Know When to Think Small or Big
• We’re All Insane! Second Edition will teach you how to think better and saner.n
Note on Principle of Thinking Big or Small
You must experiment with, test, and prove this principle for yourself for it to work for you. I call the principle, “Know when to think big and when to think small.” “Big” and “small” are referring to the size and scope of thinking, not the quality of the thinking.
- Whenever you think about doing any project or assignment there are always two different ways of thinking about the project or assignment that are needed. We need goals for direction to our destination and steps for how to reach the destination.
1. THINK BIG
The first part is the big picture. Choose any of the words that you like or that make sense to you from the following list for the big picture: arrival, big picture, complete, comprehend, destination, dream, end result, expectation, general idea, goal, reason, the finished product, the forest, the ideal, the whole, understand, vision.
2. THINK SMALL
The second part is the little picture. Choose any of the words that you like or that make sense to you from the following list for the little picture: details, elements, facts, features, incomplete, items, journey, learn, logic, methods, particulars, parts, path, points, procedures, progress, small, specifics, steps, tasks, trees, way, work.
The principle is to keep these two ways of thinking separate and functioning independently. That is, the big picture way of thinking is not to be used for the little picture way of thinking, and the little picture way of thinking is not to be used for the big picture way of thinking.
- Whenever you are thinking of the big picture, then only think in big picture terms and ways. Only think big when you are thinking big.
- Whenever you are thinking of the little picture, then only think in little picture terms and ways. Only think small when you are thinking small.
What this means is that when you think of the end of a project or assignment, then envision it, think big. But when you think about the work of doing a project or assignment, then do not envision it, but, instead, think small.
BIG & SMALL WORK TOGETHER
In order to create a house, you must think of a completed house. But in order to actually build a house, you must only think of the tiny steps or tasks you need to do each day.
- Work is details, steps, and parts. Dreaming is general, holistic, and complete.
No one can think to build a completed house. If you think of the end result as the work, then you will choke. It is too big a bite. You must work with manageable small bites. You never eat all your food at once. You only eat a mouthful at a time. It is the same with working. You do not complete anything all at once. You complete things one part at a time. “Rome was not built in a day.”
Anytime you think of doing the end result, then you will be overwhelmed. No one can do the end result. We can only take small steps on the path to the result. Thinking of doing the dream or goal leads to avoidance, escapism, feeling inadequate, feeling overwhelmed, laziness, procrastination, and even feeling crushed by the size and weight of the end goal.
- You do not do the dream. You take the steps to the dream. “Inch by inch everything is a cinch.” Keep your thinking about the end separate from your thinking about the journey.
The end and the journey are separate. Having a goal to go to New York City is not the same as driving to New York City. When you mix up these two kinds of thinking, then you wind up mixed up.