We hear it often, “see the big picture”, “don’t miss the forest for the trees”, “what are your long range goals”…. etc. Our success and worth, both in our own and other peoples eyes, is often measured by how well we can picture or plan for the future, incorporating variables that are largely out of our sight and of our control. That’s what life teaches us.
Thing is, this focus on the big picture is basically an exercise in futility, especially if it is done at the expense of the present. There really is no such thing as the bigger picture. Most of what we think of in those terms is our hopes for a future, which we can neither control nor accurately predict. At worst, its wishful, sometimes delusional thinking, at best, it is hope for something to come that we cannot see.
The fallacy comes in when we peg our sense of value and self worth on this big picture. When we get so enthralled at the prospect of the unknown, that we ignore, or neglect what is right in front of us, the present. When we substitute the things we can control for the things we cannot, we are substituting the bird at hand for the two in the bush. And that’s just crazy, why would anyone do that?
Yet, that’s exactly how many of us live our lives. We get worked up and stressed out because we fail to smell the roses, enjoy the present, focus on whats right in front of us. Our obsession with whats coming up, that big thing in the future, that intangible, uncertain utopia we anticipate sometime in the foreseeable future distracts us from the wonders we could be experiencing around us every day.
Me thinks we should focus on the here and now. Nothing wrong with having a plan for the future, but lets not obsess about it and miss out on whats happening right now.
Life is for the living, lets live it.