Your Big Picture
Think big! See the big picture! Pecking at our ability of foresight (or lack thereof) comes these expressions, accentuated by the dreaded interview question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Such phrases can sometimes leave us feeling inadequate, inviting thoughts along the lines of: Do I need a five-year plan? Why haven’t I been thinking long-term? Then, to make matters worse, we might realize that we’re just too busy with daily minutiae to so much as glance at the big picture.
But even when sweating the small stuff, we shouldn’t lose sight of our ideal destination. We must force our vision to transcend beyond the mundane and to repeatedly look at our ultimate goals. Those aren’t goals that can be achieved by futilely flailing for them day by day. Instead, step back and behold the bigger picture—behold the nearby ladder.
Cofounder of the productivity platform Asana , Justin Rosenstein writes that we must make time to think about our big picture . Admitting that this sounds like a given, Rosenstein explains that few of us ever actually do take time to reflect on our larger goals. We should endeavor to do so daily, whenever we’re most relaxed. Sit back and think about where we want to be and how we intend to get there.
Yet contemplating our life strategy isn’t the same as living that strategy. Former editor of Harvard Business Review, Karen Dillon expresses in this TED Talk how our life strategy is shaped by our everyday choices . These choices, big and small, good and bad, can sabotage our lives. Though she had envisioned herself as an attentive member of her family, Dillon’s days were instead spent submerged in work, her true goal regretfully neglected in the daily shuffle.
It is therefore crucial that we consider our ultimate strategy daily—so that we can actively make choices in favor of that strategy, choices that won’t undermine us. Today, take that much-needed time to focus on where we’re going and why we’re going there. Take that intentional step back and reflect on what lies beyond.
Reflect on what’s truly important to us—and do so every day henceforth.
“A vision without a strategy remains an illusion.”
– Lee Bolman
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