Do you feel like you fit in with the connections and groups around you? Or do you feel like an outsider sometimes? I often struggled growing up to really identify who I was, and how I fit in with not only my family, but those around me.
One of my favourite Christmas gifts to get is a puzzle. My husband loves to put one in my stocking and enjoys picking out ones that represent something I enjoy or is meaningful to me. This year I enjoyed getting two puzzles! One was a picture of a village Steve thought I would love to visit (he was right) and one was a picture of Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia, a place I enjoyed visiting as a child on family trips.
I couldn't help but think about how our lives, and specifically how we live out our purpose can be just like putting together a puzzle.
We are each like a puzzle piece. Unique, and with a unique fit. Have you ever worked away on a puzzle only to get further into it and realize a piece you thought was a fit, actually wasn't the correct fit for that spot? You needed to put in the correct piece to finish the puzzle.
I think we are just like that. The more I help others discover and identify their purpose the more I see and appreciate how unique we were each created to be. We may have a kindred spirit or seem very similar to someone else but guaranteed, if you look closer, you still have unique traits and characteristics that make you uniquely you. You are the only one that can be you.
I also noticed HOW I did the puzzle. I didn't just take the box and dump it out and try to rummage through it to find a piece. I did one step at a time.
I first worked on the border of the puzzle. This gave me the framework I needed to begin with, and helped me get an idea of the size of portions of the pictures as well as where they may fit. Once I had the outside frame in place I could work away at smaller pieces of the picture within that frame.
Isn't that just like how we need to work at living our purpose? We don't sit down and see your complete picture of your life at once. You need the framework first. Your past is how you got to your present, which will help determine your future. The events in our lives are not solo events, but rather preparation.
Even though your life purpose doesn't change, how you life out your life purpose can change as you do. You identify more, you determine your values and passions, you set your dreams and goals. You get clearer on who you were made to be and you are then able to live that in more alignment as you see a clearer picture of why you do what you do. Your life purpose is your why and how, but you determine the what. To live the what with true purpose, you need the why.
Have you ever finished a puzzle only to realize you are missing a piece? I even framed a puzzle once with one missing piece! I was determined to enjoy it but always noticed the missing link.
Every piece of the puzzle is vital to the complete picture. The way they connect even is vital. You can't just haphazardly put two pieces together ... the big picture is dependent on each piece being in its spot.
I have worked on teams where one person is trying to be someone else or at least not in alignment with who they were made to be. It just doesn't work and is always frustrating, for the individual and the team as a whole. When an individual discovers their life purpose they can see more clearly how they fit within the team and they have the confidence to do their part with excellence. We do not have to be anyone else's great, we just need to use our own talents and skills. We are responsible to know our uniqueness, how we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and live that with intention and purpose. Then and only then does the big picture look complete.
Have you ever sat down and done a large puzzle in one sitting? I am guessing not. I know that I do it in segments. I need the break to literally do just that, take a break. It gives me a fresh perspective and I find I come back at it with a fresh set of eyes. I make up my puzzles on a rollable puzzle holder so if I need to even put it away for a bit I can. Most of the time I leave it out for a short time before I come back at it. But ... the closer I get to completing it the more intense I become and it is harder to take a break. This gives explanation to some very late nights, or should I say early mornings.
When I am helping someone identify their purpose, there is an excitement that begins as they begin to see the big picture and how they fit that picture. They start to see how they fit so well and are so important.
A Mom begins to see her role in her children's legacy and understands her powerful influence.
A receptionist realizes that she is often the first person someone comes in contact with or sees within the company and understands how vital her role within the company is to their success.
An empty nester sees the incredible influence she still has and gets a picture of how she is already has a legacy and can keep building on that.
A teacher sees the profound impact she makes on her students and begins to see how this also is in her family and friendships because it is who she is.
A CEO sees the importance of not just being a leader, but one of specific influence with purpose, clarity, and intention. It changes how she leads and the wave of influence truly begins.
Next time you see a puzzle or are working on one ... remember what a special and vital place you have and how uniquely, creatively, and specifically you have been made, to be you, exactly you. Your were created for a reason, with the big picture in mind.
You were made on purpose, with purpose, and for a purpose.
About Janice Stone
Janice Stone is a Professional Certified Life Coach (PCLC).