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Don't Take Your Eyes Off The North Star: Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing

Updated: Aug 12, 2021

The North Star (aka Polaris) is an astronomical object consisting of a luminous spheroid of plasma held together by its own gravity. Now in unison let’s all squint our eyes, pucker our lips, and nod our heads like we have the slightest clue as to what that means. You can thank me later because, fortunately, this is not an astrophysics lesson, but a rumination I have been having recently. It’s not necessarily the astronomy itself that has me intrigued, but the powerful salient symbol that is the North Star.

Many stars have had their five minutes of fame all throughout history in several forms. Such as the famous Frederick Douglass anti-slavery newspaper The North Star, the magi following the star of Bethlehem to see the birth of Christ, the iconic superstar in the Super Mario series, or the Egyptians using the Sirius star to predict the tides of the Nile. No matter its utility, a “star” seems to be something humans gravitate to. But still, why does the North Star have this celebrity status among the stars? It appears to receive several nonsensical superlatives. I myself thought it was the brightest star in existence...its the 50th. So what is it about North star that makes it such a profound figure?

The North Star is described as having so many larger-than-life connotations due to the fact that it almost seems too good to be true. It would appear to almost be artificially placed by some higher being. The axis of the earth is pointed directly at it. No matter where you are, the star remains in the same exact place. That's what makes it so special.

It never moves, which reminds me of a lesson from one of the most decorated books ever written, The Alchemist. A wise man was talking to the main character in the book Santiago and wanted to teach him the secret to happiness. The wise man instructed Santiago to stroll around his palace but doing so while holding a spoon with two drops of oil. Santiago can go wherever he likes, but he must not drop the oil. He returns after two hours and reports that he has learned nothing, due to the hyper fixation on the oil. The wise man instructs Santiago to try again and see the wonders of his world. This time Santiago returns in complete awe, rambling about the details of the palace. But he broke the one rule, the drops of oil had fallen. The wise man then tells him the secret to happiness

“The Secret of Happiness lies in looking at all the wonders of the world and never forgetting the two drops of oil in the spoon.”

That is what the North Star is to me, it’s my oil in the spoon. No matter where life takes me, who I meet, or what I do. The North Star remains in the same place I put it, which is the highest conceivable place in the universe. The fact that I just might be able to reach it someday, is my secret to happiness.

The North Star remains at the pinnacle forefront of my mind at all times. I can have other expectations, I can aim for other stars, planets, asteroids, comets, or anything else floating up there. But the inability to reach all the other stars will not affect my happiness, simply because it is not my primary wish. It does not supersede the North Star, so I am able to remain stoic, and let go. My cardinal genetic dispositions and aspirations remain king. I will keep the main thing the main thing.

The North Star is the expectations I set for myself some time ago, a mental contract I signed. It's not only a reminder of where I am but more importantly, where I could be. The North Star I wished upon is the symbol of my maximum being. There's just something about that star-like razzle-dazzle glamour. It's the perfect symbol of illumination, at the highest place your eyes can naturally see. You want your dreams to catch the light and become clear. The North Star is my dream, and if I'm going to wish upon a star, why wouldn't I make it the world's greatest wish? To Fulfill my destiny.

What is your North Star?

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