I've been thinking a lot recently about microcosms because recently in my own life, understanding what a microcosm is has really helped me live a better life day to day, and I really hope that if you are in a rough place, you'll consider what I'm about to say, and hopefully you can gain some new ideas so that you can trend your life in a better direction. Okay, so a microcosm is defined as a community, place, or situation regarded as encapsulating in miniature the characteristic qualities or features of something much larger. Let me ask you a question. What's the difference between life and living? You know, life itself may seem like a simple enough concept because we talk about it all the time. I have a life, you have a life. It's the thing we are all a part of and all seem to have. But if I ask you to describe what your life is, it's a little bit more difficult to do so because there's so much involved in life and your life is kind of just everything that has to do with you. Your family situation growing up, your family situation right now, it might be the job that you have, the job that you want to have, your hopes and dreams for the future, your trauma and regret of the past, every idea that bounces around your skull or has bounced around in your skull. Life is everything, and since it describes everything, it also kind of describes nothing in particular. It's an all encompassing idea that is basically just a theme and a concept, something we're all familiar with but none of us truly understand. Living on the other hand is something that we experience, something that you are doing right now. Living is something you've always done and something you always will do because by definition before you were living was before you were you, and when you stop living, you will stop being you, so you and living are the same thing. You don't know what it's like to not live. In some ways though, your life and your living are not unlike each other. They both deal with similar people, places and things. They both have familiar faces, people you know and love or strongly dislike and want to avoid. Both have dealt and will deal with similar emotions, similar feelings, tendencies, actions, and reactions, but despite their commonalities, one remains a stranger, something we can only look at through abstraction, through memories we recall but can't see, and places we'll go but never be, because no matter how much we think about our life, it will never make sense to us completely. It's impossible to see it all at once. It's impossible to grasp what our life is. We only see fragments and patterns and themes and in a lot of ways, that's exactly what life is. It's a pattern of moments, strung together. It's the overarching theme of decisions that we've made in days like today, so if we take a step back and we think about our entire life and we don't like what we see, we're basically saying we don't like the pattern, we don't like the theme. If life is everything all at once and living is the day to day, then by definition, each day is a microcosm of life. Each day we live is a situation that encapsulates in miniature the characteristic qualities or features of our life, and when we start to realize this, we'll start to realize that life isn't really something we can interact with. We don't have access to our life. The only thing that we have access to is living, playing it out day by day, decision by decision, and our tendencies and our impulses to do certain things are essentially the only thing that we can influence when it comes to our existence. So what does this all mean? Well, it means that if you survey your life, you look at the direction that you're heading, you look at the things that you dislike about your life and about yourself. Maybe you don't like the fact that you never have the motivation to go to the gym or you can't seem to focus at work, and it leads to poor job performance which leads to less money, which means that you can't put food on the table. Maybe you're not proud of who you are. Maybe you don't take care of yourself. Maybe you have serious feelings of regret about things you did or didn't do in the past. Maybe you have wild uncertainty about the future or you're fairly convinced that there is no future for you. Well, these things are all life things, but you don't experience life. You experience living. Living is confined by constant beginnings and ends, sunrise, sunset, again and again and again. You are living right now and it's all you've been doing, so if there are things that you don't like about your life then the only thing you can do to change them is to change the way you live today. Maybe you're thinking I need to quit smoking, and one day I'm gonna quit smoking for the rest of my life, and I'm gonna live the rest of my life free from this nasty habit, and I'm gonna be happy and healthy all the live long day as if that's somehow different than not smoking today, 'cause each time we wake up, we're confronted with an opportunity to echo the familiar motif that's become the central theme, or we can realize that our entire life is crafted in moments like these, so are we gonna continue to water the same tree or are we gonna plant a new seed?
Thank you so much for reading and I'll catch you in the next article.