Bigger-Picture Thinking

This website is entirely dedicated to success, self-actualization, and the resulting fulfillment that occurs within the lives of those who constantly try and improve themselves, day in and day out.

I often notice a trend in the efforts of effective people who attempt to change their lives and/or the world. These successful people have cultivated a certain type of awareness that is consistently pointing them in the direction of their purpose.

Why are Legendary People So Relentless?

Simply put, they have an unending purpose, one that is ever-transforming which allows them to continuously pursue life to new heights. This purpose may not be realistic, but they know that. They use the resulting passion that stems from such a purpose as a fulcrum with which to measure their tangible achievements. In a sense, they embody the perfect combination of optimistic thinking in relation to their purpose in life and realistic thinking in terms of preparing tangible goals that can be achieved to manifest this higher purpose. They become a force to be reckoned with.

"Bigger"-Picture thinking is like the fishing line that directs actions and produces results!
Like a fishing line, your purpose is the spindle that you can use to direct your actions (cast your line) and reel in your desired results! (grab a fish!)

Chances are that every single one of these legendary people has a strict set of values and beliefs that they maintain, using these properties to guide their directions and decisions within day-to-day activities. If I were to use a business-related metaphor, I could say that these people were useful embodiments of both strategic and operational duties, both guiding directions, and taking the action necessary to achieve.

I call the resulting effect “Bigger”-Picture Thinking merely because that is what it is, and it is entirely underrated.

What is “Bigger”-Picture Thinking?

Big-picture thinking indicates the commitment to the ideals presented in long-term pleasure. Occasionally, long-term pleasure is the result of short-term pain (ex. exercising now in order to be healthy later), but ideally, you should be taking actions to cultivate pleasure in both the long and short-terms. And yes, it is entirely possible!

What do I mean by short-term and long-term pleasure?

Those who operate with a higher sense of purpose can make light of the mundane activities they partake in every day. They make those opportunities enjoyable due to the perspective they have towards this higher purpose! Therefore, big-picture thinking is not solely necessary, in fact, it isn’t solely reliable either. Consider the following picture!

Those who understand the necessity and importance of a purpose can make the "mundane" activities fun in any way they wish!
Those who understand the necessity and importance of a purpose can make the “mundane” activities fun in any way they wish!

Why isn’t big-picture thinking as reliable? Because those who follow the big picture alone can find themselves stuck in the Short-Term Pain, Long-Term Pleasure combination of livelihood. This livelihood causes success towards the end of one’s journey for fulfillment, but sacrifices the enjoyment that must be had on the way.

Big-picture thinking, as I stated, is good for ensuring long-term pleasure alone. Beware the trap. I’d like to suggest a new concept in the way forward towards self-improvement. My suggestion is this…

Let’s forget “big”-picture thinking for now and let’s accept the concept of “bigger-picture” thinking.

“Bigger” is a word that is not limited to any preconceived notion, supposition, or social expectation. “Big” thinking to me may be small to someone else and, vice versa, something that is big to another person may be puny to me. Ultimately the word “bigger” blows the proportions out of the water because it has no limit placed upon it by subjective natures. 

Simply put, we imagine a concrete “Big” but an ever-transforming “bigger”.

As it relates to our own lives, “big” picture thinking, due to its subjective concreteness, can be reached. When it is reached, people ask themselves “Now what?”. And then they lose the passion and drive that was necessary for aiding them to achieve their goals.

Goals should are finite and achievable, but the purpose behind these goals should be infinitely transforming!
Goals should are finite and achievable, but the purpose behind these goals should be infinitely transforming!

Why Should You Adopt the “Bigger”-Picture Philosophy?

“Bigger”-picture thinking, due to its consistently transforming nature, means that a person will be actualized for life. They will never cease to pursue their passions because their passions consistently grow bigger!

John C. Maxwell in his book How Successful People Think states this, “If you are successful, it becomes possible for you to leave an inheritance for others. But if you desire to do more, to create a legacy, then you need to leave that in others.”

I believe what John C. Maxwell means is that greatness shouldn’t be quantified. In fact, it can’t be.

