For Clarity, Switch Your Focus

For Clarity, Switch Your Focus

225655746_ea4c8496c6_m.jpgI began this glorious morning out on the back deck, admiring the garden. After a half dozen years (and a few good recent rains), it’s finally getting close to the lush green woodland glade I originally envisioned.

Then I walked down into the garden, on the stone-and-gravel pathway to the pond. Something green caught my eye, and I realized that a tiny weed was popping through. I bent over to pinch out the interloper.

Before I could feel too smug at the restored perfection, I noticed yet another weed. I refocused my eyes and scanned the ground nearby. I discovered another and another and another weed.

Once I had changed my focus from the big picture to the detail, a whole other world had come into view.

The same principle holds true in the rest of our lives: don’t get stuck in a single focal length. Look up, look down–look sideways. Squint hard, squint soft. There’s always another perspective, and the more perspectives you can bring to an issue, the clearer you’ll be about it. If you tend to be a big picture thinker, switch to the micro level. If you like to roll around in the details, take a step back and expand the view.

Photo by Lorri37

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