How to focus

Photo by Martin Rogers

I love to star-gaze. There is nothing quite so breath-taking as a clear sky on a dark night with the constellations picked out like pearls on velvet. Being married to an astrophysicist has meant that I now understand rather more about what I’m actually looking at although I’m still useless at getting the telescope or binoculars into focus.

When I finally get it right though, it’s amazing. I twist the mechanism round and the moon moves into focus. With that focus comes clarity. I can see detail that I have no chance of seeing with the naked eye. What looked pretty good from down here now has an increased beauty and magnificence.

If I then sweep the binoculars back down to ground level, everything suddenly becomes a blur. I’m too close to the subject and can’t see anything clearly. Carefully adjusting the focus for the new subject of my interest, I attain a new clarity.

So how does this apply to our work and our lives? I guess it’s about making the right decision on what to train our focus. Is it most appropriate to appreciate the subject from a distance – to get the big picture? Will this mean I miss out on some important specifics of a project?

Do I need to narrow in on the detail here? Will an intense look right at the very centre of the issue give me the clarity I need to gain new insight? Does zooming in mean that I’m so drawn into the detail that I can’t stand back and evaluate the matter objectively?

It seems to me that the worst position to be in is one in which everything is a blur: nothing’s focussed, there’s too much noise and distraction, usually because I’m moving too fast. One thing I’ve noticed about being able to focus the binoculars is that I need to stand still in order to be able to do it properly. Likewise, I need to stand still and consider an issue before determining the object of my focus.

Today’s pebble for you to consider:

Do you need to stand still and adjust your focus?

Does your subject require a ‘big picture’ or a ‘zoomed in’ approach?

What do you think?


Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching. 

If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we could work together?

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2 Responses to How to focus

  1. Pingback: Just thrashing around | Turning over pebbles

  2. Pingback: Taking the wide view | Turning over pebbles

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