What is the “big picture”, and what does it mean to see the “bigger picture”?
Seeing the bigger picture is a perspective shift. To understand the ‘big picture’ the context of details and their overall effect must be clear
Part of seeing the bigger picture is understanding the concept of “by-in-large”. If something is “by-in-large” true, then in the context of the bigger picture, it is true.
In order to fully see the ‘bigger picture’ you must take onto account as many perspectives as possible in order to gain a deeper understanding for all sides of the truth.
When looking at a globe, all the continents clearly appear to fit together like puzzle pieces. But by standing on land, you’d never know the continents fit together because you don’t have a good enough perspective.
Seeing the ‘bigger picture’ in life is no different.
Sometime you need to put in a little effort, in order to change your perspective, so that you can see things more clearly from a distance to understand the “big picture” context.
Those who master seeing and thinking with-in the context of the ‘bigger picture’ understand that it can be massively beneficial to your ability to communicate, understand reality, develop mental wellbeing, and increase success.
Increasing your ability to see the ‘bigger Picture’ increases self-awareness, can give you more control over your life, your emotions, actions, behavior, and can bring a sense of calmness that reduces daily anxiety.
To avoid getting “caught up in the weeds” and better understand ‘big picture thinking’ let’s dive it.
What Is Big Picture Thinking?
When focusing on very specific and minute details, it’s easy to get ‘caught up’ and miss the bigger picture context.
An old boss of mine used to call this “getting caught up in the weeds”.
For example, instead of arguing over which path leads out of the woods the quickest, someone who wanted to understand truth would climb a tree to get a new perspective in order to see the big picture.
In order to avoid wasting time or money on unimportant details in life, it’s important to step back for an improved perspective to better understand the “bigger picture”.
How Do You See The Big Picture ?
In order to see the big picture you need to to understand as many perspective‘s as possible as well as the overall context of the senario.
Seeing the big picture requires looking at things from as many perspectives as possible. Understanding all perspectives.
What problems are you facing? What is the root cause of those problems? How do you know for sure that you’re right?
What are the best solutions? Have you looked at everything from all perspective to make sure you have the best solution.
Have you put in enough effort to climb to the top of the mountain in order to get the full context and the best perspective?
Are you thinking big enough?
Is your perspective being overshadowed by a bigger perspective.
In short, big picture thinking is broadening your perspective by looking at the wholeness of context in a given situation.
Avoid Getting “Caught Up In The Weeds“
Big picture thinking starts when you decide to get your bearings back and start viewing things in broader perspectives instead of over-analyzing every small detail.
When you see the bigger picture in life you begin to understand where you are heading. At this point you can strategize and refocus your attention on your future goals and timelines.
Both big picture thinking and detail-oriented thinking is important in life. And, it is possible (and necessary) to do both.
5 Tips To Help You See the “Big Picture”
1. Ask Questions
Big picture thinkers do not dwell on the minute details. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask questions about minute details.
Asking questions is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of curiosity and intelligence. In order to get a complete understanding from all perspectives, asking questions is important to gain relevant context about the big picture.
2. Take Advantages of New Opportunities
New opportunities bring new experiences, and new experiences bring deeper connections and broader perspectives.
By getting out of your comfort zone and taking advantage of new opportunities you can start to widen your understanding of new people and new perspectives.
3. See Details With-in The “Context” Of The Bigger Picture
Of course details are important but you need to see them with-in the correct context.
If you were to only look at the artwork above up-close, then you would just see a bunch of screws. But when you zoom out and see the screws in the full context, all the screws make up a face.
Don’t get lost in the chaos (which can happen if you only concentrate on specific details) with-out big picture context.
Seeing the “big picture” in life allows us to focus on that aspect of life that matters the most without being distracted by inconsequential details.
Keeping the overall picture in sight allows us to be better at predicting what’s most likely to happen in the future.
Big picture thinking guides the decisions we make as people and helps us predict and understand our future.
4. Don’t Dwell on Problems, Invent More Solutions
When seeing the bigger picture you become very fast at solving problems. By not limiting yourself to specific means, you have a broad enough perspective in your mind to devise more creative ideas.
Big picture thinking allows you to gain a new perspective on your approach to issues to see things more clearly. A wider perspective gives you the ability to observe and predict solutions for every problem.
You’ll start considering how your ideas will unfold and be able to visualize future impacts.
When you develop a bird-eye view on things, you begin aligning your efforts, inventions, solutions, and ideas with your life goals.
5. See Your Goals Very Clearly
Developing big picture thinking helps keep your final destination in sight.
I used to fall victim to starting a project, getting caught up in the details, and then loosing sight of the ‘big picture’ end goal. At which point i would usually throw up my hands in frustration and walk away.
But by seeing the bigger picture, the path towards completing your goals becomes very clear. You may have to ‘dive into the weeds’ but you still maintain a clear view of the bigger picture.
This conscious effort will allow you to set goals, turn the invisible into the visible, and take much control over your life and circumstances.
The big picture perspective works to reinforce the real reason for the activities you engage in daily.
Unfortunately, in the absence of clearly set objectives, we become strangely committed to being pulled in so many directions by trivial acts, making us shift our priorities.
Are You A Big Picture Thinker Or A Detailed Thinker ?
Characteristics of Big Picture Thinking
- If you are a big picture thinker, you quickly notice patterns in problems.
- You have a low tolerance on routine, tedious errands, and busywork.
- You are great at outlining what needs to be done and get tired quickly when you start getting into small details.
- Most people find big picture thinkers creative and innovative.
Characteristics of a Detail-Oriented Thinker
- A specifics’ person tends to dwell on the ins and outs of a project and sometimes miss the big picture.
- You are detail-oriented if you enjoy optimizing something that already exists instead of creating new things and ideas.
- You are very analytical, meaning that if you highlight study notes, you may end up highlighting everything.
- A detail-oriented thinker is inflexible and becomes frustrated if things change.
- You fear failure and not doing things the right way.
Seeing the “bigger picture” is not something you can just decide to do. Like hiking up a mountain to get a better view, seeing the bigger picture in life take a little effort.
The tips we outlined in the post should act as a guide on where to focus your effort in order to gain deeper understandings for new perspectives.
And the more perspectives you look through, the more complete your understanding for truth will be. And you’ll have an easier time seeing the bigger picture in different life scenarios.
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