To be specific it’s a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle with endless sky and water complete with reflections! As a jigsaw fan I can tell you it is a real challenge.
Like a jigsaw when we tackle life there a few rules we need understand:
Everything is guided by the vision of the completed puzzle.
You start at the end. Can you imagine trying to do such a puzzle without a picture to guide you? Imagine randomly trying to fit the pieces together with nothing but successful fit to guide you! Just as a picture is essential to completing a jigsaw puzzle so to a vision is essential to guide you to completion. What is the end game, what are you shooting for? Create a picture in your mind of the ideal you and hold it there as a guiding light.
Take a systematic approach.
Randomly picking up a piece of the puzzle and magically being able to spot the other 4 pieces it connects to out of the other thousand pieces carries odds of nearly 5000 to 1! In completing a jigsaw we create a plan and attack it in a systematic manner making the seemingly impossible possible. In life we need to have a plan, and not just any plan. We need an evolving strategic plan taking account of current circumstances in relationship to the destination. A plan that is robust and flexible enough to change as that relationship changes with circumstances. The trick is this need not be complex, just robust.
The puzzle can only be completed piece by piece, it requires persistence and patience.
From time to time there are various assembled chunks of the puzzle that are in isolation from one another. Even these have been constructed by pooling together individual pieces that, on the surface, look like they fit together (water, sky etc). We then focus on them to work out how they fit together. Jigsaw puzzles take time to put together and so does life. Where ever you are at in your life right now is either a long way from where you will finish or a long way from where you started. Like a jigsaw puzzle life is a journey where pieces come together from which the full picture emerges piece by piece. Patience and persistence are not optional virtues if you want to complete the puzzle that is you.
Put the boundaries of the jig saw puzzle down first!
The very first ‘rule’ in completing a jigsaw puzzle is sort out the edge pieces and establish the boundaries. This gives everything a context: How big the puzzle is. Where X is in relation to Y. Where the water pieces should be put and where the sky pieces go. Life is no different. Begin the journey to the real you by working out your boundaries. What the rules are for your life. What your values are and what gets you give your attention to and what are you wasting your life force on?
You need all of the pieces.
Thank goodness here is where life is better than a jigsaw puzzle! A jigsaw puzzle can be completed if there are pieces missing but it will never shine to its fullest potential. You on the other hand can recreate the missing pieces potentially shaping new pieces that are better and brighter than the original. In fact we are capable of deciding whether the pieces we are using are up to scratch or not. Whether they will deliver the life we want or not and if they are not we can deliberately swap them out for better more serviceable options.
Jigsaw puzzles are a pretty good match for life and if you haven’t done one lately I can assure you they are like golf, chess or reading a good book, you have to concentrate solely on the job at hand and you can’t be in hurry, so it gives you brain a rest form the noise of day to day living. Don’t for get the rules. You start at the end with a vision, take a deliberate systematic approach, have patience and be persistent, put boundaries in place and finally make sure you have all the pieces…all the very best pieces because you deserve a your life to be as beautiful and satisfying as our imaginary Jigsaw puzzle would be when the last piece is put in place.