David Letterman reflects on no longer having his television show:
“We did this television show—my friends and I—for a very long time. It’s probably like anyone else’s professional pursuit. When you are doing it for so long, and for each day—I have always likened it to running a restaurant—because you get response to the day’s endeavor immediately. Either from the audience or the ratings, but you know as early as the next day how you did.
And because of this introspection, you believe that what you are doing is of great importance and that it is affecting mankind wall-to-wall. And then when you get out of it you realize, oh, well, that wasn’t true at all. (laughter) It was just silliness. And when that occurred to me, I felt so much better and I realized, geez, I don’t think I care that much about television anymore. I feel foolish for having been misguided by my own ego for so many years.”*
When you are in the middle of a thing—your job, an organization, or some silly drama—it seems gigantic and so obviously important.
But if you could zoom out and view it from some distance of time or space, that thing that seemed like a big deal would be revealed for what it is—a tiny blip, a miniscule drop, an otherwise insignificant thing in the vast scheme of all the things.
Not that when you’re in it you shouldn’t give it your full attention and your best effort.
Just know that everything changes, and every thing, ultimately, is quite tiny in the context of all that is.
The thing that stresses you or weighs you down as you trudge home or as you start your day is probably not as big as you imagine.
This, too, no matter how important it may seem in the moment, shall pass.
The center of the universe is everywhere, but you are not the center of the universe.