I know that most addiction recovery programs are based on the idea that there is a higher power out there that cares about us.
I am not necessarily disputing that idea here. But what I am suggesting is that such a higher power does not directly get involved with making changes in our day to day lives, and if he does, then he refuses to show his hand in doing so. There is an overwhelming amount of evidence to support this. Either our higher power “doesn’t get involved,” or if he does get involved, he hides it so well that he may as well not be involved. Certainly not at the level where you make an immediate request and he thinks it over for a moment and then decides to grant your prayer request or not. Another way to say this is “the more action you take, the more your prayers will be mysteriously answered.” If your higher power is working your life today, then is through the actions you take and the lessons you learn and the people you interact with. It is certainly not the magical thinking and request/favor granted stuff that we pictured when we were six years old. If you still believe that this old model can work then you have not been paying attention to your results. Start measuring. If you want to have faith, then have faith in your ability to take action and make positive changes.
The universe in general seems to be indifferent to us. It is not going out of its way to help us, nor is it going out of its way to hurt us either. The universe just continues to unfold and we happen to be here as part of it. Nothing special. Just another humanoid, living out their lives.
And you are going to die some day. And then you will be gone. Really, totally gone. Forever.
How long are you really here for? What of your time here on earth? It is a tiny blip. A nanosecond.
And we are worried about our hairstyle, or whether or not our outfit matches well enough today? Really?
It’s time to wake up. In 100 years or so you will be gone forever.
From a cosmic perspective, the molecules that make up your body used to be a star (before the star exploded and formed planets from its debris). You are literally stardust.
And guess what your molecules will eventually be again? Probably burning in another star some day, or perhaps drifting through deep space. At any rate, back to your cosmic origins.
The universe is several hundred billion years old. It will probably still be here for several hundred billion years after you are turned into dust again.
So the question you need to ask yourself is:
“Why am I so worried about what is on TV tonight?”
The clock is ticking. The cosmic clock is ticking. The universe is living out its trillion year life cycle, and you get maybe 90 years or so to do your thing in the middle of it all.
What are you going to do with your time?
And perhaps more importantly:
When was the last time you really thought about it?
Today would be a great day to start doing so!
The cold, uncaring, indifferent universe
I have a saying that I just love and it is sort of fun at the same time. The saying is “nobody cares.”
A common variation on this is:
“Dude! Nobody cares.”
I do not say this to put others down. I say it to remind myself that I need to just take action and DO IT. Because ultimately, nobody really cares.
If I am struggling with a decision in my life, I need to just go with it. Stop whining and worrying so much. Take action. Nike has it right: Just do it.
Because seriously, nobody cares!
Oh I know, some of them do really care, but even then they only sort of half care. They are really all busy caring about their own lives, their own self, their own problems and issues.
You know what you should do, given that your time here on earth is so brief?
You should figure out what you want…..what you really want, and then go after it. Seriously. You should take reckless action.
Because ultimately, nobody really cares anyway. If you sit on the couch for the rest of your life and watch reality shows, who really cares? Nobody! And furthermore, who is going to care in a hundred years? In five hundred years?
If you decide to follow your dreams and go make a real difference in your life, and maybe even help some other people along the way, who really cares? Only those people that you touch and affect with your gifts. Think carefully about that one because it may have some insight for you. It may hold a clue as to how you should be living your life.
For the most part, nobody cares. This is just the reality of our modern day lives.
What gets us excited? What gets us passionate? When people start to care. When they pay attention. When they get excited. When they learn something new and grow and change.
It is a little bit like the old starfish story, where the guy throws the beached starfish back into the ocean and says to the kid “it makes a difference to THAT one.” You cannot save them all but you can still make a difference. Maybe you will not create a legacy like Bill Gates and help millions of people by your actions, but maybe you can still help that one starfish.
And you have to ask yourself: “Will that be enough?”
Well, will it?
