No matter the moment we’re in, be it the best or the worst, we’re always looking onto the next or the last. If you’re in a moment in your life of pure bliss, achievement, and success, we’re seeking ways to keep that moment. We think into the near future of how to keep this moment alive or let it push us forward, just hoping it stays relevant. If we’re in a moment that doesn’t feel good, like a moment of fear, doubt, or scarcity, we’re looking to the future or reminiscing in the past of a time we didn’t/won’t feel this way again. This is us essentially “zooming out.” But we’re not consciously aware of how we “zoom out,” because instead of it offering perspective, this act of looking to the past or future creates desire rather than offering clarity.
So how do we zoom out for perspective? How do we allow past, present, and future circumstances to help clarify the present moment instead of making us wish it was different? Instead of letting the zooming out create desirability for a moment outside of the present, we have to gain perspective to let us have gratitude for the moment we’re in now. Having a bit of perspective isn’t about changing the moment. But rather, it’s about knowing life is always changing, and the moment we’re in now will always pass, and it’s allowed to evolve.
Zoom Out to the Entire Circle
When we practice having perspective, it opens us up to more opportunities. When you consistently hold the “bigger picture” in your mind’s eye, you see a broader view of your timeline. Think of your timeline as a cycle. Instead of seeing a straight line with a beginning and an end, see it as cyclical, meaning the moment where you believe your circle begins is also the moment it ends. But because it’s a circle, the moment it ends is also the moment it begins again. There is no death, simply rebirth. And because our lives go through cycles, they also go through seasons. And as we’ve stressed in the Intentional Living conversation, without these cycles, we cannot know true bliss without knowing its opposite.
Just as you would a pizza, break your life up into slices. Because we most often never know when the cycle will begin again, we never know how much of the pizza we’ve already “used.” As someone who is twenty-five, I’d like to think only a quarter of my pizza or circle is used. If that’s the case, I’ll likely go through many more cycles of both bliss and fear. Which is why having the ability to Zoom out is so important. It’s not just about gaining perspective of how objectively “good” or “bad” a moment is, but rather it’s one tiny blip of your entire life.
When you’re in a moment of bliss
So how do we have perspective when we’re living in a moment where everything seems to be going for us? Something to always keep in mind in regard to this topic is despite a moment seeming “good” or “bad,” everything in our lives is always happening for us. But, when we’re experiencing a period in our lives when everything is working out, going for us, and we’re truly happy, it’s still a great idea to zoom out a bit. When I say zoom out here, I don’t mean find objectivity to believe that you must embrace the moment because it’s fleeting. Or you have to be so present because a bad situation will swoop in and steal your happiness. In this moment, perspective simply means staying present and mindful about this moment may affect the rest of your life. Are you upleveling? Are you moving? Getting married? Starting college?
Whatever the moment of bliss may bring, revel in the happiness. These are the memories and moments in our lives we refer to when “zooming out” in moments that don’t feel as good. They’re reminders of how happy we can be once again. Life ebbs and flows in cycles, and without the cycles, we would have no definition of happiness because it would be the only emotion rather than the baseline we’re trying to reach. Zooming out in a time when everything is going right creates neural pathways in our brains that become evidence of how happy we can be. It’s not about embracing the moment until it passes; but rather staying present in the emotions it brings.
When you’re in a moment of fear
In these moments of our lives where we experience difficult emotions–fear, anxiety, depression, scarcity, grief–it can be more difficult to find perspective. But that’s not because it doesn’t exist. Instead of zooming out in a way that is helpful to the present moment, we do so in a way that creates a desire for a moment we’re not currently in. This takes us out of the present, creating an even stronger feeling of disdain and anger for it. Instead, when zooming out, it should be a time to have gratitude. Now, I, of all people, understand how hard that can seem. It’s much easier to say, “have gratitude!” in a moment that feels awful than to actually have it.
However, gratitude is a really powerful emotion to exist in. Not only does it allow emotional relief, but gratitude is high vibrational emotion, meaning it has the power to improve your life now. When we have perspective, or can Zoom Out, in the moments that feel most difficult, it puts us back in the driver’s seat of our lives. Instead of zooming out and looking to a moment that isn’t your present, allow yourself to remember every moment is fleeting. The only productive thing to do is have gratitude in knowing this moment is, too. And when we have gratitude, the moment is already changing in ways we can’t see yet.
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