Panoramic

I semi-regularly catch myself fixating on minutiae.

This is possibly the consequence of my tendency to become absorbed in whatever I’m doing (and to assiduously quash distractions and the temptation of multitasking), though it might also be a component of my deadline-oriented, loop-closing mentality.

It’s generally beneficial to be able to set aside distractions and get the things you want to get done, done.

It’s less beneficial, however, to continue using a microscope when a panoramic lens would be more suited to the task at hand.

This misapplication of focus is most evident, to me, when I find myself worrying about something teeny-tiny, or about nothing in particular—nothing I can easily put a label on, at least; a vague sense of dread.

My psyche clamps down on a grain of anxiety and then tongues at it passively, purposelessly, and endlessly.

My current approach when I find myself stuck in such brain-loops is to stop whatever I’m doing and think as broadly, as expansively as possible.

So rather than worrying over whether I’m choosing the right tool for an upcoming project or wallowing in general unease about how the economy is faring, I force my mind to widen and think about life, how I’m living it, where it’s going, and what might happen next on a more global scale.

I think about what consciousness might actually be, what reality is, how we intersect with it, and what “we” are in the first place.

I think about the trajectory of our species, the opportunities we’re only just starting to recognize and capitalize on, the beauty of the interconnected natural systems of which we’re a part, and how our sense of aesthetics can influence our mood and our thinking.

After I open up in this way and expand my mental perspective for even a moment, the things I was worrying about mere seconds before typically seem small, fixable, or not even worth my time and attention.

I smile at the vapid rut I was so ardently upsizing into a grand gulf of importance.

Small things can have real consequences, but the majority of issues my brain embiggens in this way can be filed away as “manageable,” “not within my power to change,” or “already handled, but for some reason still causing worry-echoes in subconscious corners of my mind.”

Flipping my perspective open and then contracting it back down to something me-scale helps me more consciously and accurately categorize these issues, so I can apply my focus more intentionally and productively.

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