Have you ever tried completing a 1,000 piece puzzle? I can’t say that I have because they’ve always seemed so intimidating to me. So many tiny little pieces seeming to have absolutely no connection to one another. It’s kind of like being twenty. There’s so many different pieces of our life that we don’t know where to start.
I’ve watched others work on these enormously overwhelming puzzles. I’ve even tried to help put a few pieces together. What seems to be the key is keeping it simple. Start with just one piece, or maybe the corner pieces. (We all know the corner pieces are the easiest to point out.) When you have that one piece I’m your hand search for another piece with similar characteristics. If you’re lucky you can connect the two pieces together. Overtime you will have multiple puzzle pieces together creating individual images. The individual images might seem completely separate at first, but soon you will see the connection. Maybe you have to walk away from the puzzle and sleep on it. Or maybe you need a fresh new pair of eyes to take a look, so you ask a friend for help. Neither of these are cheating (cheating would be looking at the box!). Soon enough you’ll start understanding the bigger picture and you’ll make more connections. The pieces may not have made sense at the beginning but the now that you’ve completed the puzzle it makes complete sense.
That’s what it is like living the life of a twentysomething. In honor of it being “Simplify Your Life Week”, I’m suggesting we take the same approach to solving the 1,000 piece puzzle; start with something simple. If you’re overwhelmed by all the choices in your life, focus on one piece of it at a time. If you have lots of interests and skills but don’t know how to combine them, start by trying to connect just two similar pieces. And remember, asking for help doesn’t mean you failed or you’re “cheating”. It is a resource you should use because someone else might see, or know, something you couldn’t.
Soon you’ll see the possibilities with the small individual connections you’ve made. After awhile the choices, decisions and pressures that come with starting your own life from scratch won’t feel so intimidating. You know the secret to the puzzle; keep it simple. It’s just one piece at a time, one step at a time and one day at a time.