Depth is a concept we don’t think about much unless we need to dig a hole. Photographers are continually aware of depth-of-field which describes how much of the objects in a picture are in focus from the front of it to the back of it.
When first learning how to swim, one of the biggest accomplishments we achieve is being able to swim in the deep end of a pool. There, it is not as easy to give up, and when first learning to swim, it is the region of the pool where we face our greatest fears.
As I’ve aged, seeking depth has become a tactic for me that I now continually use. This depth is different from describing a hole and more certain than swimming in the deep end of a pool for the first time.
This type of depth develops through the exploration and discovery of new things related to a narrow space or area. Where the reaction is not to wander and go wider but to stay more focused and go further into a specific area, relationship, or project.
It seems counterintuitive to think that by focusing and going deeper into a narrow area of interest can ultimately lead to simplifying what we face or are trying to solve. This does occur. Measuring our journey towards better understanding by watching for the emergence of simplifying concepts in our mind.
Our nature is to rush, conquer quickly, and move on. Social media has given us multiple channels to practice this type of behavior daily. The downside of this approach is a shallow or incomplete understanding. We unintentionally accept more risk when we make a decision using this approach without ever knowing it. We give up too quickly thinking that what little we know is all that there is to know.
I now try to go deeper by doing one more thing, learning one more thing, reading one more book, questioning what I am missing within something that seems obvious, making one more phone call, saying thank you one more time, or trying one more way to do something than I ever have in my life.
Seeking depth helps bring clarity to a challenging situation. Slowing us down, letting our emotions and fear of not being able to overcome what we face dissipate. Giving us a better chance at making better, thoughtful decisions with a little bit of time and effort.
Slowly, I am evolving into being more thorough, more thoughtful, more strategic, and more intentional in many aspects of my life. Ironically, I find myself completing more things effectively than I used to by using depth as both a tool and a friend.
It’s a stronger habit that I have come to enjoy. Care to join me?