Get Joey's free weekly beBetter Leadership blog:

beBetter Blog

Why You Should Step Back and Get a Fresh Perspective

By Joey Havens

Share this post:

All I could do was laugh recently when I couldn’t see the big picture although it was literally right in front of me.  I was preparing for an interview and I had requested a PDF of a recent presentation I had given on connecting the dots.  I received the PDF and pulled it up, looking for the 19 dots it should have. As I clicked through the pages though, I could only see 10 dots.  So I sent another request for the presentation with ALL 19 dots.  I click through the latest version, I see the same 10 dots.  So now, I assume that my request is misunderstood.  “Please send me the PDF with all 19 dots that includes…” and I listed the missing dots.  I mean, how hard can this be? Right?

Again, I got an email back that all the dots were in the PDF.  So I pull up the PDF again. Nope, just 10, I can see with my own eyes.  As I prepared to send another request and infer “what is wrong with you, this is a simple request,” I got that uneasy feeling in my stomach.  This just doesn’t make sense. So I pull it up again, and as I am gazing at my screen, I see the PDF is pulling up at 240% zoom. As soon as I lower it to 100% I can see there are actually two slides on each page.  All I could do is laugh out loud.  How stupid can I be?  (Please do not feel compelled to reply to that in the blog responses.)

So, I sent an email confirming that yes, I have all 19, and yes, they were all in the very first version. I also shared the mistake that I was making on the first versions they sent me. The funny thing is, I was so convinced that I was right and knew what I was looking at.

After a good laugh, I also realized this is a mistake that is easy for us to make as we pursue our mission.  At times we get so zoomed in on one task, one dot, that we lose sight of all the other dots.  We lose sight of the big picture.  We lose focus and connection with our WHY.  It’s easy to do. 

I’m hopeful now that when I’m struggling with being overwhelmed, consumed or just stressed, I’m going realize my mind is on 240% instead of 100%.  I know when I view the big picture, think about my role and how I am making a difference, my stress goes down and my performance goes up.  Have you experienced a day on the 240% zoom?  Step back and take a 100% view for better perspective.