Sometimes, in order to see the bigger picture, you have to zoom in.
In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, a young girl is assigned to write an essay.
She only needs to write 500 words and can pick any topic.
But she’s stuck.
She struggles to come up with ideas, feeling like she has "not a spark of creativity in her anywhere."
Freedom can often be a constraint. It’s easy to become paralysed by choice.
That's where the power of focus comes in.
The wise Phaedrus, the girl's teacher, suggests she narrow her options.
First, he suggests she write about Bozeman, Montana. When she still has nothing to say, he suggests she focus on the main street of Bozeman.
Finally, he tells her to write about the Opera House on Main Street, starting with a single brick in the top left corner.
The next day, she handed in a 5,000-word essay.
“It all started to come, and I couldn’t stop,” she said.
You can only find answers when you’re clear on the question. And the more precise your lens, the sharper the picture.
Cinema and broadcast camera lenses work very differently to the tiny mirrorless cameras most people carry. They have something called a parfocal lens.
The reason they work so well for documentaries and cinema is that they stay in focus even when the magnification changes.
The secret? You zoom all the way in. Grab the focus you need. Then you can zoom out and everything stays tack sharp.
If you’re struggling to find clarity, find your top left brick.
Go narrow. Go deep. Zoom in.