What I learnt about life while building PUZZLES… You would be surprised!

This is a story about a P-U-Z-Z-L-E …

In mid-2016 when I first quit my job to work from home, I was a little terrified and agitated. A few weeks into me leaving my job, my husband bought me a 1,000 pieces of jigsaw puzzle as a tool to help calm my mind down. When he first gave it to me, I received it with a smile and I put it away in the cupboard.

Two years later, I decided to do the puzzle. Little did I know, how long or how hard it is to put the pieces together to complete the beautiful picture. I worked day and night towards the one mission I had – to see my completed piece of hard work. There were many nights I stayed past mid night putting them together. It took me almost two and a half weeks to finally get to the completion stage. I was ecstatic when I placed the 999th piece of the puzzle. At that very moment, I felt I could see the light of joy.

Well my story doesn’t quite end here!

I needed the last piece to complete the jigsaw puzzle, and it was missing ☹ I looked all over my home, and dragged my husband into the long and hard process of looking for the last missing piece. Two days of raiding my home, I ended up not finding that last piece. This might sound a little dramatic, but in all honesty, I was deeply heartbroken, sad and frustrated. It was as if all my hard work was for nothing.

I was a woman on a mission. I emailed the company on the puzzle box stating about my problem. A lady in the company was kind enough to reply to my email and she agreed to post the last sample product they had of the same one as the product line was discontinued. A week later, I received a new set of the same 1,000 pieces of puzzle. So, just imagine – here I am once again with 1,000 pieces just to look for one last missing piece that would complete the beautiful picture.

My husband was kind enough to offer me a helping hand. Together, we put all the 1,000 pieces on the floor and started turning the pieces to see the picture of the missing one. After half an hour, I finally thought I found the piece. It was the moment of truth – I carefully placed the last piece into the almost completed puzzle. And to my surprise, it did Not fit perfectly! Aghhhhhhhh!

For the next two days, I started looking at all the puzzles again one-by-one to see which would fit the puzzle. I could not seem to find it! Then I realised perhaps it was the one I found two days ago but due to manufacturing defects it may have had some minor differing measurements. I somehow squeezed the piece into the puzzle and finally completed the puzzle! Phewwww … What a relief! Although I wasn’t entirely satisfied, I do feel happy now seeing the almost complete puzzle 😊

Looking back, it seems so surreal that this journey has taught me a few life lessons.

  1. Doing a puzzle takes time, patience and perseverance. In life, anything worth doing requires these three important elements. Don’t rush.
  • Some pieces just don’t fit – The road to achieving your goals or dreams may be filled with road blocks, just like some pieces in puzzle that just don’t fit. You can spend many hours trying to find the exact perfect fit that may not even exist, or you can just accept and move on knowing you have completed something that you set out to achieve.
  • Establish the border first – When doing a puzzle, the best practise is to start with the borders. The borders give you a framework, order and security for the masterpiece that you are about to build. These borders are like boundaries that we place in our life. It helps us to stay focused and to know what’s necessary in our boundary to grow and succeed
  • Look at the big picture in life – Sometimes, we get caught up on the little things or pieces in life which may lead to dissatisfaction, anger and frustration. When you look at the bigger picture of your life, the little things might seem insignificant.  
  • When you finally reach the last piece, don’t be sad even if there’s a missing or imperfect piece. Celebrate the masterpiece you’ve created.

Our life is like a puzzle. We are all trying to put together these different pieces in the hope of creating something beautiful in the end. Every piece in our life may come in a different form of happiness, challenges, sadness, disappointments and etc, but it’s important that we learn from our journey while getting to the bigger beautiful picture.

Lots of Love,

Thanu

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