Do you recall putting together jigsaw puzzles when you were growing up? I do. What a fun and sometimes frustrating time as you attempted to create the big picture.
Did you know that the first jigsaw puzzle was created in the 1760s by pasting a map onto a flat rectangular section of wood? It was then cut into pieces with a jigsaw. Go figure.
Today, a common puzzle is made up of 300 to 1000 pieces that when put together create an exquisite picture. Many attempt to figure out where each piece fits by starting with the edges and building the sides of the puzzle. As you master putting together the sides and corners, all of sudden you have frame. As you continue to work from the outside in by moving pieces around, what at first seemed complex in nature becomes simple as the big picture emerges.
Michelangelo once said, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
Have you ever attempted to force a puzzle piece into a place where it didn’t fit? The harder you tried, the more flustered you became. You quickly moved on and started working on another section of the puzzle. If you were working with someone else, you were both attempting to figure where all of the pieces fit.
At some point, you may have turned over the box and saw the “big picture” and, suddenly, everything began to click. You began to witness the pieces falling into place as they fully interlocked and fastened together. Finally, you stood up and surveyed your work with a sense of accomplishment because your masterpiece finally was complete. In fact, you left it on the coffee table for at least 24 hours and begged your parents or siblings not to touch it. You wanted to savor this moment of accomplishment.
Well, you are probably wondering, what does all of this mean for you today? Thank you for sticking with me. I submit to you, my friend, that this is the year, the moment, the minute, and the second when all of the disjointed pieces of your life puzzle are coming together. Pieces of a relationship that went south, a job that has sucked you dry and left you with nothing else to give, or perhaps a decision that you wish you could shift into reverse. These are many pieces in your life’s puzzle.
Now, let me balance this out by saying that there are also those pieces that represent the right decisions you’ve made regarding relationships, career, and decisions. However, as I am writing this at 30,000 feet on an Alaskan Airline flight from Vancouver, British Columbia to Los Angeles, my spider sense has kicked in, and I am sensing that some of you are looking at the scattered pieces of your life’s puzzle and wondering what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks is going on. What’s the use of the not-so-pretty pieces?
You’ve often heard the saying that “everything happens for a reason.” Well, I would add a fresh twist by saying that everything you’ve experienced to date are all pieces in your life’s puzzle—necessary pieces. Think about the pieces of your journey so far.
- The place where you were born
- The family in which you were born
- The schools you’ve attended
- Friends you’ve made over the years
- People you’ve dated
- Events like getting married, separated, divorced, remarried, or just being happily single
- Where you’ve lived, whether renting a place or saving to buy your first home, moving in and furnishing it
- Where you’ve worked, promotions, being content where you are, quitting, being downsized, or retiring
- Chances you’ve taken to start a business, grow a business, sell a business, or get out a business.
These are all pieces in the puzzle that is you. Now, let’s take it a step further. Wherever you find yourself in life, just realize my friend that you—yes, you—are a necessary piece of a bigger puzzle. Wherever you find yourself right now, that place is better because you brought your piece of the puzzle to complete the big picture.
For example, when you decided to get married, you brought your piece of the puzzle—your experiences, emotions, education, and expectations—to another person who showed up with their piece of the puzzle. Together, you both began to construct the jigsaw puzzle of a relationship.
This idea could apply across a wide spectrum of areas. However, I want to be mindful of your valuable time.
Here’s the point: In everything that you are and ever hope to be in this life, always recognize that your talent, gifts, and abilities together fit as a piece of puzzle that when connected to the right situation, makes things come alive and makes a difference.
For example, you may taste food and know that some seasoning is missing from the mix. But by adding a pinch of salt or sprinkle of black pepper, you then have the exact ingredient to round out the recipe to make it taste good.
Well, there are some things that will not be complete until you show up with your brilliant piece of the puzzle. Your piece of the puzzle is the linchpin, master key, fuel in the engine, code, secret sauce, solution to the problem, and the right answer at the right time.
I invite you, O’ Brilliant One, to be thankful and celebrate all of the pieces of your puzzle and to consider whether or not the big picture is truly complete until you show up with your puzzle piece in hand.
Here are few mental bumper stickers to remind you that whatever room you walk into, things just got better because you bring a unique puzzle piece to the picture.
- You are the missing puzzle piece. You are brilliant! Stop apologizing for it. Start embracing it. Stop relinquishing it and relish in it.
- Your puzzle piece needs to be seen. Come out from behind the curtain of limitation, stand on the stage of determination, and lift off like a rocket into exploration.
- You part in the puzzle is good for others. Upload a compliment to the heart-drive of someone else.
- There is no other puzzle piece like yours. Brilliant women take one good Christian Louboutin heel and shatter the glass ceiling of limitation with it.
- Don’t let anyone diminish your piece of the puzzle. Be an independent thinker. If not, you may depend on the thinking of others. That would be half-brilliant!
- The puzzle is not complete without you. Today, you—O’ Brilliant One—are shifting from profound obscurity to significant visibility. It’s about time. We’ve been waiting for you to show up.
If this is repeatable, then it’s tweetable. Why? Simon Says So! Remember that I love you and believe in you.