Yes, we’ve all looked up at the stars before. And calling it therapy could seem silly. But it’s something that I appreciated being reminded of. It’s so easy to forget about the stars.
I feel very lucky to have my walk home from work. When it gets dark early in winter, I have the privilege of an unspoilt nighttime panorama with Orion above me.
After reading Tools of Titans, I now pay a bit more attention. I try to sit out on my balcony at night more often, or just look out the window after turning the lights off. I sit, admire, and ponder. It’s my nightly free therapy session. Sometimes I need a reminder to do it and pay proper attention, but when I do, it’s absolutely worth it.
As BJ Miller says in Tools of Titans:
When you are struggling with just about anything, look up. Just ponder the night sky for a minute and realize that we’re all on the same planet at the same time. As far as we can tell, we’re the only planet with life like ours on it anywhere nearby. Then you start looking at the stars, and you realize that the light hitting your eye is ancient, [some of the] stars that you’re seeing, they no longer exist by the time that the light gets to you.
Ed Cooke, the Memory Champion and Co-founder of Memrise (who I’ve been so impressed by for years), shares something similar in Tools of Titans:
I’d just think, ‘Oh, everything feels terrible and awful. It’s all gone to shit.’ Then I’d [consider], ‘But if you think about it, the stars are really far away,’ then you try to imagine the world from the stars. Then you sort of zoom in and you’re like, ‘Oh, there’s this tiny little character there for a fragment of time worrying about X.’
Looking up at the stars and thinking about our place in the cosmos doesn’t come with a price tag. If you can see the sky it’s accessible, and you don’t need to do anything to turn the stars on. You don’t even need to travel. All you need is a clear enough day and the motivation to go or look outside.
Like Tim Ferriss says, “The effects are disproportionate to the effort”. The stars are one of nature’s finest beauties and they’re just out there waiting for us to admire them.