The best coaches and teachers I know take examples from people’s every day environment to explain concepts and ideas. This made me think about jigsaw puzzles and their remarkable use to explain purpose. All of us used to do puzzles as children and grown-ups still enjoy this relaxing pastime as a hobby.
Puzzles are very much a part of my daily environment, since my partner sells them for a living, among other things. I have thus pondered them quite a bit and what follows is a comparison between puzzles and purpose.
All of us, consciously or unconsciously seek purpose in life and more directly, our own unique purpose. We notice the turmoil most teens go through on their way to adulthood, sometimes feeling like “misfits” or like puzzle pieces jammed in where thy don’t belong….the problem is that we all know a lot of supposed to be grown-ups who still haven’t found their place in the “bigger picture”, or are “square pegs in round holes”, like puzzle pieces that just don’t fit in anywhere.
The question then is how do people find their unique purpose? The sad thing is that most children grow up with a special dream in their heart of what they should become, but along the way people, experiences, education, their environment, past outcomes and their own creative thinking influence their purity and dictate that they follow the so called “norm” to fit in. In the process limiting believes and habits eclipse their essential and authentic selves and shape them into entities that are very far removed from their original identities. No wonder that the process of finding their purpose, the exact place that they should fit in in the bigger picture of life, becomes a very difficult puzzle to figure out.
The way then to find true purpose, that calling that is unique to every one, is to ask yourself quality questions about what your purpose could be. What are you passionate about? What interests, talents or hobbies do you have that could be turned into a useful way to make a living and to enable you to make a significant contribution to society? What do you love doing? What do you chat about all the time? What do you think your true identity is under all the layers of years of taking on other personas to please others or to “fit in”?
Honest introspection with quality questions is the only way to find exactly where you belong in this world. When you have your answer, even if it is not what your family, friends or the world wants you to be, you have to have the courage to peruse it passionately. The most dangerous thing for anybody seeking their purpose, is to compare themselves with others. Life is not a competition. Although people need others to fulfill their destiny, they can only fit around each other and never fill another person’s unique space, just like puzzle pieces. A puzzle piece only serves a purpose when slotted into the exact space designed for it to complete the bigger picture.The answers might not always be all clear at once, but as long as you stay self aware and true to what you know without a doubt your true identity is, the way will become clearer.
The easiest way to act upon your self knowledge is to build up new believes and habits that will support your new identity. The way to do this is to find evidence to support the authentic you. Are you a good writer? Yes, because people have often complimented you on your articles that you wrote for the school paper. yes, because you consistently got high marks for essays at university. People love the stories you tell. You have often been complimented on your vivid imagination and originality etc.
Once these believes have been installed, act as though you are that person consistently. Write a certain amount of hours every day. Study a creative writing course. Go to a weekly meeting of aspiring writers. Read books from the masters in the field that you are interested in. ask yourself often : What would a singer, nurse, comedian, PR person be doing every moment of every day? Then act as though you are that person and soon , before you know it, your persistence will be rewarded by that feeling of peace that you know you have found the right place in this world. That place that are only destined for you with your fingerprint unique qualities, talents, gifts, character trades and values. Just like that puzzle piece that is the only one of its kind that can fit perfectly in a certain place in the bigger picture, with its unique shape and colours.
Always keep in mind that you are an important and vital link in society. You have to fulfill your potential and live out your unique purpose for those around you to function optimally as well. Each one of us is responsible for our own lives, but by working together and contributing our bit in this world, we create something special. Puzzle pieces only have significance when every piece is slotted into its correct place, linked in as a whole to create a beautiful picture;We can only serve a purpose by doing exactly what each of us were created to do to be healthy and whole as a society.