This past weekend I had the good fortune of attending a conference where the key note speaker was the best-selling author, Michael Port. Michael’s latest book is “The Think Big Manifesto” and it is an amazing read. Reading the book made me think about when and how I think small. In fact, as Michael states, it is something that he himself struggles with. We have been thinking small forever and breaking that cycle requires some work. The world and what’s happening in it is a great place to start thinking big.
Take for example something recent that I have been struggling with and that is the situation in China and how the Chinese authorities have handled the recent earthquake (based on what we here in the West have heard about it). I feel terrible about the victims and cannot fathom why your own government would stand by idly and watch your people die or refuse to help. If this story is true, it is indeed a terrible situation. Me as the observer has different choices in how I engage in this story. I could easily react and condemn the government and victimize the Tibetan Chinese people. Or I could accept the fact that first of all I don’t know all the facts here. I am not familiar with the history of the region, I don’t live there and there might be other factors playing in this. Yes, I still feel terrible about the victims of this catastrophe, but I am not adding fuel to the negative emotions. If I care enough, I can do something constructive about it. When you become part of the solution or you spend time thinking about a solution, you are thinking big. In addition, thinking big and always coming up with solutions feels good. No one wants to be angry, feel defeated or useless, yet we still feel these emotions when we fall into the trap of condemnation. In fact, we define and judge it to the point of joining it at its root cause of becoming part of the problem. It becomes a dead end or worse yet, a perpetuating negative place we find ourselves whenever we feed into that feeling of victimization by talking about it, etc.
So whether it is something that is happening at work or someone you feel anger towards, stop in your tracks. Ask yourself how you could be part of the solution to this problem. If it is something that is evoking strong emotions in you, then it is worth spending the time to find a big answer. If you can’t think of a solution, then walk away with your blessings. And I mean, truly walk away. Following in the footsteps of Michael Port, I invite all of us to start thinking big about everything. Let’s let go of our small thinking and we can begin by noticing when we condemn and what we condemn. Awareness is the key to change and I know I am going to be on the look-out for any self-righteous condemnation that pollutes the big thinking potentials the world is hungry for.