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Gaining perspective

Last year, I had taken a trip to Croatia where I drove over 700 kilometres from Zagreb to Dubrovnik, nearly half of which was along the sea coast with the most beautiful views. Naturally, I drove slower than usual, allowing myself room to take in these views.

When we are looking ahead and theoretically, our span of vision is everything in the 120-150 degree arc with the centre point a little behind our nose. But in practice, this is only true when we are standing still. When we are driving, we are moving ahead at a certain pace and this span of vision is inversely correlated with the speed we are driving at.

When we are driving at 30 kmph, our field of vision reduces to 66%. At 60 kmph, our visual field shrinks to 20%. At 90 kmph, our field of vision becomes barely wider than the space between our headlights. This is because the faster we drive, the more focused our brains need to be on what's in front of us in order to prevent any untoward incidents that could derail us off the lane.

And this is why we slow down when we are driving along the coast and want to take in the views. It is simply not possible to appreciate anything outside of the road itself when we are driving fast.

I'm taking ten days off from tomorrow when my daily schedule will be relatively empty when compared to my regular days. And this break serves the same purpose as slowing down while driving with beautiful views.

It will allow me to observe and appreciate the larger picture and not be laser-focused only on what's immediately in front of me.

This is the reason everybody is encouraged to take time off and rejuvenate and to gain this larger perspective so that when we return to being laser-focused on our immediate tasks, we will do that with the background of this perspective baked into us.

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