“When in doubt, zoom out.” – Reggie Watts
Last week, I flew from PHL to LAX and as I was boarding the plane, the man at the counter asked me to check my bag. A rush of frustration flowed through me. The flight wasn’t full and I had never been asked to check that bag in the past. Plus, I wanted to head straight home and not be forced to wait at baggage claim. Looking back on the situation, I could have handled it better. In the grand scheme of it all, the fact that I would lose 15 minutes of my day waiting for my bag really wasn’t that big of a deal. If I would have Zoomed Out in that moment in an attempt to see the bigger picture, I might have not gotten so annoyed and short-tempered.
When we find ourselves getting annoyed or stressed about a situation life throws at us, a tight deadline, an issue at home, or a problem with a colleague, it is vital that we Zoom Out. Oftentimes, we can get so caught up in the minutiae that we lose perspective on the matter. Zooming out creates an opportunity for us to cast a wider lens and this allows us to comprehend that in the grand scheme of it all, it isn’t as big of a deal as we might think. This allows for a giant shift in perspective.
The fact that we are alive is a blessing in and of itself! The probability of you existing at all comes out to 1 in 102,685,000 — yes, that’s a 10 followed by 2,685,000 zeroes! We all have access to clean water and clean air. We live in a democratic society. We have jobs. We have access to WiFi. I can literally find the answer to almost anything, simply by typing it into Google and hitting enter. The amount of information we have access to simply by moving our thumbs in different directions is absurd! Our brains work. Our bodies work. Our minds work.
My intention here isn’t to minimize or disregard the problems many of us face. My intention is to remind everybody that things are much better than we often think they are, and they can be a lot worse. By grounding down into the present moment, we become better equipped with the tools necessary to enjoy our ride on this roller coaster of a journey.
Was it really a big deal that that Honda cut you off the other day on the 405? Or that your spouse forgot to turn the lights off in the house for the umpteenth time. Or that your kids refuse to pick up after themselves? By reminding yourself to Zoom Out when these minor annoyances occur, you can instantaneously mellow out the frustration or anger you might feel in the moment.
Our ability to Zoom Out is in our best interest. When my girlfriend’s 2 year old sister takes a spill around the house, her stepmom immediately and repeatedly affirms to the young one, “Little deal. Little deal. Little deal.” We have much to learn from the lessons being taught to this 2 year old. So the next time you have a “woe is me” moment, Zoom Out, simply affirm “little deal” and move on.
Life is far too short to get bogged down by the things that won’t matter a week, a month, or even a year from now. When you allow yourself to Zoom Out, your perspective widens, clarity crystallizes, and acceptance ensues.
Enjoy what comes of today!