Because if it is not enough, then you got even MORE work to do ahead of you! You got lots of positive action you need to take.
Remember, nobody cares anyway! I don’t say that to be negative and I don’t say that to trivialize your life. I say that because in reality, most people really don’t care. They don’t care if you took a trip to the Bahamas and they don’t care about your new iPhone and they probably don’t even care that you started a non-profit company to help save the whales. They just don’t care.
You know what made the start of AA so amazing? Bill Wilson found other people who cared, they all had this problem and they realized that they could come together and help each other simply by caring, by talking to each other, by being supportive. They had this common interest and they cared enough to take positive action and in doing so they discovered this way to solve their problems.
What if you went to an AA meeting and someone started to talk and they said “Hi, my name is Bill and I am an alcoholic” and the whole table said “nobody cares!” in unison. Would that work? Probably not! If nobody cares then there is not much help for the person speaking. If nobody can relate or offer advice then there is not much point to it all.
In order to make progress, somebody has to care.
So it is possible for a group of people to come together and care about a common interest–this is what makes AA work.
But in the grand scheme of your life, we have established a few facts:
1) You are going to die someday. The universe is measured in hundreds of billions of years, and your time here is maybe 90 years or so. The clock is ticking.
2) For the most part, nobody cares.
3) But, YOU care. This is your life, and it is important to YOU.
This should bring you to some conclusions.
The first of which is: “Why waste your time on this earth, instead of doing something that really matters instead?”
Why waste your time? Do something that matters instead!
Stop wasting your time. What are you really doing with your life?
Working? Existing? Watching media and using apps? Surfing the web for entertainment?
What is the point of it all?
Many people never find any sort of purpose in their life. They work, watch television, then die. This is the summary of their life and accomplishments.
I would challenge you instead to do something that matters.
Now you might ask at this point: “What can I do that really matters? I thought that nobody cared anyway?”
As we saw in the AA example, this is not necessarily true. Some people DO care. You just have to find those people can connect. Or rather, you have to find your purpose, and connect to it.
Here is what you can do:
* “Follow your heart(break).” Instead of following your heart, figure out what makes you the most sad in this world. Then, fix it. Take it up as your cause and do whatever you can to make a difference. Even if nobody else cares, in this case you still win…..because YOU will care. In other words, go save the whales, if that is your thing. Nobody is stopping you.
* Use your greatest gift to help others. We all have our special talents in life, right? You are better at some things rather than others. Well, figure out what you are really good at, and then figure out how to use that talent to help other people. In this case, “nobody cares” no longer applies, because you are able to make a real difference in other people’s lives. This works best when it takes advantage of your talents and strengths.
* Create something amazing. Something that YOU care about.
No one is going to get to the end of their life and proudly proclaim:
“At least I entertained myself!”
Instead, you want to get to the end of your (incredibly short) life and say something like:
“At least I made a difference by helping others.”
“At least I did what I wanted and created something amazing.”
“At least I stuck to a cause and made a difference in making the world a better place.”
“At least I created a legacy, something that will live on and help other people in this world.”
You are only on this earth for a brief nanosecond in time. Why not do something that matters?
Your 2 seconds of fame are going to pass no matter what you do. Your flame will go out soon enough.
So at some point you have to make a decision.
At some point you have to decide that this is it, that your time is now, and that you should probably figure out what you want to do in this life, and then do it.
Are you waiting for permission from a higher power to do amazing things with your life? Just do them!
Some people are held back.
They want to take this sort of positive action.
They want to chase their dreams and make something amazing out of their life.
But they are waiting for something. They are held back by mysterious forces.
In some cases, they are waiting for permission. They are waiting for an angel to tap them on the shoulder and say “OK, your time is now! Go start that project that you always wanted to do that will help so many people. God and I are watching, we got your back, and we’ll see you through the rough patches! We know that you need to eat and pay rent and stuff, but we’ll find a way to help you out. So just go on, go ahead, and do it. Do it now! We got your back!”
