When you can’t see the forest for the trees

Have you ever noticed yourself diving deep into the details of something that you forget the big picture? Maybe, not you, ;). Have you at least noticed someone else diving too deep into the details that they forget the big picture?

Gaining perspective is crucial to the learning process. It’s very easy to jump in and start studying a subject without actually gaining the big picture. Obviously, that hampers effective learning and problem solving both of which are crucial for effective personal and interpersonal leadership, for doing great work, and living a great life.

Want a great way to gain perspective on something you are working on?

Zooming in and zooming out is a great way to gain perspective

Try doing a Power of Ten exercise. The Power of Ten video below explains the process very well. To gain perspective on any issue, zooming out and zooming in powers of 10 will help you to gain both a big picture and a detailed understanding of things.

Powers of Ten movie takes the viewer on an adventure in magnitudes. It starts with a picnic by the lakeside in Chicago. The film then takes us to the outer edges of the universe. “Every ten seconds, we view the starting point from ten times farther out until our own galaxy is visible only as a speck of light among many others. Returning to Earth with breathtaking speed, we move inward into the hand of the sleeping picnicker with ten times more magnification every ten seconds. The journey ends inside a proton of a carbon atom within a DNA molecule in a white blood cell.”

You can apply the same technique to help you gain perspective on things you are dealing with.