When astronauts view Earth from space, they are able to personally see the planet in a way that few other people ever will. It is not just what they see, but also how they see it.


This change in perspective has proven so impactful to those who experienced it, having led to profound and lasting changes in awareness, it has been coined overview effect.

There is seeing Earth (home!) in a new way and then there is the emotional impact of that experience.


Whether it is about work or life, there are systems in which you participate as an actor. As such, your primary perspective is, how your experience the interactions within those systems.

If you are driving your car, navigating rush hour traffic on a Friday afternoon, your primary experience is that of the driver, not someone observing the whole of traffic in the area. You get to experience traffic, but someone with an outside view can clearly see that you are part of and contributing to that traffic. They see the real scope and impact of it. They can understand it and reason about it in ways that the individual driver cannot. This is the power of perspective.

Imagine getting to see how a system you operate in fits within or next to other systems.

It is like stepping outside a room you have been spending a lot of time in to discover not just the adjacent rooms, but also the house, finding that it is on a street with more houses, all contained in a town, with roads leading to other towns and cities, and so forth.

As humans, lived experience is generally understood to be in the context of Earth. Physically moving outside of that is profound.


Awe is a powerful and often beneficial emotion. This is a great way to begin describing it:

Awe is the feeling we get in the presence of something vast that challenges our understanding of the world, like looking up at millions of stars in the night sky or marveling at the birth of a child. When people feel awe, they may use other words to describe the experience, such as wonder, amazement, surprise, or transcendence.

It is easy to see that being in outer space, and viewing the vastness of it as well as Earth as part of that would inspire awe.

Luckily, you do not have to leave Earth to experience that emotion.


You may never find yourself physically positioned in space looking back to Earth and able to experience the overview effect. That does not invalidate the above.

Individually, the two concepts are worth exploring, even deliberately pursuing. Overview perspectives as well as experiences of awe can be very positive to expand your mind, to learn, to grow, to understand more deeply.

Cherish, when the two come together.


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