10 life lessons from Jigsaw Puzzles

I love jigsaw puzzles. The challenge of putting them all together. The wonderful knowledge that it is possible to succeed, even if you don’t see it when you look at a pile of pieces. The feeling of successful completion, and satisfaction of having something tangible to show for your work. Before you begin a jigsaw puzzle, you know what it looks like, from the picture on the box. You also know how many pieces there are, and you know how big it is. All the parameters are known. The outcome is known. The satisfaction of successfully completing it is also known. Even though the picture on the box is better because it doesn’t have join lines all through it! What is unknown is how long it will take you to complete, how difficult you will find it, and whether all the pieces are actually there.

10 life lessons from Jigsaw Puzzles:

1. Our life has set parameters and known factors.

a. We are born, one day we will die.

b. Some of what happens in between isn’t up to us, but a lot of it is.

2. It’s easier to reach a destination or outcome if we have a picture (or map, or plan, or goals) of what we’re trying to achieve.

a. We can use organisation strategies to help structure, plan and achieve success.

b. We can use observation and memory to help us achieve our tasks.

3. We need to be prepared to admit we’re wrong and make changes when needed, for a successful outcome.

4. Looking at both the positives and negatives can be useful.

5. Trust yourself: your subconscious mind and intuition are working for you.

6. Go at your own pace - this is your activity, not someone else's

7. We might need to try several different ways to do something before we find the best way.

a. What works one day, or for one situation won’t necessarily work for another.

b. It’s good to not always do the same thing.

8. Completing something is a great feeling, so don’t give up just before you get there. Take a break and come back another day. It’s worth it.

a. Overcoming difficulty is more exciting than plodding along.

b. The doing of it is as important as the outcome. Pay attention.

c. Sometimes life is fun, and progress is easy and rapid.

d. Sometimes you just have to stick with it and be organised, methodical, systematic.

e. A range of skills and approaches makes for an easier, well-balanced life.

9. If you can’t complete a puzzle because some pieces are really missing and can’t be found, move on. Let it go - so no-one else is unnecessarily frustrated by it in the future.

10. When you’ve finished one puzzle (project, phase of life), you can put it away and start another one. There isn’t really a limit.

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