Does the big picture always work?

10 December 2018

I love to travel – for work and pleasure, kids and no kids, car, plane, ship, and train. I travel every time I get a chance and I enjoy the new destination and the time I spend travelling to it. I chose a window seat and my soul goes up along with the plane, wanders through the clouds, aims for the sun, and I feel genuinely happy.

My last plane ride was for a business trip to Spain and I had to take a transfer via Germany. Most people get nervous around transfers, because of the unnecessary delay and the feeling of lost time. For me, transfers are additional moments in the air.

Flying out of Sofia, the weather was cloudy, cold, and humid and the pilot took the plane above the clouds where the sun greeted us, golden and welcoming. The storm stayed below, and we traveled safe, but we didn’t see the earth, only the fleecy white cotton field. Occasionally, the cloud cover got thinner and I managed to glance on a piece of the sea or a snowy mountain peak.

On the Germany-Spain flight our approach was different – we took a brave dive in the clouds and stayed there for a while, enduring the strong turbulence and the rain fiercely bouncing in the portholes as if it was trying to give us a sign that we don’t belong in the storm. We got through, unharmed, but slightly shattered and we got to a high enough place where the sun kindly smiled at us, there were no clouds beneath, and we had a stunning view of the mountain ranges and the exquisitely arranged metropolises. The rivers sparkled like golden strands lit by the sun, supple, shiny, tempting.

Reading through my in-the-air experiences, do you have any associations? Inspired by the heights of the flight and the notes of Boccherini, my interpretation was as follows.

When there is a storm in our professional (and personal) life, we usually get the advice – take a step back and look and the big picture, don’t focus on the details. Our exact approach on the first flight and yes, we managed to rise above the story, but clouds – as enticing and appealing as they were, covered what was truly important and we only got to see the infinite cotton carpet. What if we stay in the storm, face the challenges and the turbulence, and after that – rise above and take a look at the real big picture instead of the thick impermeable white curtain of who we think we are? It’s only then we can see the golden shimmering strands of our value, of what we have learned and what we can do.

What’s your approach when you are faced with a career challenge or uncertainty? Do you immediately reach for the big picture, risking you won’t be able to see the real issues, or do you stay in the storm, face your problems, and then give yourself perspective with which to integrate the experience and rethink your new direction and skills you acquired in the process?

If you need a career coach to accompany you in your turbulent professional situations, get in touch with me to discuss how can I be of service.

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