“Life has piled up on me,” Sara confided in me. “I don’t know how much Tom has told you…”
“Not much,” I assured her.
“That’s fine. It doesn’t matter. My life outside of here is affecting my performance at work. I’m sure that’s why I’m talking to you.”
“Actually, your manager and the owner care about you,” I responded. “What’s going on?”
“A lot of stuff … my Mom’s having a tough time, a friend was killed in an accident, and my fiancé and I broke off our relationship.”
“I can’t imagine how you must be feeling.”
Susan continued to talk through many of the painful details in the Story.
It’s part of what it takes to get better, to be heard and accepted.
Take me to the moon
Only a small group of people, 12 to be exact, have walked on the moon. Only a handful of people, some 500 space explorers, have seen the Earth from outer space. Something happens to space travelers.
In my book, Leaders Create Space, I write about, “The Overview Effect.” According to The Overview Institute, most outer space travelers experience a mental clarity or euphoria when looking at the Earth.
Mental clarity; I’ll take more, please.
The Overview Effect is the term first coined and described by author Frank White, in 1987, as an experience that transforms an astronaut’s perspective. It’s “…the experience of seeing firsthand the reality of the Earth in space, which is immediately understood to be a tiny, fragile ball of life, hanging in a void, shielded and nourished by a paper-thin atmosphere.”
James Irwin, the eighth man to walk on the moon during the Apollo XV mission, described the earth as fragile and delicate. “As we got further and further away, it diminished in size. Finally, it shrank to the size of a marble. The most beautiful you can imagine. To see this has to change a man.”
To write the Story you want to tell requires you to gain a new perspective so you can change as a human being.
A “trip to the moon” provides a vantage point that is often lost in the daily grind, chaos, self-promotion, and fear-based thinking.
If Earth-gazing can change a person’s outlook and life, imagine what will happen when you create space for Life-gazing. Creating Space to think, listen, and reflect on the Story you are writing — one day, one month, one year, one relationship at a time.
David Yaden, a research scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, asks how we can get a taste of The Overview Effect without leaving the confines of gravity. “We don’t need to go to space to benefit from intense experiences of awe,” Yaden says. “We can experience a little bit the effect on mountain tops or by viewing a beautiful sunset. There are a lot of opportunities for these experiences that are all around us.”
So what if you put down the smartphone? Go outside and take in the view. Glance past the stars and ponder your existence on our “blue marble” and let the awe give you a new perspective.
What if you slow down to see the people?
You see, Creating Space to think is a bit like taking a trip to the moon. As you know, the pace of life is chaotic, busy, noisy, with limited margin. There’s a whole lot of doing; a lot is going on. That’s the reality that requires a new perspective.
When you become a space traveler, you intentionally interrupt the doing to think, to gain clarity, to get better every day. The complexity of human relationships and the Story requires self-awareness, perspective, gratitude, appreciation, and truth.
Create Space to think
As Susan began telling her Story, we created a safe place, she was free to start Life-gazing.
Her “trip to the Moon” began the Journey to a better perspective.
The Overview Effect speaks to the change in perspective. Consider these questions…
- When do you stand in awe?
- Where in your Story do you need a trip to the Moon?
- What are you grateful for today?
- Who do you appreciate?
Here’s to your transformation,
Transform disruption into clarity for life and work!
Order my new book Leaders Create Space today.
Click on the image below to check it out on Amazon!
Image Source: NASA Earth Observatory by Robert Simmon