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What do I do when I feel stuck or trapped? Use the double vision strategy.

  • Jul 14, 2013 · 2:30 PM
  • Dr. Paul Wong's Residence

Do you feel trapped in a bad relationship or stuck in a dead-end job? Do you feel discouraged by setbacks because all your struggles seem to be futile? We all have such moments and do not know how to resolve our personal predicaments. This lesson introduces the double vision strategy, which can be very helpful in problem solving.

The paradox is that sometimes the more we focus on finding a solution to these problems, the more confused and frustrated we become. However, when we step back, expand our vision, and look at the big picture, such as the universal human condition or the Creator of the universe, we begin to see our problems in a different light—this shift in perspective enables us to find new solutions.

What is personal is often universal. What seems to be a personal problem may be related to a universal human condition. For example, one's anxiety about sending off a daughter or son to another city for university education may reflect one's existential anxiety about aging and dying.

The double vision strategy is also helpful in pursuing one's life goals. When we keep in mind our higher purpose in life, we will be less likely to be defeated by small setbacks along the way. To use a chess game analogy, we don't mind to sacrifice a pawn in order to checkmate our opponent's king. To use a sport analogy, we need to keep one eye on the ball and the other on the goal.

The advantage of the double vision strategy is that it not only allows sufficient space between us and our problems, but also expands our vision so that we can see things more clearly. In this lesson, we will apply this strategy to various cases and demonstrate how it works.

Here is an interesting thought: Even after all the scientific progress we have made, we may still need Superman to save humanity in the 21st Century. Here is the reason why.

Recently I watched the movie Man of Steel. Here are two lines that have stuck in my mind: I have to believe that you were sent here for a reason. And even if it takes the rest of your life, you owe it to yourself to find out what that reason is,” from Superman’s earthly father, and Every person can be a force for good, free to forge his own destiny,” from his biological father.

These lines are consistent with Viktor Frankl’s basic concept of Will to Meaning. When we strive for an ideal as our life purpose, we are more willing to overcome similarly insurmountable problems and hardships. It is by keeping our eye on the big picture that we can deal with small, everyday problems more effectively.

It may take years to discover one’s reason for existence. But the difficult quest for one’s calling is both necessary and beneficial. One has the potential to be a force for good, only when one dares to discover and pursue one’s higher purpose for existence. If more people are awakened to their true calling of becoming a force for the greater good, the world will become a more harmonious and humane place.

In conclusion, the double vision strategy simply means you keep one eye on your situational problem and another eye on your future life goal. The bigger the vision, the more effective your double vision strategy. The biggest vision one could have will involve not only the future generations of humanity, but also involve the higher power and the transcendental realm. If you are convicted that you have received a calling from God and you are striving for the greater good of future generations, then you will not be defeated by opposition, setbacks, and personal problems.

The problem with most people is that they never look beyond their self-imposed prison. They never have the courage to venture out of their cave. Therefore, they will only live in a shadowy land without any idea of what life is like under the sun. A person with a double vision is no longer preoccupied with everyday busyness and personal problems; such a person is able to live on a higher plane and at a deeper level, because he knows that his transient earthly life is only an instrument for accomplishing something far greater than he is.


Resources:

Robert Emmons’s Personal Goals, Life Meaning, and Virtue: Wellsprings of a Positive Life
http://www.psychology.hku.hk/ftbcstudies/refbase/docs/emmons/2003/53_Emmons2003.pdf

Douglas LaBier’s Why It's Hard To Find Your "Life Purpose" In Today's World
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-new-resilience/201105/why-its-hard-find-your-life-purpose-in-todays-world

Michael Hyatt, Working for a Bigger Purpose
http://michaelhyatt.com/working-for-a-bigger-purpose.html


Exercises:

1) What are some of the common traps we experience? (marriage, work, bad habits, etc.)
2) Can you think of a personal experience of feeling stuck or trapped?
3) Can you see why stuckness is an inevitable part of the human condition?
4) What is the wisdom of employing double vision to view life?
5) How would you apply the double vision strategy to this personal problem?
6) Can you see the connection between depression and some underlying existential anxiety? How could you relate your personal problem to a larger societal problem?
7) How does the double vision strategy make your life happier and more productive?
8) Learn to pause and reflect. This exercise of self-reflection is an effective way to ponder the big picture. For example, reflecting on “who am I?”, “what is my place in the universe?”, “what is my life mission,” or “what is God’s purpose for my life?”
9) Is it worthwhile to spend many years in search of one’s calling?
10) Is it worthwhile to devote one’s life to pursuing one’s calling, even when it does not yield any monetary reward or recognition?

 

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you, Paul!

    1 · July 15, 2013

  • Dr. Paul T. P. W.

    July 15, 2013

  • Dr. Paul T. P. W.

    A number of people signed up but did not show up. Nevertheless, we still had a very animated lesson. Most people can relate to the six common reasons that cause stuckness. The main focus of the lesson was on how to move forward.

    July 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Not only was the lecture fantastic (as usual) but the small group discussion was one of the best if not the best I've attended so far.

    1 · July 15, 2013

    • Tanya

      And was in both of groups! Awsom

      1 · July 15, 2013

  • Adrian T

    Thank you Drs and those who shared in the group... this was an enriching experience as usual!

    1 · July 14, 2013

  • Tanya

    Good ..thank you

    1 · July 14, 2013

  • Anne A.

    How could I attend the meetup across the continent? Stay tune.

    1 · July 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'll be sure to read it before Sunday.

    1 · July 13, 2013

  • Dr. Paul T. P. W.

    Thanks, Bruce. This is one of the most important lessons in this series. It will help overcome whatever that is blocking them and move forward toward their desired life goal. Emmons paper deals with major life goals.

    July 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Enjoyed the Hyatt and LaBier blog posts. Haven't yet made it through the Emmons article, but thanks for these interesting resources, Dr. Wong.

    1 · July 13, 2013

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