As we shift solidly into the fall season leaving summer memories behind, we open our minds to many choices and possibilities for next. In thinking about the future, we might be focused on something big or small. How do we decide how to match our energy and situation with our focus? Have you noticed that there are times of inspired dreaming and other times of total overwhelm? Let’s explore how our choices are influenced by our situations.
Deciding When to Think Big
If you’re in a thinking-big-mode, you have large blocks of uninterrupted time. You have time to breathe and to take care of your basic needs like sleep, exercise, and nutrition. Your brain is in high gear and you aren’t feeling preoccupied by a million and one other things that need your attention. You either have the time or have carved out the time to focus on the bigger picture. Thinking big requires enough quiet to sift through and capture ideas. Thinking big demands enough mental energy and space to allow the seed ideas to surface.
Of course there are times when we’re super busy and stressed, and big ideas will surface. This is a normal occurrence. But to truly act on those ideas, we need that quiet space to sort, process, and marinate them.
When are good times for thinking big? Scheduling personal retreats, vacations, or days off are great ways to carve out some thinking big time. If you want to focus on BIG, make sure you create the environment to allow big to flourish.
Deciding When to Think Small
If you’re in a thinking-small-mode, you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Your time doesn’t feel like your own. Your schedule doesn’t have much empty space. The number of to-dos and responsibilities you’ve committed might be keeping you up at night. You’re managing life, but feeling like you’re on that continually moving hamster wheel with no stopping in sight. Does this sound familiar? If so, thinking small will help.
It doesn’t mean that you won’t future think or allow a big idea to be captured. It does mean that in order to move on at this moment in time, using a different approach will help. Taking small, next steps will encourage forward movement while reducing overwhelm. It will help you move on so that you can eventually focus on thinking big when and if you’re ready. But it’s hard to get to that point when you’re in the high stress, high overwhelm mode.
These are fluid phases. Having an awareness of where you are, locating yourself on the energy and overwhelm scale will help you to better navigate. What have you noticed for yourself or others? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation!