Growth Tools - Practical tools for meaningful growth

The Blessings of a Bigger Picture

“In school you get the lesson and then take the test…
In life you take the test and then get the lesson.”
-- Unknown Source

You’ll hear us say, over and over, “Go for a bigger picture!” What does this mean?

When something irritates us in life, we tend to zero in on the details of that encounter. Whatever bugs us can take over our minds – it can completely fill the frame of our perception.

But if we can pull back and look at the situation in a larger context, we may (and usually will!) discover there’s more to the situation than we first realized. We may discover some viewpoint that gives meaning to the whole experience.

To help shift perspectives, try asking yourself, “What am I being invited to learn here?” Another approach can be to shift your thinking from “either/or” to “both/and.” Rather than focusing on differences, see if you can find similarities instead.

The following story from an unknown source may shed some light on this:

A Hindu master grew tired of his apprentice’s complaints. One morning, he instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it.

“How does it taste?” the master asked.

“Bitter,” spat the apprentice.

Then the master directed the young man to take another handful of salt and put it in the lake. Once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”

As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it
taste?”

“Fresh,” remarked the apprentice.

“Do you taste the salt?” asked the master.

“No,” said the young man.

The master explained, “The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains exactly the same. However, the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things …. Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”

So practically, how do we become a lake? We’ve created a new list with some ideas for triggering a shift in perspectives. Please have a look and email us with the tools that work best for you. And remember: When there is more in sight, we get more insights!

“The period of greatest gain in knowledge and experience is the most difficult period in one’s life.”
-- Dalai Lama

Resources
Shifting Perspectives – Parts make sense in the larger scheme of things.

A Reminder
Ask these Monthly Review Questions - Maintain balance and growth with monthly review questions

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John & Patrice Robson
John & Patrice
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