Updated: Apr 18
(Bird's Eye View from Mount Duval, Pangnirtung Nunavut - Arctic Spring April 2004)
Hopefully, you have completed the Seasonal Reflection activity from Part 1 to identify the successes and challenges from your previous season. Now it’s time to look forward. Who do you want to become? “Become” is both a present and future tense verb. It shows a process that is ever ongoing. Growth is a lifetime process. We never remain who we were, we continually gain new insights and develop new strategies to become more like the person we were created to be. So big-picture thinking is key to understanding what is possible in the present and in the future.
The following illustration perfectly depicts the significance of seeing the big picture, “For a moment, let's consider the big picture is a mountain top. Picture yourself having hiked up to the top of a mountain and looking down at the valley below where you live. While most of your time is spent in the valley living your everyday life, solving common problems, and overcoming challenges, when you do climb to the top of the mountain, you gain a new perspective. You have a birds-eye view of the village layout, shops, and roadways. From this perspective you can see things clearly that may not have otherwise been so obvious; roads are not straight, and homes and shops might not be ideally located. Going to the top gives you the ability to see and correct or improve things that might otherwise be missed. It's an opportunity to ask yourself, "How can I make things better?" (The Importance of Seeing the Big Picture | Entrepreneur)
This concept particularly reminds me of the time we moved to Pangnirtung, Nunavut. This little community is the base of the magnificent Mount Duval. I will never forget the experience of flying over the fiord on our arrival. It was spectacular! The sight filled me with awe and promise of what was to be a brand-new experience. But then we landed and work soon took precedence. The lofty view was soon replaced with daunting responsibility and mundane daily tasks. The view from ground level is never quite as exhilarating as the mountaintop view. Down in the valley we sometimes lose sight of what is most significant. You know how it is. We put our heads down and grind through tasks without considering our true purpose, what’s most important about our current place in the world.
That’s why it’s important to occasionally refresh that bird’s eye view. It puts everything in proper perspective again. This clearly happened to us one day when we took a snowmobile trip to the top of Mount Duval to overlook the fiord and community below. It was an astonishing and breathtaking view. From that vantage point, we were reminded again of the beauty of our purpose and significance. Our world became larger, possibilities grew and we were refreshed and invigorated having gained a new perspective in the middle of the mundane. Phil Geldart explains, “Getting a big picture perspective tends to reinforce the things that are important and subsequently refocus your attention on what you determine to be true priorities. It serves to reinforce the real reason for the activities you do daily.”
Having a panoramic view of your life allows you to see the past, the present, and the future all at once. It gives the complete picture. You can see the roads already traveled. You can clearly identify your current path. But you can also look beyond your current reality to the possibilities of reaching your future destination.
This is both a celebratory and challenging experience about which I have learned lessons along the way. First, take time to celebrate how far you have already traveled. Secondly, don’t rush to move too quickly through your current situation. You are where you are now for a reason, it is preparing you for what is to come later. Each season has a specific reason for our growth phase. Finally, dream big for the future but be sure to take small steps to get there!! Let your destination be the fuel that fires you up and enables you to keep moving forward!! And be sure to consult your heavenly travel guide. He has the greatest perspective of all, and He will never lead you astray!!
“I look to the hills where my help comes from. My help comes from the Lord, who made the heavens and earth.” Psalm 121:1
(Our friend, and guide, Norm. What a fabulous day!)
Do you have difficulty seeing the big picture? This mini-guide will walk you through the Step 2 process.