The happiest people in the world are the little children and the elderly – for different reasons.
The innocent children live their life with a zoomed-in presence. They are gifted at discovering and inventing novelty in the world around them. A tootsie roll or a pink hair clip may be enough to get them excited.
The wise elderly live their life with a zoomed-out perspective. They have overcome hardships. They know that fear is largely unhelpful. They aren’t surprised or shocked when they see lack of kindness. So, they move on quicker.
The problem is we lose innocence too soon and get wisdom too late.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can train your phenomenal brain to combine the best of zooming in and zooming out.
Zoom in by asking your mind to pick the load of only the next one hour. Commit to ‘no planning no problem solving’ when spending time with your family. Several times during the day, notice the little details – the color of your child’s (or friend’s or partner’s) eyes, the marks on an apple, the grain of the wood on the door, the window trim, and more.
Zoom out by taking a longer-term view. Painful as the realities around us are, this too shall pass. To the extent it seems reasonable, reframe an unpleasant situation by finding the right within the wrong. Perhaps an adversity may be bringing you closer to your loved ones. Perhaps an adversary may be helping you grow. None of these thoughts are to deny the present struggles. They are meant to dilute the bad with the good, so the bad is a bit more bearable.
Let’s commit to living with a zoomed-in presence as we think from a zoomed-out perspective.
Disruptions that do not diminish love take us to the other shore.
I wish you well.