Having a rough day? Or worse! Feeling rather mighty? This post is aimed at putting life in perspective. You are infinitely small and you don’t control ***t! Let’s look at our origins. Origins of our universe. It’s truly fascinating to realize how it all started and how we fit in, in the grander scheme of things. If we were to just think about the size of the universe, that fact alone is going to blow your mind. For starters the edge of the universe is about 90 billion trillion miles away, at least the visible edge known to man so far. What makes this fact even more enthralling is how it all started. It started out really, really, really small. We are talking proton small, but smaller. That’s sub-atomic already. Having trouble visualizing how small? Take a piece of paper. Make the tiniest possible dot like the period after this sentence. Can you guess how many protons are taking that space? 500 billion of them. Now let’s take one of these protons! Not two. That’s one too many! And shrink our little tiny proton to a billionth. You thought it couldn’t get any smaller? Now take this whatever, it’s so small that our proton seems enormous in front of it, and pack every ounce of matter ever created into this WHATEVER space and you are ready to start the universe. We are talking about taking every piece of matter between here and the edge of creation packed into that tiny spot so infinitely small that it has no dimensions at all! Welcome to singularity. The paradox that something so infinitely small can create something so infinitely huge is simply awe-inspiring! The crazy thing is that it doesn’t just stop there.
In fact it never stops. When something starts from nothing to 90 billion trillion miles one can only expect this process to take a very long long time. What if all it took was a single binding pulse! Someone said “Be” and it happened. All the heavenly dimensions, all that space beyond our wildest concepts happened before you could say “Be”. Let’s talk specifics. In the first second gravity and all the forces that govern physics came about. By the way many astronomers have dedicated their lives to dissecting this first second to really understand what happened in this VAST stretch of time. In about a minute, the universe had already spread a million billion miles and was spreading fast. Let me go over that again. In about-a-minute-the-universe-was-about-a-million-billioin-miles! I must be joking right? In about 3 minutes 98% of all known matter was produced. What was your most productive 3 minutes? Oh don’t answer that 😉 Are we feeling small yet? Average temperatures when all of this was happening. About 10 billion degrees. Are you wondering if it is F° or C°? Seriously!
Not only did all of this happen in just about 3 minutes but it all occurred rather perfectly. That’s billion trillion miles of perfection! No margin for error whatsoever. There couldn’t have been any because even the minutest of errors would have spelled doom. Like Kaboom! No universe kind of doom! Let’s talk about gravity. If the gravitational force would have been a tad bit stronger the entire universe would have collapsed, crushing itself into another singularity, perhaps to repeat the process all over again. Had the gravity had been a little weaker, all material would have continued to spread so far apart that any chance of material interaction, and thus planetary formation, would have been impossible. Not convinced. Let’s talk about hydrogen. For the universe to exist only 0.007 of the hydrogen mass had to convert to energy. Had this ratio been 0.008 all the hydrogen in the universe would have been exhausted and the universe would have never existed. Had this ratio been 0.006 there would have been nothing but hydrogen in the universe. So this ratio had to be 0.007 for all this to happen. Too much had to go right for us to exist. And yet again it doesn’t stop there.
Let’s not forget our own origin. One sperm cell out of a million just happened to plant itself so that we may begin. So many genetic permutations and it is that ONE that made you who you are! And yet it doesn’t stop there. Do you control the month of your birth? What if I were to tell you that just by being born in a certain month in a year can have a huge impact on how successful you are going to be in life! You don’t control who your parents are going to be and you certainly don’t control the time of their union. And yet both these factors set you up for success in ways you can’t even imagine. According to a study by the University of British Columbia babies born in the summer are least likely to be a CEO. Simply because school cut-off dates tend to be around fall in the United States as a result summer babies tend to be the youngest in their class and in those early formative years this can have a huge impact. The “relative-age effect” as it is known is also something Malcolm Gladwell highlighted in his bestseller Outliers. In it he demonstrated multiple cases when the majority of the players in a major league from Ice Hockey to Baseball were born in the months right after the cut-off date. Let’s take the Ontario Junior Hockey League. The cut-off date is Jan 1. What are the birth months of the players that make it to the final team? 40% of the player are born between January and March. Another 30% are born between April and June. All in all there are five and half times more players with January births than November. Why is this such a big deal? At preadolescence a player born on January 2 will have a significant physical advantage over someone born on December 31. Because of the way cut-offs work the two will actually have a 12-month difference between them. At that age the older player will be physically more mature and therefore naturally perform better. And this effect is only perpetuated from there on. He would be selected to the All-Star team because of his better performance and end up playing twice as many games. He would also have better teammates, get better coaching and actually become much better by the age of 13 and 14. Thus he would have a far greater chance of making it to the Major Junior A League than his youngest peer. And it all started because of his birth month. One could also blame policy makers for this. But the point is the same. As an individual you don’t control s***! Just for you skeptics out there this fact has been tested for the Major League Baseball in the US and the European Soccer Premier League. Relative to the cut-offs dates the majority of the players are always born in the months after the cut-off date. And as highlighted earlier this holds true beyond sports as well.
Perhaps it’s the way our brains our wired. To be a leader one just has to look like a leader. How? Just by being taller. Your bone structure is bigger and wider and that makes you a look like a leader. Don’t believe me? Let’s take this one statistic. In the US the population of men above six feet is 14.5 percent. Of all CEO’s in the Fortune 500, 58 percent of them are above six feet. Last time I checked you couldn’t do ***t about your height. Once again you don’t control jack! What do you control then? It’s a rather simple yet elaborate answer I’ll save for yet another post. Suffice to say at this point. Life is too short and too fragile to fret about anything really. It all comes down to how we use what limited time and energy we have to make the biggest impact on all those around us. Like everyone we ever encounter, any day, everyday!