How To Develop Big Picture Understanding

By Leo Gura - January 23, 2017 | 18 Comments

The deep secret to how I do research

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Kendall Coker says:

Hey Leo, I loved this video and this was released at a perfect time for me personally. I am 21 and have been battling drug addiction for almost half of my life. I have finally made the commitment to my own personal development not too long ago and have decided to move on from this toxic lifestyle that I have grown accustom to. Now I am facing the challenges of life that I was so used to ignoring. I consider myself to have more of an open mind then the majority of people that I encounter regularly and am more willing to understand the “bigger picture” of reality. I believe we are like-minded in the sense that we both aspire to attain well rounded knowledge. But the biggest issue I’m currently dealing with is how to figure out my career path and still be able to implement this approach to my research in everyday life. I am planning on starting college soon have always struggled with deciding what I wanted to major in at school due to naturally being interested in all subjects, it can be difficult to just choose one. I feel as if any option I choose will end with me being stuck in a specified field of knowledge and will not contribute to a life that I see for myself. I’ve always been stumped with this problem and was wondering if you might have any advice for me. How can I create a life for myself that I can survive comfortably and continue to grow in all areas of my life?

Wendy Boode says:

Hey Kendall,
I can see what a dilemma you are facing re: what to study, but if you listen to Leo’s advice really closely, and you apply it to your dilemma, you’ll understand that you need to try out different things, follow divergent paths, and explore many avenues. I was facing the same quandary, wanted desperately to go back to school, or so I thought, but what I was really searching for was more knowledge, period. I couldn’t commit to just one field of study, I’m too interested in so many subjects to lock myself into just one. I am much older than you but I am on a serious path of self actualization and I have found a fantastic resource to help me with increasing my knowledge base, besides, of course. is an online resource with hundreds of courses from top notch Universities around the world (like Harvard, MIT, and U of C Berkley, etc., AND it’s all free.) I have been studying Philosophy, Psychology, Neuroscience, Happiness and other subjects and I am LOVING it! I would suggest checking it out and maybe starting your search there, see what you gravitate towards and maybe then you will be better able to make a decision as to what field to go into. I also suggest extensive reading, I purchased Leo’s book list and it’s been invaluable for turning me onto subjects that I didn’t even know about and didn’t know I’d fall in love with, like Epistemology! Never heard about it before Leo, but it’s now one of my main areas of study!
Good luck, I hope this helps and also, keep watching his videos, he’s a genius, he completely transformed my life and I am grateful every day for literally stumbling upon his teachings.

Vanessa says:

Hi Wendy, just a quick thank you for sharing the information and all the other positive points in your message. It never ceases to amaze me how powerful positive words and messages can be even when they aren’t directed right at me. Hope that makes sense Have a fantastic weekend

James says:

I’d suggest you buy & study Leo’s Life Purpose Course. If Leo resonates with you, you’ll find it very helpful and it’s well worth the money!!

Wendy says:

I am very close to doing that James, thanks for the push.

Hengame says:

Thank you Leo for sharing your research with us. It is a great help for me.

Marcus says:


Keep it juicy! I have to say I’ve purchase your course and glad that I have. It’s nice sitting on the shoulder of a growing giant in the field of discovery of who we really are. What it truly means to be human.

Thanks, I look forward to those twists and turns!

You are an assets to humanity!


raffaella says:

Hi Leo,
I keep asking you the same question, basically, but in different words and excuse me for my less than perfect English.
You are saying ” no position, no perspective, no judgement”, but what does that really mean in everyday life? That you don’t partecipate at any meeting, or discussion, you never talk, never read or listen to someone else’s idea or ‘opinion’ ( which, as such is a partial view) etc. Or you are with a client, and try to convince him or her that you will do a good job, and say nothing, because everything is an opinion. Or why standing for a cause we feel to be right or at least fair? I do not understand. Shall we stop talking at all? If so, why getting up in the morning…..
I would really appreciate your ‘opinion’ about that.

