Reader Challenge

Positivity Challenge Week 18: Look at the Big Picture

Last week, we talked about taking some time to appreciate the little things in your life (or even creating happy little things as lachaise suggested). This week, we’re exploring the opposite and seeing the positivity in looking at the big picture.

A glowing sphere with a banner on it with the words "The Bigger Picture"
(Image: The Bigger Picture, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from krossbow's photostream)

As we’ve discussed before. in your day to day life, the things that bring you up and drag you down are the little things. A compliment here, an tactless criticism there; a bright morning to make you smile or to give you a migraine because you forgot your sunglasses; a free movie pass one day and a parking ticket the next. Our lives are a constant roller coaster of emotion in some ways, with great things happening but a drop ready to happen just around the corner. A lot of people almost feel a sense of dread when too many good things start happening in their life, the feeling of waiting for that drop is something you’re probably familiar with. I know I am.

So even though finding joy in the little things is a good tactic to bring more positivity into your life, sometimes it’s good to check in and take a look at the big picture. Step back and look at your life from an outside perspective: See the things that you’re proud of, that you enjoy and are passionate about, see the way they make you feel, see the people around you that love you and support you in what you love, see the ways in which you are happy and content with your life. It’s a challenge, and if you’re in an especially low place, it might be impossible, so save it for another day. But if you feel up to it, challenge yourself to find at least one Big Picture view that makes you happy.

This Week’s Challenge

In doing some reading on this week’s topic, I found an interesting allegorical tale about looking at the big picture. It’s called The Three Stonecutters.

One day a traveller, walking along a lane, came across 3 stonecutters working in a quarry. Each was busy cutting a block of stone. Interested to find out what they were working on, he asked the first stonecutter what he was doing. “I am cutting a stone!” Still no wiser the traveller turned to the second stonecutter and asked him what he was doing. “I am cutting this block of stone to make sure that it’s square, and its dimensions are uniform, so that it will fit exactly in its place in a wall.” A bit closer to finding out what the stonecutters were working on but still unclear, the traveller turned to the third stonecutter. He seemed to be the happiest of the three and when asked what he was doing replied: “I am building a cathedral.”

The article equates this tale to how to see the big picture and be an effective leader, but I think this moral can be applied to anyone. This week’s challenge is to look at your life like the third stonecutter. What are you doing? What is your big picture goal? What will the end result of your day to day toil be?

This Week’s Mantra

“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” – Buddha


If you want a reminder of your mantra for the next week, feel free to click the image above to download the full-size version suitable for desktop wallpapers, printing, or framing.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional or mental health expert, and there are problems that positivity cannot overcome, so please do not take this advice in lieu of a doctor’s care.

Not all challenges will be relevant to everyone, so I welcome you to come and go as you please and take from each challenge what works for you! Please make sure to share your thoughts in the comments!

By Crystal Coleman

Florida girl living on the west coast. During the day, I consult in social media and community management. I have a really cute puppy (Elphaba) and a British husband (I keep him for his accent) as well as an unhealthy relationship with parentheses.

6 replies on “Positivity Challenge Week 18: Look at the Big Picture”

“A lot of people almost feel a sense of dread when too many good things start happening in their life, the feeling of waiting for that drop is something you’re probably familiar with.”

Ugh, this, so much. I’m trying so hard to focus on the fact that perhaps – perhaps! – the good things and good feelings that are happening around here are not indicative of a lurking doom, but are instead, you know… just good things. It’s hard, but I’m trying. Because honestly? My big picture goal is ultimately to be happy, and when I step back and really look at things, I am. It’s the little things that get me down, but those don’t matter in the end.


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