    @Lis: Haha, wanted to get the 31 days of blogging off to a running start! To dare is the best thing one can do for oneself…otherwise, no matter how much investment and preparation takes place, nothing will ever result from it.

    @Zofie: You’re totally right, but on a HUGE scale, a multidimensional, astronomical scale, what we do – even curing cancer, going into space, splitting the atom, etc – really doesn’t matter. It matters to US, certainly, and it can matter to everyone around us, and maybe even the world, but that’s no reason to get frozen into inaction. Soooo many people seem to think that the world will literally end if they don’t pass a test or make a good first impression. They couldn’t be more wrong! The universe goes on, and you’ll have more chances in the future to do well and fail and everything in between! Yay!

    @Vinay: Oh no! The point is that you shouldn’t be frozen into not acting because you think you might fail, not that you shouldn’t invest in yourself and your life! If you look at it rationally, a little preparation for the sake of a much better life is worthwhile…sitting on your hands because you’re afraid you won’t do everything perfectly, well, that just doesn’t make sense at all. And the lottery is for sissies. You don’t need that :)

  18. @Andy: Haha, definitely not implying that you should become a murderer, for fun OR profit. That’s why I made sure to mention other people in the second to the last paragraph, because honestly we all live better lives by helping each other out, and even if it’s not going to be something that will last forever, in an astronomical sense, it’s great for us right now!

    @Kristin: Well said! Thanks Kristin!

    @Remco: Ha! Indeed!

    @Cameron: It’s true; what I really wanted to get across is that you don’t have to be frozen into inaction by concerns over what COULD happen. Go out and DO and you’ll do just fine.

    @Elena: Everything does matter to someone, and I’m anything but an existentialist, believe me, but the main point is that though there are important consequences to what we do, the enormity that we apply to small, petty things is silly and holding us back from really enjoying everything life has to offer.

    @Karen: Thanks Karen :) It’s always a shame when the pursuit of perfection gets in the way of shipping something really, really good!

    @Lissa: You go girl!

    @Lis: Haha, wanted to get the 31 days of blogging off to a running start! To dare is the best thing one can do for oneself…otherwise, no matter how much investment and preparation takes place, nothing will ever result from it.

    @Zofie: You’re totally right, but on a HUGE scale, a multidimensional, astronomical scale, what we do – even curing cancer, going into space, splitting the atom, etc – really doesn’t matter. It matters to US, certainly, and it can matter to everyone around us, and maybe even the world, but that’s no reason to get frozen into inaction. Soooo many people seem to think that the world will literally end if they don’t pass a test or make a good first impression. They couldn’t be more wrong! The universe goes on, and you’ll have more chances in the future to do well and fail and everything in between! Yay!

    @Vinay: Oh no! The point is that you shouldn’t be frozen into not acting because you think you might fail, not that you shouldn’t invest in yourself and your life! If you look at it rationally, a little preparation for the sake of a much better life is worthwhile…sitting on your hands because you’re afraid you won’t do everything perfectly, well, that just doesn’t make sense at all. And the lottery is for sissies. You don’t need that :)

  19. Awesome post! Let your Tyler Durden within you run wild :) courage and tenacity are lacking in too many people.

  20. Awesome post! Let your Tyler Durden within you run wild :) courage and tenacity are lacking in too many people.

  21. I’ve been lurking here for a while. :) Love your writing.

    This post was beautiful. I needed this little bit of insight today.

    Thanks!

  22. I’ve been lurking here for a while. :) Love your writing.

    This post was beautiful. I needed this little bit of insight today.

    Thanks!

  23. @Zachary: Haha, thanks Zachary!

    @Tammy: Glad you enjoyed it, Tammy. Thanks!

    @Ben: Nothing big and dramatic happened in my life, but I am a bit of a rationalist, and rationally I know that if you spread your arms as far as they will go out to your sides, the little bit of white at the end of your right hand’s middle fingernail is how long humans have been around. During all the rest of that time, the land has changed, the poles have reversed, the chemical composition of the atmosphere has waxed and waned and many creatures have taken over the planet only to be destroyed. Do I think humanity will last forever? It’s a nice thought, but thinking about how much has happened just on our little planet already, it doesn’t seem terribly likely (and even more unlikely thinking about what’s happening outside our planet that can impact it…no pun intended!).

  24. @Zachary: Haha, thanks Zachary!

    @Tammy: Glad you enjoyed it, Tammy. Thanks!

    @Ben: Nothing big and dramatic happened in my life, but I am a bit of a rationalist, and rationally I know that if you spread your arms as far as they will go out to your sides, the little bit of white at the end of your right hand’s middle fingernail is how long humans have been around. During all the rest of that time, the land has changed, the poles have reversed, the chemical composition of the atmosphere has waxed and waned and many creatures have taken over the planet only to be destroyed. Do I think humanity will last forever? It’s a nice thought, but thinking about how much has happened just on our little planet already, it doesn’t seem terribly likely (and even more unlikely thinking about what’s happening outside our planet that can impact it…no pun intended!).

  25. Pingback: Friday’s Links — A Meaningful Existence

  26. Dude, fantastic post! Had to re-tweet it.

    Best part:

    “Nothing you do in your lifetime will matter.

    Think about that for a second.

    No matter how hard you try, no matter how much you want it, no matter how much sacrifice and hardships you suffer through, it’s all for naught.

    Are you thinking what I’m thinking? I hope so.

    WHAT A RELIEF!”

  27. Dude, fantastic post! Had to re-tweet it.

    Best part:

    “Nothing you do in your lifetime will matter.

    Think about that for a second.

    No matter how hard you try, no matter how much you want it, no matter how much sacrifice and hardships you suffer through, it’s all for naught.

    Are you thinking what I’m thinking? I hope so.

    WHAT A RELIEF!”

  28. Pingback: 31 Posts in 31 Days | Exile Lifestyle

  29. Pingback: 4 Heartless, Logical Reasons to Be Happy | Exile Lifestyle

  30. Love the message, which is really that we’ve got to shed the fears that keep us from doing what we really want. We all have them. Sure, what you do in your life matters, but it matters to YOU much more than anyone else, so start taking care of number one. Funny how doing that usually also results in those around you being better off too.

  31. Pingback: Just a Big List of Interesting Posts | Exile Lifestyle

Comments are closed.