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We all look at life through our own spyglass. It’s important to use our spyglass to help us keep a broad perspective on the events going on in our lives. If we maintain a big-picture view, small disappointments and challenges don’t seem that intimidating in the grand scheme of things.

However, sometimes when things are scary or overwhelming, we tend to flip the spyglass around and look into the big end. Try it with a real spyglass sometime! You will see only a small circle of whatever you are looking at in that moment. It looks as though that one small piece of the world is actually the entire world.

Let’s say that I didn’t get a job or promotion that I wanted. As a result, I focus completely on that one small piece of life. I’m looking into the big end of the spyglass, and I’m only seeing that “failure.” If I flip my spyglass around and look at the broader view of my life, I can see that not getting the job or promotion is just one small piece of my current situation. I’m free now to take on a better job that could be right around the corner. I have the opportunity to evaluate why I wasn’t the best fit for the job, and I can set new goals. I can also see all the times that I’ve been a success in my life! This disappointment isn’t a pattern; it’s just a learning experience.

We see more possibilities and put things in a better perspective when we look into the small end of our spyglass and see the widest view of the circumstances around us. Great leaders are adept at catching themselves when they are only seeing a small piece of a situation and then broadening their perspective to see the big picture.

When a proposal that I submit is not accepted, I sometimes sit around for an evening focusing on the “failure.” I generally spend a lot of time and energy creating a detailed proposal for an organization. After a reasonable bit of moping, I turn my spyglass around and look at all the great things going on in my life. I have steady work! I have friends! I have family! I have a roof over my head and a car that I adore! I am leading a blessed life. One “failure” does not define me; it’s merely a blip that proves I am getting out there and putting myself on the line for new consulting gigs. When I adopt a big-picture view, it’s easier to gain a balanced perspective.

If things feel hopeless and you don’t see many options, chances are that you are only seeing a fraction of what is going on in your life. Flip that spyglass around! Although a current circumstance can feel huge and overwhelming, it isn’t a complete picture of your life or who you are.

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