Transcript: There’s an old saying, “Never judge a book by its cover.” But what about puzzles? They’ve got covers too. But I’d like to suggest that when we’re looking at those covers, it may not be the puzzle we’re judging so much as we might be judging … ourselves.
It’s been a little while since it’s occurred to me to try and put a puzzle together which is probably why this is the only one that I could find really quickly. It’s Jonas Gustavsson. They used to call him “The Monster.” Years ago, he played goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs, for a little while anyway. I think that Mom bought this puzzle for my younger son Jaden. Anyway, it’ll do to help me make the point.
If you set out to put a puzzle together, what’s pretty much the first thing that you’re going to look at and constantly keep in mind? Well, the cover! That’s your reference point. You want it to look like that (the cover) when you’re done. That’s how you know you got it right, or your finally got it completed.
I think life is much the same way. Whenever we have something that we want to set out and try to do or accomplish for the first time, a goal that we want to achieve, what do we do? Well, we want a cover. We want to find somebody that’s already done it or something that we can mimic or a road map that we can follow. We begin with the end in mind, and then we’re going to measure ourselves against that all the way along the way.
But here’s the challenge with that: You finally decided to get started and you’re fired up because you’re going create something that looks like this (pointing to the cover). And you finally get going, and yours looks … like this (hundreds of pieces all over the table)!
One piece at a time, if you start to generate some sense of forward momentum, eventually, an image will come together.
You think, “Oh, man, this doesn’t look how it’s supposed to at all!” And the finished product can look really far away.
This is the stage that can keep it so that a lot of us never even want to move past it because it’s just too overwhelming. But, if you can just start to turn the pieces over, one at a time, get a little bit of sense of order to it. I like to look for the straight edges so that you can start to put this thing together. I know it seems overwhelming, but one piece at a time, if you start to generate some sense of forward momentum, eventually, an image will come together.
There are a lot of people – you might even be one of them – that enjoy this kind of thing. It’s almost a form of meditation; of being completely immersed in figuring out how every piece goes together and enjoying every single step of the process. Wouldn’t it be great if we could view life the same way? It would certainly help us feel less scattered and incomplete.
They say, “Never judge a book by its cover.” Maybe it’s also worthwhile to say, “Let’s not judge our puzzle by its pieces.”