The big picture



In a chaotic world, it is easy to lose the big picture.

In the military, it is known as losing the bubble. If any of you (and there are several) who have ever sailed through the Strait of Malacca, Hormuz, or Gibraltar, you know what I mean. With hundreds of ships around you it is easy to get lost in the weeds. Officers of the Deck are often admonished to “keep their heads out of the scope”, so as not to miss the big picture.

Easier said than done. And I’m not just talking about driving ships.


It happens to all of us. When everything is going on at once, we often focus on the trivial, allowing the minutiae to suck us in. It is human nature, and it can happen to the best of us.


There are a couple of groups who seem immune, however. The Carrier Air Traffic Control Center (CATCC) officer on one of my ships was a buddy of mine, and was cool as a cucumber when things got crazy. Handlers (the people responsible for keeping track of all the aircraft on a carrier) are like that, too. Imagine how hectic life can be in Flight Deck Control when planes, jets and helos are being moved around during flight operations. Yet I have never seen a Handler lose the bubble.


Alas, most of us will never control aircraft in CATCC or work in Flight Deck Control. But all is not lost. There is another group of people who get it too. In a chaotic world, they manage to keep the big picture – every day.


I want to be one of them.


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