5 life Lessons you can learn from a Jigsaw

March 30th, 2016

On a recent holiday in West Wales my boyfriend Gareth and I decided to do a 1000 piece jigsaw.  Wow that sounds like we were having such a boring holiday, but it was raining and we thought it wouldn’t take too long. Little did we know a 1000 piece jigsaw is not to be sniffed at!

Here are some lessons that we learnt:

  1. Get a strategy – Get your ducks in a row or should I say pieces of jigsaw in bowls. The sky in one bowl, the trees in another.  In life, when we have a problem we sometimes think of the big picture and that just scares the hell out of us. Break it down bit by bit and work your way through it piece by piece.
  2. Don’t get too attached to speed – This is where Gareth excelled but me not so much. Things take time, there is no such thing as an over-night success and you have to celebrate the quick wins which inspire you to keep going.  Focusing on ‘I’ll be happy when everything is achieved’ will not be a fun experience. Saviour small victories.
  3. Stepping away – There are times when you can’t see the wood from the trees and stepping away from the jigsaw before the puzzle goes out the  patio window is wise. The same goes in other pursuits of life. Making a cup of tea or leaving something until the morning can make a world of difference. Being aware of when you need to step away is the challenge, and this is where understanding the art of being present can really help. Noticing your muttering, blood pressure raising, temper emerging are all little signs from your body to say STOP FOR NOW.
  4. Other people’s wins don’t feel the same – My parents got involved in the puzzle too, it became a family thing and my Dad really embraced it as he does with most things. He had been hunting for a piece of the puzzle and he found it with great glee, gave me the piece and said “go on George put it in”.  He was delighted and I was pleased but I was nowhere near as delighted as him as I didn’t do the searching. We get the most enjoyment when we put in the work and we can’t really expect people to share our triumph if they were not engaged, a great lesson for leaders this one! Involve people and they will share in the success.
  5. When things roll, enjoy it – There are good times and bad times in puzzle making, as in life. I found I would find one piece then another and then another and it would just flow and it all felt super exciting and then I hit  puzzle drought and I couldn’t find anything. In life people often use the waiting for a bus example or interest from men, nothing for ages then a mass arrive. This is just the way. There is a time for both and accepting that and not getting frustrated is key. It’s not good, it’s not bad; it just is. Trust the time you are living now and accept what is happening and avoid fighting it, give in to the present moment it is so much easier, even thinking about it has made me relax. The constant need to have things just so and perfect is bloody exhausting, let things be and give in to the moment.

0-1j 3

To give you an update on the puzzle there is a piece missing! After the initial disappointment, we are dealing with it because nothing is perfect and to accept that you are free, we are also free to resume back to our normal life without the obsession of the puzzle, I’m sure there is another lesson there! Give it a go… warning; one lesson I didn’t mention was patience.



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