Most of us are waiting for this sort of permission, which of course does not even exist. No one is going to tap you on the shoulder and give you the green light on chasing your dreams. No one is going to look into the future and tell you that cosmic forces or magical angels have your back no matter what you choose to do.
No one is going to come along and give you the gift of inertia. You have to build your own momentum. You do this yourself, by taking one step at a time, towards your goals.
I had a plan at one time to build a business. It was a long and slow process and to be honest I had absolutely zero support from my friends and family. Oh sure, none of them told me that I was a fool or anything….none of them tried to talk me out of it. But none of them really threw their hat into my circle, either. None of them egged me on or told me that I was on the right path or anything like that. I was on my own. I had my own goal and I was not getting a green light from anyone. Everyone just nodded their head politely at my idea said “that’s nice, hope it works for you.”
I had a clear goal in my mind and that was to create a successful business and escape the tyranny of my day job. No one came along to help me in this endeavor. At some point when I was only getting mediocre results I made a decision. It was sort of a “me against the world” decision. I doubled down on my goal, on my path to freedom, on my true dreams. This was my recovery and this was what I wanted to do with my life and this was part of the path that I was making for myself. None of my friends, family, or peer group was rallying behind me. No angel tapped me on the shoulder and told me that I had permission to declare my own freedom by building this successful business. No one gave me a road map to this success, nor did they give me permission.
I simply took it. I saw my goal and I had my vision so I simply took it. I gave myself permission. I saw what I wanted in life, and in my recovery, so I took it.
When I was done I realized that I had, in fact, accomplished something amazing. I followed through on this goal of mine, even though I had very little outside support for it. Eventually my peer, friends and family all came around, congratulated me, and so on. Easy to do after the success has been achieved, right? And therein lies the lesson that I struggled for so long to learn:
If you want something in this life, it is your responsibility to go after it and claim it!
No one is going to hand you your dream on a silver platter. Stop waiting for permission from the universe to rise up and claim what you really want in this world.
What you need to do is look the whole world right in the eye and say “Get out of my way!”
Recovery is not all rainbows and unicorns just because you no longer drink or use drugs. If you want an amazing life then you have to build it for yourself. Stop waiting for permission to do so. Stop expecting others to hand you your desires. Take action and claim them for yourself! Stop whining and start taking positive action, every single day.
You have only a short time on this earth, but you also have this reset switch that you flip every 24 hours. You get to go to sleep and then wake up and attack the day all over again. This is power. Start using your power instead of acting weak and limiting yourself and your desires. Every day is another chance to move closer to your dreams.
What are your dreams? What do you want in this life? Define it. Seek it out. Challenge yourself to go after what you really want in this world. You can make a difference and help others along the way. You can set lofty goals and make amazing things happen. No one has to give you permission to do this. You only hold yourself back when you fall into a pattern of complacency.
Do you get to keep what you learned? This may be the whole point of life!
You have an opportunity to learn and to grow while you are here for your 2 seconds of fame on earth. From stardust to human and back to stardust.
But while you are hear you get to learn, and grow. This may be the entire point!
If you take anything with you, it is the growth and the learning that you experienced while here, right? You aren’t taking the iPhone with you, ten billion years into the future when you are back to being stardust. But you just might take your growth experiences. You might take what you learned. This might be the key to cosmic advancement. At least you learned something while you were here, right?
If this is the case then start making conscious growth! Even if you can’t take your new knowledge with you, why wouldn’t you want to make personal growth anyway? Why avoid it? The path of personal growth is still the optimal choice, regardless of what happens when we return to stardust.
What are you waiting for? Who is going to give you permission to take reckless action and pursue your dreams?
Why exactly are you not chasing your dreams, and instead settling for a few hours of mindless entertainment each day? (My apologies if you are actually a personal growth ninja who is actively pursuing a better life for themselves!)