Kristina says:

As I understand it, no it does not mean stop reading and listening to other’s opinions.. But use it as a tool to grow your own big picture understanding. Practice to not become defensive when others share and state their opinion, but learn to see the other perspective, and become aware of what you are actually defending and why. Especially the opinions that really trigger emotional reactions in you, like becoming defensive or offended. Slowly — slowly you will discover that no opinion is surporior to another on a very practical manner.
So the question of: should i just stop and not engage? no do it!! When you dont feel like engaging in debates anymore, because you have no stand to defend, your questions will answer themselves in the truest way

Linda Klapak says:

Down to the bone, Leo. So well spoken. Thanks

fernand larouche says:

Leo, I’ve been listening to many or your videos. I am 68 and what you say about research and beeing open and open again is so true. I’ve been through many so called truths and would still be stuck in them today if it wouldn’t have followed a steady curiosity. When I read Wilber I found a metaguide; I am meditating since 10 years and starting to see the tail of the dragon as you say. And now I am discovering you as a truly genuine metaguide.
Thank you very much.
Society needs metaguides like you and Wilber and others that see the traps and show the path.
I recommend your site as much as I can.
Thank You again

Uldis says:

Leo !
Have you reevaluated sometimes the ideas you told about in your videos and found out that you were wrong ?
If yes, then do you take these videos out ?

Raewyn says:

I am so grateful to have found your site!! I find you stimulating, wise and extremely inspiring!

I am in my 60’s and have had a varied life; experiencing many different countries, cultures, jobs, relationships etc. I have always searched….for meaning, purpose, the “truth” whilst also working hard to be financially independent.

I have been judging myself as a failure in life because I haven’t followed the “traditional path”. I judged myself as “wishy-washy” because despite reading, visiting, talking about various religions/spiritual practices/ways of life etc, I have been unable to commit to only one way. Instead I have had what you called the “buffet approach” I thought this was a bad thing!! UNTIL I watched your videos.

I have worried too much about what others think! Your video about people pleasing is BRILLIANT! A lot of my frustration about my “search” has been my inability to explain my journey to others….to justify make them understand! What a relief to now realise I DON’T HAVE TO!!!!

You have helped me realise that what I considered my character flaws are actually useful tools for my journey!! You have helped me realise that this journey is IT!! …..AND that it is unhelpful for me to angst over where/when/how the final destination (if there even is one) will be reached. I am now more comfortable with the process.

New Zealand.

Bernardo says:

I’ve bem doing some amusing analogies with the matrix films, envolving various fields of life, and i just realize one. To have a position it’s just like to wear an outfit, all kinds of outfits are possible. What i realized is that, in the real world where the people are awake from the matrix, their clothes are the simplest possibles, using big and robust boots. In my imagination it’s like the simplicity of their outfits it’s like the non-position taking, but still wearing boots with their feets into reality. The furter one goes searching the truth, the simpler it becomes, and more capable also.
Inside the matrix their outfits would change just for sake of blending and intimidation maybe. Entertaining doing those kinds of connections.


Kasp says:

You talk so much in your videos about the bigger picture that I want to share my quote regarding it, which I wrote few years ago, here goes:

To see a bigger picture, we must scroll through the smaller ones more than once.

I love poetry, symbolism, creativity, etc… and just want to say that I appreciate your work equally as much Leo, you are an amazing individual.

Max Gron says:

I think this stuff’s disagree-worthy, I never “did”agreed with Leo until now, I just didn’t agree, I’m not going to ask if thing is true, it’s obvious what’s true, a thing you ignore: I’m sitting in a chair, a whale’s a grey beast in the sea, the sea’s salty, the sky’s on earth, obvious truths like that, not foreign matter, spiritual nonsense, it’s not a thing as it really is, I’m very right, reality’s you at my house wasting my time, spending time idly, frivolous activity, petty crimes, absolute trivia of disgustingness, damaging perfection, another thing you ignore, putting a spike in my ass, truth is all that crap on above video, not what he teaches but reality’s a piece of crap, it’s stupid, shitty criminals with no rationality and no truth from the damn police, what they say about me isn’t true, I’m not just a thing, I’m not petty, or a criminal, or weird, I’m a philosopher, a believer, not just some shithead.

Max Gron says:

I knew these teachings were implying I’m shitty as I am, my housemate doesn’t agree with the changes, saying”I changed my mind” isn’t something you’ll tell your dad. These teachings aren’t helping you, they’re f’king you up, screwing with you, what I have is an identity, stay away from a cult, it’s a piece of shit and the shit I hate has gone too far. Screw everyone who wants perfect and the doctor fixing me, no, this is a surefire way to lose your confidence, Leo’s a piece of shit, he’s not good, this is not celebrity to look up to, and somebody has to end view of the teachings, it poisons everything.

Max Gron says:

It’s this video in particular that’s bad choice of words, I have no qualms with the teacher to learn something else.

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