I know, you’ve heard something like this before – usually about forests and trees. But this is the unique way the people of the island think of this idea. And it’s something they try to remember when they forget to put things in perspective.
Believe me, I know how easy it is to get so focused on a particular life situation that you lose sight of the bigger picture . . .
Recently, an opportunity came along for me to be part of a start-up project. I’ve done this kind of thing in the past and it’s typically something that is very energizing and exhilarating. I love the process of creating something new – seeing concepts take shape and come into reality. My role was to help out on creating a new logo, website and overall strategy. I could be involved as much as I wanted and I’d still have time for my other interests.
So, I dove in and started swimming.
At first, the waters were fine. I surfed the swells of interesting ideas and really enjoyed seeing things take shape. But pretty soon the waves got bigger and bigger until they were all I could see. I found I was spending so much brain power on this new situation that I forgot my original intention – to help out, but also reserve time for the other things that were important to me. I was so focused on a few waves that I lost sight of the ocean. The result? The pressure of assigning too much emphasis and importance to only one aspect of my life.
I needed a mental vacation. Time to visit the island.
As I walked along the beach in my mind, I noticed how the waves were tumbling up the sand and flowing around my ankles. One after the other they came, an ongoing, ageless rhythm. I stopped and gazed out towards the horizon. As far as I could see were endless peaks of blue-green water, rolling and flowing, on and on. Way out where the water meets the sky, I could no longer make out any individual waves. They had all disappeared into the wholeness of the vast ocean.
I realized that this particular situation was only part of my life. It wasn’t my whole life. Just like a few waves are not the whole ocean. This allowed me to look at things a little differently, with a little more clarity. I was able to re-align my priorities, to re-engage with the bigger picture. From this view, the giant waves didn’t seem quite so overwhelming.
I’m still a part of the project, but I’m seeing it for what it is – a part of my life. It’s just a wave, not the whole ocean. And as the stress has faded, my thinking has expanded. I have new approaches to try along with a renewed sense of excitement. I’m feeling much better about this now. All it took was a new perspective.
We all have endless waves of life situations. Have you ever found yourself not seeing the ocean for the waves?
Join the island tribe at facebook.com/IslandPerspective.
Are you ready to discover your own inner island? Here’s the complete guide: An Island Perspective – Finding the Path to Tropical Tranquility