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The importance of looking at the big picture

Hi, September!

Summer holiday is over (if you are in the Northern Hemisphere), or Welcome Spring! (if you are in the Southern Hemisphere).

Indri here from THINK-Research Team.

Last week, I planned to write about this topic, but I ended up writing about Subak and agriculture. After reading Fabian's blog about hiking (, I want to write this topic :D

Although I'm not an expert, I love hiking. I will include hiking in my itinerary when I have any trips. When Fabian mentioned being in the present in his blog, I will share another lesson learned that I get from hiking.

(Mt Wellington. Personal Collection)

I can say that I have never been incredibly athletic. I have always been the one breathing hard and taking breaks when I'm hiking. Also, I can say that I am one of the slower ones in the group XD.

Of course, I don’t typically climb major mountains or go off-trail, so I don’t really fall into the category of “avid hiker.” But since I stayed in Jogja and had some friends who really loved hiking and did it every month, I started to try and love it. I joined some outdoor activities in my organizations as well.

My first hiking was climbing Mt Merapi a few months after its big eruption. Then, I tried hiking in some locations in Java. When I stayed in Melbourne, I tried hiking on all my trips to different cities and islands. The good thing was I could do it in winter, fall, and spring, so I felt less tired than when I did it in Indonesia ^^

When I could successfully hike to the top, I could see the big picture of the landscape. I could see the sky, forest, lake, housings, buildings, rivers, roads, islands, and sea. Looking at this landscape is the best 'me time', healing, or contemplation time. The most important thing, I could learn to see the big picture and realize how small I am in this landscape. Have you read some previous blogs about micromanaging ( and what is objective ( If you have read, you can understand how seeing the big picture can lead to better ideas and decisions.

Dr Takeshi ('s CEO) keeps telling us to describe everything in five words if we really understand it ( Besides, understanding the big picture can help us to define our vision ( The importance of this understanding can be found in the research from Ohio State University. It explains the connection between looking at the big picture and how to have a better decision

(Seeing a rainbow at the top of Mt Grampians. Personal Collection)

In one experiment, the researchers had 106 students complete a task that prompted them to think in a big-picture way or a more immediate, present-day way. The result of this research described that participants who had been prompted to think big picture (high-level construal) were more likely than others to make decisions that would maximize the total value. It means that seeing the big picture will help them to define and understand problems quickly.

In research, understanding the big picture is important. If we missed that, we would have insufficient context and a lack of remembering and connecting what we have previously learned. Without understanding this wider context, we could incorrectly interpret research questions, data, and results. If we get this interpretation wrong, there is a strong likelihood that our recommended hypotheses and actions could be wrong.

Lastly, hiking will help you to maintain your mental health. It forces us to disconnect. So many of the trails are out of cell phone service, and even if they aren’t, you can throw your phone on airplane mode. Your works, activities, or studies will make you constantly connected, both on social media and to media in general. If you get overwhelmed and draining, you can enjoy hiking and disconnect with all things. In addition, as I mentioned before, hiking will make you feel small. You can be more grateful when you see the landscape and other views.

So, do you have any experiences to understand the big picture in your life?

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