The Bigger Picture

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BY SIMONE SMITH

Great day Toronto! I hope that you were able to absorb most of the information presented last time. My current series is focused on ways that we as individuals can become stuck at times. In the previous articles, we focused on the self-defeating attitude that can cause us to start acting like victims in our lives instead of creators, and self-handicapping behaviours, which are strategies that are used by an individual to avoid anticipated failure. It involves creating an obstacle that allows us to blame poor performance on a factor outside of ourselves. Anyone who says life is easy is lying. Regardless of how much money you have, if you are in a new relationship, or if you have your dream career, life has a way of continuously proving that we can only control what is in our present moment. Today I am going to briefly go over four more reasons for being stuck, and hopefully this will prepare us for the next step in our journey which is, how exactly do I get unstuck?

I had mentioned in the last two articles, that the bulk of my research is from a lecture that was presented at the Summer Institute, 2013 Lecture 5: The Double Vision Strategy for Becoming Unstuck. It was presented by Dr. Paul T. P. Wong, one of the main contributors to Meaning Therapy and Positive Psychology. For those who are interested, you can find Dr. Paul Wong’s ideas and philosophies at www.meaning.ca.  I am not going to dwell to long on the last four reasons for being stuck, mainly because they are self-explanatory. The third reason for feeling stuck is short-sightedness. When we hear short-sightedness, many of us will think of glasses. This is a great metaphor for how many of us view life, so let’s go with it. The Oxford Dictionary defines short-sightedness as a condition of the eye where the light that comes in does not directly focus on the retina but in front of it, causing the image that one sees when looking at a distant object to be out of focus. Other medical terms for short-sightedness are Myopia or near-sightedness. Now, I don’t want you to get bogged down by the definition; let us focus on the part that translates to real life. For many of us, it is hard to move forward because we cannot see the bigger picture. Our short-sightedness causes us to only see a blurry view of what we are aiming for. This can cause us to lose focus, and not even attempt to go any further. There are ways that you can medically correct short-sightedness; they include glasses or corrective laser surgery. I am an individual who wears glasses, and I can tell you that if I did not have them, I would be in a world of trouble. In life, we know that there are goals that we need to attain, but the modes of attaining this goal can be difficult to figure out. Sometimes we know that we should do things to correct this, but we refuse to, like that vain individual who refuses to put on their glasses. In the end, the only person who is crippled by this is us. Our future remains blurry, and we remain stuck.

Bad personal choices are another way that we can remain in the same place and not move forward. Personal bad choices are very crippling; these choices can put us in situations that appear impossible to get out of. These choices range from bad partner selection, to bad money management. It can be difficult to see past these situations, hence that feeling of being stuck again. We are all guilty of making bad choices; it is a part of life that is inevitable and we have to recognize that without these bad choices, we would not know how to make better ones.

There are times when we lack meaning and purpose. This is a dangerous one, because if this continues, it can lead to major mental health issues including depression. Finding meaning allows you to flourish in spite of fate, circumstances, and human weaknesses (Wong, 2013).  Finding meaning allows you to find a higher purpose which is essential to well-being. We all have the capacity to create meaning; it is just a matter of regaining focus and pulling ourselves out of the hole that we have fallen in. It is not easy, trust me, I know, but it is not impossible. I am presenting another challenge to my readers; this week, I want you to do some soul searching; really take a look at yourself and figure out how you have become stuck in your life. Delve deep into yourself and pull out those insecurities. This is not easy, but it is doable.  The next article will focus on strategies that can be utilized to find meaning and purpose. Have a great week my friends!

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