How to develop and strengthen your “big picture” skills


This is a new year and a good time to think big. But most people still lack the basic thinking skill. What is big picture skills? In a nutshell, “big picture” skills are your life strategy skills. When you start connecting with the big picture, that means you start to see the link between what you are doing today and who you want to become in the future.

This is the version of yourself that will benefit from the time you’re investing now to learn new things, whether that’s getting a university degree, learning a new skill, or acquiring professional experience in a certain career track. It’s also an excellent way to keep yourself motivated especially when things get tough and you find a subject difficult to understand and master.

How do you develop “big picture” skills?

Take 30–60 minutes each evening to make an assessment of your day.

Ask yourself what went great, where you had problems learning something new and what you did to overcome the problem (for example, you asked someone to explain a concept to you or you took more time to re-read a chapter of a book), and how can you improve the following day by creating shortcuts or doing something differently to get better results.

Connect your learning experience with the plans you have for yourself.

Maybe you’re going to graduate from school, get a new job, learn a skill that will enable you to become an expert at something. How is what you’re doing right now helping you get there? When you connect your present actions with your future, you’re much more likely to be consistent with learning new things because they won’t seem as abstract to you any more: they will become a tool for achieving your goals.

Leave a paper trail. In other words, write things down.

The best way to keep track of your progress is to actually write notes on what you’re doing and how it’s coming along. Not only will you help your brain process your learning experience faster, you’re also keeping a record that you can re-read at a later point when you get sidetracked, when you’re taking a break, or when you just want to see how much ground you’ve covered in a 12-month period.

You’ll be surprised when you see how all your small efforts add up!


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