"Inch by inch, anything’s a cinch."
I heard that Robert Schuller quote while I was in high school, and it stuck with me. It came back to the forefront of my mind recently as I observed the results of rain on the granite-covered portion of my front yard: Myriad weeds dotted — actually, covered, in parts — the rocky terrain. I found looking at the unwanted growth as a whole, a bit overwhelming.
Knowing the issue needed to be addressed, I set out to restore our curb appeal. But in order to do that, I couldn’t look at the yard in its entirety. I had to view a small portion at a time. And in doing so, and pulling those pesky plants one by one, my yard regained its cleaner appearance.
We often hear about the importance of looking at the big picture. But in this instance, viewing the big picture was too much to bear. It was paralyzing. I needed to focus on a foot around me and let everything else blur.
When I did that, the task became easy, and time flew by. Before I knew it, my estimated half hour had turned into 45 minutes. But I didn’t want to stop because I was getting closer to the end. I needed to get granular in order for that to happen.
If I had continued to have a wide-angle view, the weeds would still be taking over my yard, growing even taller.
Sometimes in life, it’s important to see the big picture but then to narrow our focus and spot smaller tasks. This keeps the entire project or trial or whatever it is from being too overwhelming.
Christian, wife, mother of 5, breast cancer survivor, marathon finisher, writer and editor, author of "Help! I'm a Science Project"