Near Focus or Far Focus with Thinking & Interests

What do you focus on when it comes to your interests and thinking? Things that are near to you, or things that are in the distance? How does this relate to understanding big picture ideas, seeing patterns, and generally being able to comprehend what is going on in the world?

Near or far focus.

Near or Far Focus

What are the things that you are interested in, things close to you, such as what is going on in your daily life? Or things that are going on in the distance, ranging from things like political and social issues to interests like astronomy, and how the universe works.

Near Focus

The majority of people seem to focus on things that are near to them. They are content engaging in small talk and banter. It’s to focus on family, friends, work, their community, some political interest, and all the issues that are close to an individual’s daily life. This is their focus. Things that are beyond this, moving towards big picture issues start to become a blur.

Far Focus

This is to focus on bigger picture issues. This may include a stronger focus on politics, psychology on a societal scale, including other societal issues, and scaling out towards issues that include the entire planet. Interests and focus can even go beyond this, such as moving beyond the planet earth.

Reasons for Different Interests?

Personality and intelligence will be the main two reasons, with perhaps some social and cultural influences thrown into the mix.


Our personality seems to largely determine our interests. Using the personality model, the big five personality traits to see what traits affect our interests and focus.

The biggest personality factor is likely trait openness. Those who are high in trait openness have a strong interest in ideas. The mind of a high openness person is indeed open, with broad and varied interests. They tend to not like restrictions; this moves them away from traditions and conventional views. They are inquisitive with a thirst for knowledge.

This is also the personality trait that is most connected to intelligence. High openness individuals like intellectual conversations. They also usually have strong imaginations, and they tend to be on the creative side.

Trait agreeableness is connected to an interest in things vs people. According to mainstream psychology, this difference is actually the biggest difference between men and women.

In theory, people who are high in agreeableness with a strong interest in people are likely to tilt more in the direction of a near focus. Especially if they are highly compassionate with strong nurturing impulses. Again, in theory, those who are disagreeable with a strong interest in things may tilt to interests that are more into the distance and broader in scope.

Being low in extroversion, also known as introversion, also likely contributes to this. Those high in extroversion are highly motivated by social interactions and are more sensitive to impulsive and quick rewards. This moves people away from bigger, more important issues.

Seeing Patterns & Connections

Those who have a far focus, that can see the big picture. Over time, can start to see connections and patterns. They will start to understand these things at an intuitive unconscious level. For example, someone may start to see connections between the way a society functions, and the way the universe seems to function.

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