How to Become a Big Picture Thinker
Let’s get a little philosophical. Have you ever thought of the big picture before? Do you know what big picture thinking is?
Big picture thinking is to be able to grasp conceptual beliefs, ideas, and possibilities. Not just now, but in the future.
The opposite of this way of thinking is being detail-oriented. This means that people focus on just that—the details, the pinpoint of whatever they may be working on. This is fantastic, however by being so hyper focused on the details, you may be missing something when you forget to look at the bigger picture.
The big picture thinker is one who can envision something and see it as a whole.
Both ways of thinking help to balance out our perspectives and give us a more well-rounded way of perceiving the world around us.
That being said, sometimes a new perspective can remove the patterns of thinking that aren’t actually serving you anymore, at least not the way they used to.
Today, I’ll show you some ways on how to become a big picture thinker and open your mind to a world of possibility.
Big Picture Thinking Importance
We have all heard the same thing over and over. “Take a step back.” “Look at the big picture.” “Think about it in the grand scheme of things.” We don’t tend to take these snippets seriously, especially if we are detail-oriented people.
While details make up the big picture, zooming in on the details can lead to a ton of clutter to deal with (i.e., a stressful backlog). By thinking bigger, you are less likely to worry over details that don’t really matter in the future.
A big picture thinker can see how obstacles influence the big picture and how it can turn into an opportunity.
Are You a Big Picture Thinker or Detail-Oriented?
To find out which type of person you are, see what you naturally focus on.
- Do you look at the specifics of a project?
- Does your manager find it annoying you give too much detail in your reports?
- Do you often feel frustrated when working on projects and you can’t see how things connect?
Maybe you’ve been described by these frequently used words for big picture thinking:
- ‘Head in the clouds dreaming’
- ‘Pie in the sky’
- ’40,000 feet’
Meanwhile, detail-oriented thinking can be described as:
- ‘Down in the weeds’
- ‘Head down’
- ‘Highly organized’
As we know, both are best working together, so if you are detail-oriented here is how to become a big picture thinker.
Identify Habits which Limit the Ability for Big Picture Thinking
Our natural inclinations block us from blue sky thinking. The first step: break unhealthy habits.
Try this 3-step framework:
- Pause the Perfectionism: When constantly fidgeting with things to make them better, digging into more detail in the process, you need to take a step back, pause, and look for larger opportunities.
- Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: When you worry about trivial issues in your business, for example, where your new potted plant will sit in your office, is when you need to pause, take that deep breath, and let it all go. A higher focus on working towards a goal or vision (big picture) is most likely to lead to success.
- Delegation: When you share responsibility and work together, you are more likely to achieve success and have room for pausing and thinking purposefully.
Seeing From Another Perspective: Big Picture Questions
To connect your actions/tasks to your goal is questioning. So, ask yourself the following big picture questions:
- Is there anyone else who may be affected by this?
- If you did this, can you think of any unintended consequences that might happen?
- Can we consider any ethical boundaries?
- How could this idea become a push for social change?
Another thing you can ask yourself is this: What is it that I’m not asking myself?
You can also find someone who challenges you (that you trust) and ask for their guidance as to what you aren’t asking yourself. When your big picture goals are not meeting their expectations, you can bounce ideas off each other and help each other reach your goals.
Think Big, Look Up
By physically moving our heads we can spark diverse kinds of thinking. When focusing too much on details, we tend to look downward, often at the point of focus.
Big picture thinking can be inspired by looking up, according to experts’ recommendations, as we become more creative through stimulating our brain to begin inductive reasoning.
Then we can be more abstract in rational connections, encouraging new thoughts and ideas to add to our project.
Get to Journaling or Mind Mapping
This is where you get your creative juices flowing, where you can write or draw your plan. By drawing out (pardon the pun) your internal chatter on paper, you can point out where your plan (or goal, project etc.) is missing something or how it can be molded to fit the bigger picture.
Start with noting your big picture, following the minute details that are bothering you. Make sure you represent everything, big picture, and detail, or actionable elements and then record your thoughts to see if they stray from your big picture plan.
Schedule Thinking Time
When you rush to make a decision, you may end up feeling sorry about it afterwards. It is usually because:
- You’re making the decision later in the day when you’re drained from the day’s work and nearing decision fatigue.
- You’ve got little time, meaning you’re not analyzing everything, not looking at all the angles of the picture, not connecting the choice with your big picture goals.
- You’re multitasking—calling shots while focused on something else –which takes your ability to perform down by about 40%.
Found yourself nodding to any or all these points? Take some uninterrupted, thinking time and work into your schedule. This time is vital to making smarter decisions that rely on the big picture.
Hypnotherapy and Big Picture Thinking
As we know, with hypnotherapy we can tap into the subconscious and with the power of positive suggestion, alter the way we think and perceive things in the world.
We can use this with big picture thinking too. We can tap into the positive reinforcement and work towards a goal; in this case, seeing the bigger picture.
Let me help you gain this new perspective, especially if being detail-oriented has been stressful for you. If you’d like to consider hypnosis for perspective, big picture thinking, and helping you with your goals, contact me today.
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