The other day, I worked from an office high above my town.
Most of the time, I work remotely, so it was a treat to look out the massive windows at the cars rolling past and the construction in progress in the residential neighborhood nearby.
I’m mesmerized by distance, changes in scale, that kind of thing.
I often wonder, “What do I look like to the ants toiling beneath my feet?”
Standing at the window, peering down, I had the most amazing sense of perspective.
Now, I admit, I’m prone to big picture existential pondering. “What is the point? What is one life for?”…that kind of thing.
But, truly, it’s remarkable to peer down and see hundreds or thousands of people going about the motions of daily life.
What is it all for?
How do our daily decisions aggregate into policy, society, community?
Maybe that’s the core of why that random Friday view from the 22nd floor grabbed my mind’s attention so fully.
The entire system of incentives and rewards seems to favor short term thinking.
Ground level motion, as it were.
Who is sitting above the fray, with the big picture view, to help see patterns and make decisions with a long-term vision in mind?
Have humans become, well, too much to manage?
After all, my big picture view was still a handful of miles, not nearly representative of the city or the state or my country or this world.
Even this seemingly vast view contained just a few humans, globally speaking.
One of the things I do as a coach and in my corporate roles is to invite people into longer-term, bigger picture thinking.
After all, our choices today weave something for those who come behind us. Taking the time to think, be intentional, review and establish processes is a kindness we do for our future selves and the others who come along later.
Every time I take 20 minutes to write down a learning for the archives, I save 220 minutes in “what the hell happened here?” or “how the hell are we supposed to do this?”
And maybe that’s the message of this musing.
Let’s invite ourselves and others to go high, peer out the window, watch, reflect.
Then we can return to the daily grind with a larger, longer, more well-rounded perspective.
Let’s invite ourselves and others to consider our choices carefully, knowing that we are building a future together.
What gifts of knowledge are you creating and communicating to others?
Is your future being built on a strong foundation? Or is the future of your life, your company, your community as shaky as a Jenga tower that’s been destabilized one brick at a time?
Get a different view this week, literally and figuratively. Look out a high floor window or lie down in the grass to watch the ants at work.
You might find taking the time for this meditation changes you in the most delightful of ways. P.S. I invite you to fall in love with the “Less Stress, More Fun” podcast. Subscribe today! Each week’s episodes offer smart, fun ideas to reduce stress and boost your sense of playfulness.