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The Most Important Question for Your Life

As a life coach, I rely pretty heavily on the wisdom and insights of those who are smarter and wiser than I.

In our October Life Lessons letter I invoked the wisdom of Albert Einstein, who said the most important question we can ask is … “Is the universe friendly or unfriendly?”

That question has stayed in my mind, and while we covered the obvious implications of the answer for your health, happiness, and peace of mind, I’ve had some further insights.

Here goes.

If you see the universe as unfriendly … and I, myself have been there at times in the past … it’s easy to find plenty of evidence, isn’t it?

War, famine, pestilence … pain, suffering, death.

It’s easy to make a compelling case for unfriendly … very easy.

And when we find ourselves in a situation in life that isn’t working well for us, it’s almost a default to look for more and more evidence to buttress the argument and amplify the misery.

But here’s the thing.  If you were to list all the things that seemingly prove the universe is unfriendly, you’d be able to come up with a list of some pretty heavy hitters with no problem.  And then, there are the things that may not strike as close to home, but are still clear indictments of the universe’s intentions.

But, after a while, you’d have to work harder to keep adding to the list of grievances.  You’d probably feel as if you were just piling on.

Why?  Because it’s hard to focus exclusively on the dark when there’s so much light shining in!

The list of indictable offenses is extensive, to be sure, but ultimately somewhat limited.

The list of things that certify the universe as friendly is quite literally endless.  If you set out to list all the wonderful things about the world and our existence, you could be at it for years and not run out of marvels to catalog and blessings to count.

Start with A in the alphabet and just start listing.

How about the Alphabet itself and the miracle of language?

Babies … Bunnies … the human Body.

Cats of all kinds




God … imminent and transcendent

You get the idea.

One more:

Love that unites and embraces us like a tucked-in blanket.

So many blessings.  So many wonders. Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you, beneficent universe.

It almost gets you to thinking, maybe those “negatives” are there to provide contrast and help us appreciate the positives … to help us see what we need to see and learn what we need to learn.  Maybe that’s why earth is earth and heaven is heaven.

On earth, we have problems.  We have challenges. We feel pain.  But maybe it’s all for a reason. Who knows?

But could that conceptualization of the “negative” existing to provide contrast be a helpful thought … vs. thinking the universe is a hostile place and forces exist that are out to get you?  I think it could.

Friendly or unfriendly?  Maybe it’s all about where you fix your gaze.

With a nod to Michael Brown, maybe it’s about your attention and your intention.

The quality of your life now and the quality of your life in the future depend on what you’re focused on in the present moment and what you’re envisioning and intending for the future.

Focus on the good and wonderful and your life will likely be good and wonder-filled.

Now, I’m compelled at this point to say this isn’t about putting blinders on and ignoring or denying problems.  It’s okay, even laudable, to focus on stuff that isn’t right if it’s something you can do something about … if it makes you happy and gives you a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

But it’s an indulgence … an expensive luxury, in terms of your health and happiness … to focus on … and dwell on … the “negative.”

So, is the universe friendly or unfriendly?

Here’s the thing … You get to decide!

Einstein resolutely believed the universe was friendly.

So do I.  I HAVE to, both as a person and a life coach.  It sustains me and informs my work.

But … how about you?





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Meet Denise: Denise Hedges is a Business Development Coach and Speaker Coach for small business owners who want to be more comfortable, confident, and successful with their sales and marketing efforts. She specializes in helping them use speaking as a way to dramatically improve their results!