Too close, too close … sometimes I tell myself to back up further in order to see. I saw this story on the painting “Sunday in the Park with George” on CBS Sunday Morning. I love this painting (it’s located at the Art Institute in Chicago on Michigan Avenue) and its massive and beautiful. But - it’s a series of dots that come together to make the painting. So if you get too close - you’ll see dots not the entire scene. I think about this as I get too close to a problem -- my perspective is all screwed up, sometimes I have to stand back a ways to understand the whole picture.
This is an important lesson in all of life. Whether you are cooking, solving a problem, or discussing politics - your view of the world has everything to do how you observe. Do you find yourself at a five foot (helicopter) perspective … watching and controlling every issue, or are you a 30,000 foot perspective standing off watching how it’ll turn out and coaching from afar? Every situation requires us to adjust, and the trick is knowing the distance and going the distance.
Take what we all do as an example. If I, as a boss, watched everything going on in your job and was so involved it wazzed you out and ruined your confidence. And then you screwed up. Not good for anyone. My friend last summer scolded me when I didn’t know all the technical details on my bike. He, correctly, stated that my lack of knowledge should be embarrassing* and I need to know stuff (like lubing my chain or changing a tire.) I reluctantly agreed and went to my friendly bike shop and told Ron the owner that I need to be responsible and learn these things. He said “there goes my profit”. So in the big scheme of life, disrupting the flow and getting involved with knowledge potentially will shut down a bike shop. This isn’t good. I learned that my “distance” in this (for me) is to carry the necessary equipment to change a tire and enough cash to call an Uber when I fail. Everything else - bike shop.