#1600 Areté +1° #53: You're Not a Big Deal

& That’s a Liberatingly Big Deal

Hi, this is Brian.

Welcome back to another Areté +1°, a micro-chapter from my new book, Areté: Activate Your Heroic Potential.

451 ideas in the book. Here's one of my favorites…


My friend Tripp Lanier is a very funny guy.

In his book This Book Will Make You Dangerous, he shares some of the wisdom he’s acquired coaching (mostly) guys for the last fifteen-plus years.

If you (or the man in your life) like to laugh deeply (at some “irreverent” humor) while joyfully activating your Heroic potential, then I think you’ll enjoy hi “Irreverent Guide for Men Who Refuse to Settle.”

Tripp tells us that we need to drop the nonsense and get to work experiencing the things we really want: more freedom, aliveness, love, and peace. NOW.

In a chapter entitled “Find the Fun,” Tripp echoes Michael Singer’s perspective-building wisdom in the microchapter “You’re Not a Big Deal.”

Here’s how he puts it: “When we think of big—and I mean really big—we usually think of the sun. It’s massive, right? In fact, you could fit 1.3 million Earths inside the sun. Let that sink in.

But according to astronomer and scientist Michelle Thaler, if you were to shrink the sun down to the size of the dot in this letter ‘i’ right here on the page—that tiny-ass little dot—if you made the sun that big, then the relative size of our galaxy, the Milky Way, would be the size of the Earth. Take a minute to visualize that.

But let’s not stop there. A while back, astronomers found a tiny section of the night sky that appeared to be empty. And ‘tiny’ means the size of the head of a pin if you held it out at arm’s length. If you were to hold that tiny pinhead up to the sky, then that little, tiny portion of the sky appeared completely void of celestial light. So they focused the Hubble Telescope up there, and let it absorb light for ten days.

And in that tiny, tiny dark part of the night sky, which looked completely empty, they ended up discovering three thousand galaxies.

So what does this all mean? You, me, all of us—our daily crises and dramas and getting pissed off because the barista forgot to put 3.5 soy vegan [ahem] sprinkles in our lattes—when we start to imagine this massive universal perspective, we start to see that no matter what we are thinking or doing, it’s really just not that big of a deal. And it never will be.”

Pause. Reflect.

That’s our +1°.

We’re not a big deal.

And, that’s a really liberatingly BIG deal.

Let’s zoom out far enough to see that all those “daily crises and dramas” just AREN’T a big deal. Period. Then, let’s zoom back in and enjoy this precious life of ours.


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