The Whole World Exists for You and Your Epic Life

The Whole World Exists for You and Your Epic Life

Last night I saw a movie called Adam. It wasn't a particularly amazing film, but it certainly had some beautiful moments.

But every so often I watch a film and a moment really hits me. It makes me see something in myself or my life, and somehow changes my thinking.

In Adam, the moment wasn't intentional on the part of the filmmakers.

It was my moment.

And that's precisely what made it so profound.


If you haven't seen the movie, it doesn't matter. It's an insignificant moment. In fact, it's a moment we've seen in countless other movies. After a courtroom revelation changes her perception of her father, the character of Beth (played by Rose Byrne) wanders alone through a park. I don't know what it was about the shot — maybe it was nothing more than how I was feeling in that moment. But watching that lone figure walk through that enormous empty park, I thought:

It's like the park exists for her. As if the whole world is hers. And of course, that's true. They made a movie about this character. They chose the setting — the backdrop, the location — to specifically express the meaning of that character's life, and her mood in that moment. The location, the camera move, everything about the shot was chosen for her. To help the audience see, and empathize, and relate to her. What struck me is that this is a powerful way to look at our own lives, too.


Look around. The world is there for you.

You are the star of the epic tale that is your life.

When you walk alone through a park, that park is yours. When you drive a car, that space is yours. The traffic responds to you. The people you interact with in stores — they're responding to you. If you go out into public and laugh at the top of your lungs, the world will react around you. You shape that experience. You control it. You decide if it's going to be pleasant and productive or angry and destructive. You shape every single moment of your life.

The job you have. The people you know. The family you interact with. The city you live in. The car you drive. The books you read. The future you imagine. You control it all. It's your epic. It's your life.


I'm a ponderer. I ponder life. Some people don't care to think about the bigger, deeper questions of existence in the way that I do. Questions like: Why are we here?, What is our purpose?, Where are we going?, What actually exists beyond the edge of our galaxy? I love that shit. I can spend hours on end discussing ideas — stuff some people would consider unknowable. I love to twist and turn my brain around thoughts and ideas and concepts that push beyond the science and technology and philosophy and psychology we know today. I like to look into the future. Imagine it. Think about what it will really look like, and how we'll really live. And I like to think about how to shape that imagination.

Because the future is racing toward us.

We don't need to do anything, though. You can stand perfectly still, and the future will race at you equally as fast as it will if you try to prepare for it. We can't predict it. We can't even imagine it. Because there are billions of other people sharing this epic space with us who have ideas and imaginations we can't even begin to predict. There's nothing to fear in the future. Not money worries, not environmental worries, not worries about life or health or even death. The future is racing toward us, but we can't beat it. We can only take it as it comes to us in the present, adapt to whatever happens, and shape our imagination to turn it into whatever we want it to be.


I'm in a philosophical mood today. Can you tell? And it's all thanks to Rose Byrne walking through that park. Because this world we live in. It's ours. We each get an epic of our very own. If you've seen the movie I'm talking about and you remember the shot I'm referring to, there's nothing particularly notable about it. She wasn't actively living the moment. She wasn't celebrating her space as I'm suggesting you and I do.

But that's the point.

Because no matter what you do, your impact upon someone else is entirely out of your control. The filmmakers wanted me to think about one thing in that moment. I thought about something else. Something more. Because this is my epic, after all.


Each of us lives a life that we can only see through our own eyes. And because of that, we sometimes have great difficulty seeing how powerful and profound our lives really are. You have dreams. You have talents. You have ambitions. You have goals. Pursue them. It doesn't even matter if you hit your target. If you put in the effort, learn what you need to know, adapt to obstacles and enjoy doing what you love, you probably will achieve what you dream. But even if you don't, it's not really important.

What's important is that you follow your spark. Because if you actively pursue it, your spark will affect someone else's. You have something to offer that no one else has. You are moving through time and space in a fundamentally unique way — no one else has ever seen what you're seeing, and no one else ever will. When you walk through that park alone, you stand up and let the whole world know:

This is my story. This is my epic. This is my world.

Someone like me will see what you've done — but I'll see it through my world, my story, my epic. You can't predict my reaction. I may even take an entirely different point from it. And that's okay. Rose Byrne didn't see me watching her walk through the park. She was living her story. We each must do the same thing. Always follow the passion that drives you. What anyone else thinks is completely irrelevant. The whole world exists for your epic life. And in that world, you are phenomenal. That's all that matters.

Next up, Article #18: A Closer Look at How We Perceive Our World

Phenomenal: The Self-fulfilling Prophecy
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Phil Jackson (not verified) 12 September 2009 - 1:34 pm

This article made me pre-order the book. While I could nod along to your previous articles this one really did hit home with me. I’ve enjoyed following your path through life and I’m sure I’ll keep on doing so.