Be Inspired by the Falling Stars - Common Sense Living Newsletter
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Be Inspired by the Falling Stars

Aug 12, 2014

Be Inspired by the Falling Stars 

It will be raining stars tonight. When was the last time you craned your neck to look up at the night sky? If you look up tonight, you can catch a glimpse of the Perseid meteor shower at its best, and gaze in wonder at radiating streaks of light across the skies, one of the most memorable sights you will ever lay eyes on.

Us city-folk rarely get the chance to marvel at starry skies, let alone catch a falling star, but we have much to learn from our skies, and as I turn my eyes and my thoughts skywards here's what occurs to me.

The World is Free, and Priceless.

How many people get the chance to see showers of stars filling up the skies? Everyone does. You don't need any special equipment to see it just go find a dark spot... and tilt your head. For little effort and no money you get rewarded with a priceless unforgettable experience.

Isn't life generous?

In fact, usually meteor showers keep you waiting for hours only to catch sight of a couple quick bursts of light in the sky... but the Perseid is magnanimous ... over several days it showers us with meteors brighter than any star, sometimes over a hundred an hour.

Anyone, no matter who you are, where you are, what you do, can sit down on a small dark hillside and have one of the richest experiences the world has to offer. And I for one, know that I do not take enough time to get the most of my spectacular world.

Do you stop to gaze at the galaxies, listen to the birdsong, travel to see the many spectacular experiences our country and our world can offer?

Sometimes I find myself spending more time worrying about what I need to do and where I need to go, what I can and can't afford. I get so hung up on my issues that I forget to even take what's coming to me for free. Look around you, the most magnificent things really are yours for the taking.

The beauty of a shower of stars certainly overshadows a fancy car, right? The majestic beauty of a tiger's walk, a sight to make you forget there's a camera phone in your hand? After I saw a tiger strolling casually in front of my safari jeep in the Tadoba national park, I distinctly remember thinking, 'Wow! For once in my life I forgot to take a picture.'

India is littered with natural beauty, sanctuaries, forts, tigers even... you don't have to go far, either, wherever you are you're probably within a few hours of a sanctuary, forest, river or fort.

Behavioral science research shows that spending money on experiences makes you happier than spending it on possessions. Traveling to a beautiful place, climbing a mountain, seeing your favourite musician in concert (sweet-talking my way into a sold-out Zakir Hussain concert is one of my favourite memories of all time)... these things make life richer.

"We do not remember days, we remember moments. The richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten," Italian poet Cesare Pavese tells us.

So take a moment to look up at the sky tonight. Take a few more and go have adventures. And then fill your life with the riches of these memories.

Small Things Can Have a Big Impact.

When you look up at a meteor miles away, you think it must be an enormous explosion for you to see it all the way down on earth, right? Actually, the streaks of light are caused by tiny specks of dust - the size a grain of sand up to the size of pea. But when this tiny, seemingly insignificant speck of dust hits the earth's atmosphere it creates a streak of light so bright that we can see it here on earth.

We are tiny too.

As you turn your eyes heavenward and take in the full majesty of the universe, the vast protective sky, the billions of stars, planets, galaxies, lording over the tiny insignificant blue dot that we call home, you can't help but feel small. In this vast and varied universe, you are but a speck, a cog in the machinery, a stray thought in a magnificent mind.

You are tiny, yes. But insignificant, definitely not.

Astronomer Carl Sagan said "What rescues us from insignificance is the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers."

In this bigger picture, your life is a tiny speck, a nanosecond... The question is: What will you do with your nanosecond on earth?

If a miniscule grain of dust can light up the sky then you can light up the world. You are part of an enormous universe, and you have access to unlimited power.

Let your dreams explode into a streak of hot white light that takes you wherever you want to go. Because it is not how small you are, but where you aim to go that matters. W. Clement, an advocate of positive mental attitude, was known to say "Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star".

So Be Extraordinary, There's Light Within You.

When you're looking for a falling star (a meteor, to be exact) there are many things that can obscure your vision - local conditions such as light, clouds, etc. will play a role in how clearly you can see.

Sometimes there are even larger forces at play. This year for example, the Perseids coincided with the appearance of a supermoon. It is the biggest full moon of the year, where the moon is closest to the earth, and is therefore much bigger and brighter than a regular full moon.

Unfortunately the light of this supermoon is so bright that it dulls the brightness of meteors in comparison, almost making them disappear. But only the weak meteors will disappear. The strongest, the brightest will still fly spectacularly across the sky with millions of eyes following them.

Sometimes in our pursuit of our goals we get distracted and feel defeated - we face challenges, stiff competition like unanticipated supermoons trying to get in the way. But you just need to forget about these and remain entirely focused on being the best you can be. Excel at what you do, and remember your unlimited power. Shine as bright as the brightest Perseides meteor and let your life fill the world with light.

I know this seems a bit dramatic. But when the sun sets tonight, look up at the sky and be inspired. It's a week of spectacular wonders up there and it will be a sight to remember. When you look up at the stars, though, make a wish. And make it a big one, an ambitious goal, a dream that will take you to the stars.

And as you look up at the sky, stop to ponder what this moment means to you. To your life, to your purpose, and to your reason for being. And remember the words of Nelson Mandela:

"We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

I hope you catch a falling star tonight. Write and tell me if you do, or even if you just looked up at the sky and felt the awe it can inspire.

Editor's Note: The best time to observe the Perseid meteor shower in India is tonight between 11 pm and 4.30 am, and for the next few days as well.

Image Source: Muskoka Stock Photos /


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3 Responses to "Be Inspired by the Falling Stars"

sunil Kaushal

13 Aug, 2014

carry on sir/madam for such an expensive sharing. Sunil

Like (1)

Joselin John

13 Aug, 2014

This article is a thing of beauty and as brilliant as the meteor shower.


12 Aug, 2014

Observed the full moon y'day; It was awesome, spectacular and fascinating. Life is full of wonders, as mentioned by you.


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