We all engage in selective focus – choosing to emphasize certain things over others. And naturally we tend to emphasize whatever paints us in the best possible light. But when we’re not careful, we can overlook important details of our story and develop costly blind spots.
A photographer’s style, for instance, develops based on his selective focus.
One photo cannot capture everything and a selective focus is needed to create an artistic and intelligent photograph on the other side.
And with any given scene, the photographer might have hundreds of different subjects to choose from – from landscape views to the close-up, and everything in between.
And another photographer could still create an entirely different feel – focusing on different elements based on his own unique style and emphasis.
The exact same scene can produce many different versions based on the emphasis each photographer takes.
Of course, reality itself hasn’t changed, only what has been emphasized.
And we engage in a similar selective focus whether we’re telling the history of a nation or simply sharing our daily happenings. Again, everything cannot be said and we choose what to emphasize.
Perhaps we choose to focus exclusively on the shortcomings of others while ignoring our own. Or we tend to emphasize the negative while overlooking the profound goodness still available.
For example, we might focus on all the ways our wife can improve that we miss both our contribution to the problem and what she’s already doing well. Both are likely true. But a very different story emerges based on the facts emphasized.
Humility is needed as we remember our emphasis also comes with many blinds spots.
Stay open as you consider the overlooked aspects of your story. Allowing for a different focus might spark new and creative ways to love and grow.