“I work really hard at trying to see the big picture and not getting stuck in ego. I believe we’re all put on this planet for a purpose, and we all have a different purpose… When you connect with that love and that compassion, that’s when everything unfolds.” -Ellen Degeneres

“The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it.” -Chris Pine

Recently, I toured a section of downtown Cleveland.  I took a look at the Soldiers and Sailors monument in Public Square.  This large monument takes up a city block and rises several stories above the street.  I felt so small standing underneath this huge structure.  After that, I viewed the city from the observation deck atop Tower City.  While up there, I noticed the monument from another angle.  Being up so high, the monument looked so tiny compared to the surrounding area!  It was surreal.  Take a look at these pictures to get a better idea:


This got me thinking: how does this pertain to my life?  What can I learn from this?  It made me realize that there are several ways we can perceive people, places, events or situations in our lives.  We can look at the surface.  We can look at one piece.  We can feel small.  Or, it can feel small to us.  We can see the immediate impact.  Or, we can look at he long term repercussions. How we look at our surroundings and experiences will shape our lives.

All too often, we look only at the surface.  Something occurs and we react.  We only consider the immediate consequences.  In this way, it is easy to become overwhelmed or fearful.  We feel we cannot overcome a difficult situation or achieve a goal.

Instead, attempt to look at your experiences and surroundings with a “big picture” mentality.  Focus on how each experience, person, place, or activity can take you closer to your goal.  Notice how a small meal makes you feel light and energized.  Notice how a good workout makes you feel stronger and less stressed.  Reflect on how a friend or supporter made you feel with words of encouragement.  Consider that one failure or mistake won’t matter in the long term.

If we commit to looking at the big picture, we will realize that there is an ebb and flow to life.  There is a give and take.  One moment or experience is not the end all be all.  It is just one moment in a series of moments.  Therefore, don’t cling to one small bad experience, negative word, or mistake. Take each experience with grace and see how you can learn and develop from it.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!
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