As You Make Plans For The Long Term, Don’t Ignore The Close Up Stuff!

"Gordon Bryan", "Ailsa Craig",
Written by gordino

I’m taking another look at the point in one of my quote images, and I might need to work on my distance focus…

I took that photo looking at Ailsa Craig in Scotland, where all the curling stones come from. I had gone up specifically for a photo trip, and I had been lucky with the weather, giving me a lovely clear day for photos from sunrise to sunset.

Luck on the first day that is!

For the second day the weather wasn’t quite as co-operative, so I had to make do and try to use my imagination! Pretty much all the photos I tried to get with the ‘cloudy and atmospheric’ look would have been better with a clear bright sky, but hey, it was what it was.

As it happens, this particular one works quite well, because as you can see Ailsa Craig out to sea in the background, with the plants in the foreground, it helps to make the point about focus…

As you make plans for the long term future, don’t ignore the close up stuff!

In the fields of self improvement, personal development, goal achievement, this is a key point – so key in fact that it can be seen as a major cause of a lot of failures.

With goal achievement, its clear that you have to set a goal in the first place, because if you don’t have a goal, how will you know when you’ve achieved it, and how will you work out how to get there?

So, you get your goal clearly defined, and it’s something for you to focus on. However, and this is where the problems can start, having an end goal to focus on, is not the end of the process, it’s just the start!

Many people think that setting the goal is enough by itself to make the goal happen, or at least that’s their perception of how ‘goal achievement theory’ works. Of course this isn’t the case, and it can lead to a lot of unachieved goals, and a dismissal of the whole concept.

Setting the goal is key, yes, but once you’ve set it, you need to work out a plan of action steps, and then start taking those action steps. So, it follows that to make progress, you need to be working on the *current* action step.


If you’re not taking the current step, you can’t get to the next step, and your goal will remain in the distance somewhere. You might be focusing on it all you want, but that won’t make a jot of difference if you are ignoring the close up stuff, ignoring what you need to be doing in the here and now.

It might be less exciting. The current step might be tedious or mundane. It might be difficult or had work. Easier then to focus on the big goal in the distance. That’s to shirk responsibility for your own actions though, so we mustn’t forget the details.

Of course it’s a balance – being overly focused on the details of the close up stuff can also be damaging if we forget to remind ourselves of the bigger picture, so yes, we do need to keep that end goal in mind.

When it comes to self improvement, personal development, could it be argued that there is no difference between the end goal and the here and now..?

Yes, I believe it could. Let me explain…

Well, in those personal development areas, instead of having a ‘finish line’ for the goal, the self improvement we are going for is an ongoing process, we don’t suddenly move from one position to another.

If that’s the case, then how we act in the present has to effectively *be* that end goal, and this idea goes along the concept of ‘being the change you want to see’.

So, look to your own goals – have you got them defined and in focus? If not, then you need to, and if you have then great! Here’s the question though, are you focusing too much on the goal in the distance, and ignoring the close up stuff? Could it be that you need to direct your attention on what you’re doing today, your current actions?

This assessment can really make an improvement to progress, so I’d suggest it’s always worth that effort of checking your focus!

Try it. It can change your life, it can transform it.

"Gordon Bryan", "Ailsa Craig",

Ok, do let me know what you think, I love the feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. Do connect with me via social media, FB is my fave – Gordon on Facebook

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