So I’m thinking about how easy it is sometimes for some of us to become myopic, to narrow the focus of awareness down to something that is attention grabbing and emotion inducing, probably either bright and shiny or a gruesomely fascinating wreck on the side of the road.
But it's only part of the big picture. And to get lost in detail is to miss the rest.
Something that has become useful to me as a reminder or a map of how to see a bigger picture is research that some folks at Harvard have been doing over the years. William Torbert and some others. And what their research is showing is that, in general, at any one point in time a person has approximately 50 percent of our energy, awareness, or mastery focused on our present condition. What we know, and who we know. And who we experience ourselves to be in this here now time in our life.
So if approximately 50 percent of me is here, where is the other half of my attention and energy?
What their research shows is that about 25 percent of us is trailing behind, dragging its feet. You know: “I don't want to.” “I can't.” “Never done it before.” “I tried it once and it didn't work.”
And 25 percent of us is out there ahead, kind of scouting, looking for any new opportunities.
So the way that I envision this is a train. And there's a very nice Pullman car and it's got a dining facility and a nice berth for sleeping. You can live comfortably in this car. And then there is a caboose on the train. It's kind of bringing up the rear.