There is no way to determine how long my legacy will live on in terms of the effect it has on others, and that effect should be all that matters in terms of legacy. Inheritance can be quantified, it can be used up and forgotten, legacy is the inheritance I give to others internally, with no quantifiable properties, it is much more important to me.

I quantify the specific goals I have, but my purpose is not quantifiable.

I can only quantify that which is a result of my purpose (money, outreach, etc.). In this way, I can remain in reach of goals and with specific landmarks to make relative to my efforts and direction, yet I never lose my drive to succeed simply because my purpose is a result of “bigger”-picture thinking. Think of your purpose as the trunk of a tree, with lots of little branches that extend as a result of that purpose.

Due to "Bigger"-Picture Thinking, your purpose should be the cause of your actions, thoughts, and resulting resources.
Your purpose should be the cause of your actions, thoughts, and resulting resources.

Think big on your goals, think “bigger” on your purpose.

The power of the mind to affect your beliefs is astounding. We have all heard the stories regarding individuals who take placebo pills with only the belief in the pills’ effectiveness that has caused drastic changes, but how would you react if I said that your “bigger”-picture thinking could literally save your life?

It’s true, and this happens through sheer willpower alone, no measurable or quantifiable data can explain it, and it is consistently proven through statistics.

Here is an example; Did you know that the mortality rate for senior citizens drops significantly just before the holidays? It also spikes just after the holidays as well. What can explain this?

I urge you to read the following article by the Washington Post!

Ultimately the power of the human mind is in having something to achieve or a problem to solve.
Ultimately the power of the human mind is in having something to achieve or a problem to solve.

Oftentimes it can be something to look forward to, such as seeing family for the holiday season. These time-sensitive goals can provide the mental strength and will necessary to push through the odds and actualize potential.

The drastic and tragic side of this notion is that focusing all your efforts on goals alone will eventually leave you with nothing to focus on once they have been achieved. “Bigger”-picture thinking may save your life through the idea that your mind and resources will always have something to achieve! It is your passion, and it is not rooted in any goal-specific or end-game oriented circumstance. Becoming solely goal-oriented can induce a drop in productivity.

In fact, in the article 8 Reasons Why Employee Productivity May Suffer Jennise Chaffold mentions that the number 1 reason is a lack of big-picture view! Imagine what could happen if we took our big picture, and made it consistently “bigger”!

It is the reason you have to continue fighting and living for the sake of your ever-growing need to pursue the passion you have developed. Beware of placing too much emphasis on tangible goals, as they are a means to an end. Your goals can and will change, your purpose should not! Simply learn to enjoy the means as they are (short-term pleasure) while pursuing the continuously transforming “end” (long-term pleasure).

You may say, “what is the point of having an ultimate goal that cannot be reached?” “How will I ever be fulfilled in this way?”

The answer lies within the misconception that fulfillment is a matter of where the change leads as opposed to the change itself.

The change itself is fulfilling because it nurtures the mind with beliefs of what I call a personal Scaling Influence.

The Power of Scaling Influence.

Scaling Influence is the mindset that occurs once you have fully accepted the idea of “bigger”-picture thinking. You accept that your purpose is unending, but your consistent hunger for it develops continuously higher goals for yourself in which you find fulfillment.

Scaling Influence requires no quantification! It's an abundance mindset that isn't observant of goals alone!
Scaling Influence requires no quantification! It’s an abundance mindset that isn’t observant of goals alone!

Your influences, which are merely a group of references that support your beliefs, “scales” (grows) with your passion. This is what the high achievers of life understand. And it can be developed in you, should you decide to focus on “bigger”-picture thinking.

These people gain resources as a result of continuous growth, an unending hunger for success, and an insatiable desire to pursue their goals. Because their passion is never-ending, so are the potential resources! These resources can include anything from money to fame to power to love. They can all be used for both good and evil. Actualized people use them for good, and I encourage you to do the same.

Take a moment today to consider all the resources you have available to you. They may be both tangible, like money, or intangible, like willpower. Brainstorm some ways in which these resources can be used effectively to achieve your goals, and measure those goals against your value systems. Decide on the best ways in which to use those resources to help yourself and others! You will be experiencing “Scaling Influence” soon enough!

Please follow the corresponding links! Thank you for reading!
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-Austin Denison


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