Macro and micro are descriptors we use to demonstrate the difference between something large or great and something small. In this instance, the macro represents milestones and the most significant moments in life. The micro is everything else. Internally, it’s hard to balance these two parts, and most give more emphasis to the macro as if they are what truly matters.

However, focusing on the macro and obsessing about it has disadvantages. You miss being present and experiencing the beauty of these moments. In the past, I was a hard charger who relentlessly pursued the macro. It allowed me to achieve many things, but it wasn’t a purposeful life. I realized I’d let too many micro-moments float by and wanted to change the balance. I write about this transformation in my book, The In-Between: Life in the Micro.

A Macro-Minded Life Damages Relationships

In many past scenarios, I focused too much on the macro and reaching some objective. I tended to think only of myself and saw any barrier to this success as an inconvenience. I wanted outcomes, not connections. As a result, I lost important relationships.

One instance of this that I describe in my book was reuniting with my partner in Denmark during the pandemic. There were issues with my paperwork and visa. Fixing this problem consumed me, and the micro was lost. The whole reason I was there was to be with her, but I ignored this when circumstances changed.

The macro-obsession caused me to lose touch with the moment, eventually ending with a breakup. I hit rock bottom, but there was some good that came out of it. I decided that I no longer wanted to lose out on the in-between.

Before I began the journey toward change, I started to see more evidence of choosing the macro over the micro. This mindset kept me inside my safe bubble state, and then I had the chance to really reflect during a health crisis.

Reflecting on the Past of Macro vs. Micro

During my recovery, I couldn’t be active and busy, which was foreign to me. I had a lot of time to think and process things from years prior. I thought of my grandpa and his last days. Because I was too worried about the macro, I didn’t say the things I really wanted to in those days. It was a deep regret. Looking back on it years later, I finally realized why I reacted as I did.

Embracing the Micro

During my reflection and rock-bottom moments, I vowed not to let the macro be in control. I wanted to embrace the micro and never lose relationships or interactions again. It’s not an easy transition, and I’m far from perfect. I relinquished the bubble state so I could cultivate awareness and authenticity. It was an important step that allowed me to venture into the in-between with a new perspective.

You can read more about the macro and micro in my book.