The Big Picture User’s Manual

Appreciably altering one’s existence mandates that we take a step back and try to ascertain what’s happened, because if life were working the way we wanted, we’d most likely not need to re-boot! Somewhere within our internal structure, a bug lurks which we must identify in order to eliminate. For some, it’s a relatively simple fix; for others, there’s been a critical invasion of malware that will require significant effort to repair. Alas, if only life came packaged with a user’s manual…


Ok, so enough of this analogy.


Given that the baseline source of discontent is not always obvious, we need to follow the clues. We need to look for patterns. Let’s start there, shall we? Because, often, when someone is unhappy with his or her life, instead of examining overall patterns they take a single example, break it down into pieces, and then hold up a particular fragment declaring that this one instance speaks for their entire life experience.


No, my friends, no! This is NOT the way to do it! This will not solve your problem.


If you want to understand meaning, don’t pull things apart or practice any version of deconstruction. Rather, you must put things together; seek out the Big Picture. You can’t appreciate the beauty and meaning of a sculpture by breaking it apart and examining shards of marble. All you have is a pile of dust. Am I right?


So, again, you want to look for a pattern in your experiences and extrapolate from there. But don’t stop at the first right answer/pattern you identify. Rather, push forward and ask yourself, “What else might be true?” When moving through this course of action, do your best to be detached—try hard to remove emotion from your examination of the topic since our emotional reactions can easily hijack the entire process.


And, I should add, that when undergoing such scrutiny, choose a quiet time when you are in a decent mood. The worst thing you can do is to decide to do this when you are unhappy—believe me, I know—because the conclusions you will draw while in that mindset will invariably be erroneous.


It’s possible that answers or patterns may not present themselves on your first try, but simply releasing your mind to this course of questioning opens new doors. By being patient and giving your wise, inner self some space and time, the answer will present itself to you. I promise you, it’s there. Look within.


So, the takeaway of this post is as follows: on a day when you’re in a decent mood and have a few quiet hours to yourself, ask yourself about whatever it is in your life that isn’t working the way you hoped and then seek out patterns in episodes which reflect this unhappiness. Do this in as detached a state of mind as possible. Have confidence that, with time, the answer will make itself known. Good luck! 


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One Response to “The Big Picture User’s Manual”

  1. abitravel Says:

    You’ve clearly been doing a lot of thinking and self-analysis. I like your strategies, and hope they bear fruit. Thanks for the suggestions.

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