When you focus too hard on one thing you may miss out on the many.
During a beach run on an early morning in Recife, I was very focused on my pace and completion time, paying little attention to the surrounding area. Apparently, I was so lost in my thoughts that I ran right by a friend and never noticed him. By being so focused on my goal, I missed what was around me. After all, it was my running time that counted, not the view, right?
Having focus while doing an activity is a good thing, however not to the point when you miss out on other things in life. This little bit of clarity came together for me as I read Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath. They discuss "what's in our spotlight" and how, by looking at challenges through our biases, we create "narrow framing" which blinds us to our true range of options. In addition to the awareness of blindspots, they share the importance of "bright spots", as being the small moments of clarity that lead to realizing our broader range of options.
I recommend reading Decisive, as this will provide a much broader perspective, than my narrow summary.
The next morning, (on the advice of my friend who I had run right by) I went for a walk instead of a run on that very same beach. When I looked around I saw what I had missed that last time:
What are the blind spots in your life?
Jamie is the founder of Life Work Integration, a process that integrates passion with purpose and vision. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org & via twitter @jdouraghy