Perspective: Sometimes you need to feel a little small to think big.


Photo by Portland Family Photographer Macy of Motormouth Studios

I think it is pretty easy for a person to forget that they aren’t the center of the universe. Watching my toddler grow up I’ve been reminded over and over again that some things feel like they are going to crash your entire world. Sometimes it feels like your problems are the most important. Sometimes a tantrum is just the thing to do.

I keep using the terms “they” and “your” here because it is hard to admit to being the one that sometimes gets lost in my own little world, to placing myself at the center of the universe. Bitching, complaining, getting angry, or even just feeling sorry for myself is often a little too easy.

Living in a very connected world, I easily forget how BIG the world really is… While I can easily engage with people from all over the globe—read personal stories of people I’ll likely never meet, connect via Twitter, or even Skype with family living abroad—there is an entire plane full of people lost somewhere out there in this gigantic planet we have. It baffles me. It even scares me at times. In this case it saddens me greatly. But, mostly, it makes me feel small.

(A tweet I read & shared that hit home.)

Feeling small isn’t a bad thing necessarily. Sometimes it can be a good thing. Have you ever been outdoors, surrounded by a sky full of stars and suddenly felt tiny? Have you stood in awe looking up at the trees in a forest reaching as high as you can see? I’ve often searched out that feeling… that moment of realizing that the world is larger than me and my life. I tend to use it as a reminder to center myself, breathe, and remember that my problems aren’t quite as large as they feel. Sometimes I celebrate the moments that I have the opportunity to feel small.

I am sure that countless innovations have come from that feeling of being small, of stepping back and thinking about how to solve problems, bridge the gap, and find the planes that go missing. As I feel small in this moment I am trying to gain perspective on what really matters, take the time to put effort into those things I value, and make my world a little bit bigger in the process.

My thoughts are with the families, friends, and those who are searching for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. I hope that the world can get a little smaller, connect, and bring news of what happened to the flight. I also hope that this makes others feel a little small, that innovation may happen, and that people may step outside themselves for even just a few moments.

What has made you feel small lately and how did you respond?



  1. Rachel
    • Jenni
  2. Rachel
    • Jenni

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