Big things vs. little things

I have a continual war waging in my brain of the merits of the big stuff vs. the details.

Success if in the details, right? But also, if you focus too closely on the details, you paralyze yourself and get nothing built. You must get to work right away.

I was thinking the other day about the way we often manipulate those around us to side with our feelings of an issue by presenting one part of the story before others.

Let’s say I know my brother doesn’t like this guy named “Jack” and one day I tell him that Jack beat up somebody at the grocery store. My brother will react with a dismissive attitude such as “yeah, sounds like something Jack would do. He’s a total disaster. Very immature guy all around. Never really liked him.”

But then I finish telling the story that the guy he beat up was actually in the process of trying to rob an elderly woman. Well, this changes the perception quite a bit, but the negative feelings with regard to the situation are already living in my brother’s mind.

If I had wished to present Jack in a more positive light, I could have first mentioned: “Did you hear that Jack beat up this guy trying to rob an elderly woman at the grocery store the other day?”

Something as little as the order in which we present facts and even whether we give the audience time to react to the pieces of information we present will change the entire emotional reaction one has regarding a situation.

Makes me think about details vs. getting the big general things done, but also makes me think more carefully about how I present information in general to everyone with whom I speak.