Trade in your microscope for a telescope.

I was talking to my dad this past week, and we were riffing on what we were annoyed with during our trip to New Jersey. (It’s my home, I love it deep-down.) We talked about how our family seemed to be focused on unimportant details about everyday events, waiting to be swayed into happiness or anger by little insignificant events. In the broadest sense, everyone was focused on the micro, not the macro. It led my father to make the statement you read at the beginning of this post.

People are generally too focused on the fine print, rather than the big picture. I am certainly guilty of this myself, focusing too much on small events and short-term happiness, staring at the individual trees and ignoring the overall forest that is my life.

Go big picture for a moment. Is this life situation what you want? If yes, great. If no, what’s missing here?

What you may find is that you’ve been chasing short-term success, maybe in the form of money. You might have been trying to “check a box” in life, and not thinking about the implications of your decisions on your long-term happiness.

We’re wired as human beings to be emotional with our decisions. Listening to your intuition is important, but we too often chase the prospect of a short-term boost. Implementing a short-term solution for a long-term problem is fine when a situation has reached a critical mass of anxiety and negative consequences… but you can’t build a life that way.

Instead of focusing on the unimportant details of life — whether your third cousin greeted you on your way into the house, or whether Starbucks jacked the price of your favorite drink up by 50 cents, or whether you’ll get a 5% or 10% bonus doing this job that you hate, why don’t you consider the broader implications of everything for a second.

Do you even like that job? Maybe you rather do something else that you’ve been putting off for a while. Do you even like spending time with that person? Maybe it’s time to find new friends. Is money actually the most important thing in your life? Maybe it’s time to consult the stories of the depressed rich and famous.

None of us are perfect in how we think, but if we can make a few meaningful long-term decisions rather than a bunch of meaningless short-term ones, we’ll be a lot better off.

Thanks for reading this! If you got something from it, please hit that heart and leave a comment. You can follow me @seanrmikhail on Instagram or Facebook for some daily inspiration and deep thoughts!