There are times in our lives when we feel down, hurt, defeated, lost, or all of these at the same time. This could be due to anything significant like- a breakup with your girlfriend/boyfriend, having a massive failure, going bankrupt, or it could be small like- spilling coffee on the table, having a fight with your friend, or getting low grades in exam. These negative experiences completely affect us, we get frustrated, and we think- life is too hard, why it is always me, I am done with my life, etc.
The truth is all this negative thinking and frustrations can’t help us in dealing with our problems. Hence it is vital to change the way we see our problems. Sometimes we look at our problems from so close to even realize they exist in the first place. And the result is we are not able to find any solution because we are so involved in it.
At this point, all we need to do is to zoom out a little and look at the bigger picture. We need to take a step back and try to understand what is really going on. If it’s still not clear, we need to take another step back and so on. When we understand what is really happening, and see our problems from a distance, then only we would be able to solve them.
Let’s understand the meaning of looking at the bigger picture with an example. Imagine you are inside a difficult maze searching for the exit, and every time you choose a path, you end up returning to the same or a new place but not the exit. You are tired of the maze and frustrated that you are not able to reach the exit. But if you had the power to rise above the ground, maybe by climbing the walls of the maze, then the whole puzzle could have been solved. What are you doing here? Looking at the bigger picture of the maze. What is the benefit? You solve the puzzle and find your way out.
Similarly, the problems and challenges you face in your life are like a maze. And you want to solve them; you want to find a way out. Taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture can help you do it very easily.
Why should you look at the bigger picture?
Following are five benefits of looking at the bigger picture-
1.Helps you understand the situation
We are often so involved in a situation in our life to understand what is actually happening. When people get fired from their job, they are so hopeless that they feel defeated, think they will run out of money, and their life is over. They are so involved in the situation to realize that there are other opportunities, and it’s not the end of life. They can apply for other jobs, start their own business, pursue their hobbies, or do whatever they like. Life never stops; when one door closes, another door opens for us. But these ideas will strike only when they take a step back, look at the bigger picture, and then understand the situation.
“When one door closes, another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”
-Alexander Graham Bell
2. Helps find effective solutions
In the example of maze, when we look at the bigger picture, it helps us understand where we are, where we want to go, and what we have to do to solve it. Similarly, when we face problems in our lives, looking at the bigger picture can help us find the best solution. If John (imaginary character) gets broken up with his girlfriend, he may keep crying because of losing her. But crying is not the solution. If only he zooms out and looks at everything from a distance, he may understand what is happening. He may realize that the relationship had become toxic, and it is good that it has ended. Now he has time; he can work for his dreams and get into a new healthy relationship.
“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”
3. Reduces possible errors
When you take a step back and analyze everything, you would understand the situation very well; you would understand the consequences of taking a step. Taking the maze example, if you look at the bigger picture, you would know which paths you have to avoid to get to the exit. If you hadn’t looked in this way, you might have taken the wrong path. Similarly, in life, analyzing a particular situation will make you aware of the possible errors in advance so that you don’t waste your time in them.
4. Makes you confident
We feel doubt when we don’t know what is happening in our life, where we have to go, and what we have to do. But when you have looked at the bigger picture of the maze, you already know the answer to all the questions, and so you will feel confident.
5. Increases your chances of success
We saw that taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture can help us understand the situation, find effective solutions, avoid possible errors, and makes us confident. Now since all of these have happened, success won’t be an exception. You are bound to succeed. When you have looked at the maze from a height, you would know where you are now, where you have to go, and the path you have to follow. All of these would increase your chances of success considerably.
“Sometimes we are too close, too involved in it to even realize. It’s up to us to slow down, take a step back, and understand what is really going on.”
-Gary John Bishop
Looking at the bigger picture is an excellent strategy for finding effective solutions to a problem and succeeding in life. This strategy will also help you focus on only what really matters and not on every unnecessary detail. This would create peace in your mind and would help you be confident. So, next time you face a challenging situation, take a step back, look at the bigger picture, and analyze the situation. Try to change your perspective and look in a different way. And you would be amazed to know that this will always benefit you.