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Updated on September 25, 2012
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Ben is scientist, teacher, researcher and author who loves to help you to be more, do more and achieve more. He is an Amazon kindle author


Your success depends on it

"You have tom think anyway, so why not thing big?"

- Donald Trump

What does it it mean to think big? To think big suggests that you can think small. Well, thinking is a discipline. It is an operational skill that can be learned, improved upon and used for the good of our creative endeavours. This importance of big thinking is made manifest in the words of David Schwartz:

"Where success is concerned, people are not measured in the size of inches or pounds, or college degree, or family background, they are measured by the size of their thinking."

From the forgoing, it's clear that just like in most disciplines of life as well as where success and achievement is: "size matters"; the size of your thought. The fact that we need to pay attention to the habit of big picture thinking is an indication of the value attached to it.

John Maxwell had this to say about big picture thinking: "If you want to cultivate the ability to think big picture, then you must get used to embracing and dealing with complex and diverse ideas."

This article will seek to draw out the benefits of big picture thinking and suggest ways to develop this important skill which is valuable in life.


Big picture thinking helps you to stretch your mind, develop your thought, increase your intelligence and take advantage of your situation and environment. It enables you to develop your intelligence in the following ways:

  • Ability to respond to complex changing environment, looking beyond present concerns to see the big picture
  • Enables you to make connections with situations you've already encountered, or things you've learnt.


Big picture thinking can help you to recognise, identify or tease out patterns, behaviours, themes or parts that surround any given situation, circumstance or system.

Becoming a big picture thinker, helps you to be able to observe as well as make use of your imagination. For example, becoming a picture thinker will arm you with the tool and techniques yopu need to describe an elephant to someone who'd never seen one. The idea here is that in being able to use your imagination you are able to create or re-create the vision of the thing you desire to describe. In the case of the elephant, it gives you impetus on being able to answer the following questions:

What would you mention? The huge size? The trunk? The big ears? The fact that the elephant lives in herds. Where elephant lives?

All of these elements are interrelated and help to build a full picture of the elephant. This type of thinking which is rather reductive in nature,which helps us to build the big picture is called systems thinking or holistic thinking also helps us to expand our network of knowledge.


Big picture thinking is very relevant in the area we need to manipulate our environment because it helps us to widen our percepts. Imagine looking at a picture with a narrow frame and all of a sudden widening the fame. The implication here is that as you widen the frame you increase your percept and also your experience.; hence' an aptitude to create success in your environment.

You give yourself permission to look outside the immediate situation and ask: "What if".

In being able to change your percepts you can adopt the following examples:

  • Incorporate the issue into your normal activities. For example, if you are learning a new language , say, Spanish, see how you can use it to create your shopping lists
  • Imagine looking at your issue from a viewpoint different from yours. From the point of view as a child say a six year old or a different professional standpoint.
  • Try drawing a picture to illustrate what you've been attempting to do. Or try it our as a charade. The key idea here is to employ different elements of the senses to present your idea so to enhance your experience.

I leave you with this quote from Warren Hilton:

"Big thing are little things put together."

What do you think?


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