Panning Out

Remember that part in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when Cameron was looking at Seurat’s painting and the camera honed ever closer to it, and you could see it was made up of tiny colored dots? It’s a cool, quick demonstration of pointillism, but it’s also a great analogy of what we sometimes do when we ruminate. You remember the one question in the interview you stumbled on, and after thinking about it for a day you’re convinced that’s the only question you were asked, you are a total idiot, and you’ll never get hired anywhere. Or you can’t stop thinking about a bad decision your spouse made and you forget about the past 15 years of their generally good decisions. It can happen in the other direction too – remember that person you dated that was so amazing! So perfect! And then later you asked yourself how on Earth you somehow missed all those awful characteristics? Hyperfocusing isn’t healthy, effective, or accurate. Every so often ask yourself if you’re seeing the whole picture. Then mentally pan out.