According to Robert Fritz, we frame our reality in a way similar to that of our framing of desires.
The Close-Up Frame of Reality: Obsessive Detail
People who live in the close up frame of reality are concerned with lots of little facts but can’t see what all of the facts add up to. They miss the forest for the trees. For them, time is made up of small isolated moments, and they’re easily overwhelmed by trying to hold all of these details in their minds.
The Medium-Shot Frame of Reality: Overall Shapes and Patterns
List three instance of when you have been caught up in the close-up frame of reality. For example, I can’t lose weight because every day I’m exposed to snacks in the break room; I can’t go for a walk because I have to make phone calls in the evening.
When we back up a bit to a medium shot, we can see how things fit together, and notice how some things repeat themselves over and over. In other words, we can see the patterns of our behavior. This puts us in a better position to understand trends and determine how events are likely to turn out. It gives us a firm sense of direction for our lives.
List three times that you have identified a behavior that wasn’t in your best interest. For example, I realize if I go to the movies I’m going to eat a large bag of popcorn; if I go out with my girlfriend I’m going to drink too much.
The Long-Shot Frame of Reality: Vague Slogans and Generalizations
The long-shot frame of reality is all about using vague slogans and generalizations, like “no pain, no gain” rather than looking reality in the face. But if you can’t even tell what reality is, you can’t correct or change your actions. Optimal health can’t be accomplished without a clear view of your health as it is right now—and mottos, slogans, and catchphrases don’t really contribute to that understanding.
List three examples of when you used vague reasoning or generalization to explain away your behavior. For example, my weight has increased because of my family history; I can’t go for a walk because someone was robbed in the next town last year while walking.
Medium-Medium: The Ideal Habit
Medium was best. The same is true for Frames of Reality. The best way to support our goal of optimal health is to create two medium-shot frames: one for desires and one for reality.
On the desire level, our aspirations and values are optimal health and being true to ourselves. On the reality level, we want to keep in sight our overall shape (literally and figuratively!) in relation to our goal. Where are we now in relation to our goal of optimal health? How has that point moved over time?
The tension this creates seeks resolution. It’s a force of nature—and that force makes it easier for us to make the secondary choices we must make in order to support our goal of optimal health. You’ve already been putting this strategy into practice; you just didn’t realize it.
Can you see how much your thinking has shifted in these three short weeks? The difference from when you started this program is enormous!