A professor left my class with these words on the last official day of classes for my graduate program. This simple statement snapped me out of my excitement induced daydream as I tried to wrap my head around the message. As social workers, she was attempting to arm us with a tool we would often need to fight off discouragement, burn out, complacency, and turning shades of jaded.
Last week, I was sitting at my desk volleying between being annoyed at the hours I’d worked in the past two days and grateful for the chance to have a job and do what I’ve wanted to do for so long.
This quote came to mind because I was working on a mundane assignment and was struggling to remember the big picture. We often get distracted, discouraged, or frustrated by the details of the task immediately in front of us. We get annoyed because it needs to get done and we are responsible for making sure that happens, often having to offer up our lunch break, gym time, dinner date, or weekend for sacrifice.
Maybe it isn’t the day job. Maybe it’s a side-hustle that’s giving you grief. A blog post, article, or assignment that won’t write itself. Sometimes, it’s dealing with a difficult time in a relationship of some sort.
I encourage you to step away from the details. Step away from the big (or small) tree directly in front of you and try to get a glimpse of whole forest. Paint the small detail into the big picture. Keeping the big picture in mind will help you remember and appreciate the significance of whatever you are grappling with in the moment.
Wishing you joy,