Are you missing a puzzle piece? Finding the right pieces.

I love puzzles and I love mindmaps. How in the world are they connected?

I use mindmapping to collect and organize thoughts. It’s about the visual representation that excites me and when it’s visual I remember more than just when it’s the written word.

There are many fine examples of Mindmappers who hand draw their maps with so much creativity, it’s inspiring. Recently I came across Mr. Paul Foreman of Mind Map Inspiration who does these wonderful art pieces and also gives advice and encouragement on mapping.

As I was scrolling through his collection I came across the featured image that he blogged about. (The Complete Jigsaw of You) It reminded me of a story that was told me many, many years ago. I’m sure if the story had a title or not but it went like this…

There was a young boy who was trying to get his father’s attention one Saturday morning, while his father was busy doing some important work related to a project that needed to be completed for Monday.

“Come on Dad, let’s do something. It’s Saturday,” he pleaded to his father.

The father was panicking. He knew how important this project was and how it needed to be done for Monday. On top of that he needed something to distract his son so that he could continue to work and not be interrupted.

It was then he remembered this world puzzle that he had in the cupboard. It had many pieces and was complex enough that he knew it would take his son a very long time to complete it, in fact he probably wouldn’t. At least for this weekend!

“I’m pretty busy right now. How about you doing a puzzle while I do my work and when your finished, I’ll take a break and we can do something, ” replied the father as he reached above to the shelf inside the closet where the puzzle box was stored.

The box was worn and had no picture on the top, just the words ‘The World” written with a felt-marker.

“This is a pretty complex puzzle. There are many pieces and I’m sorry there is no picture, however it is a puzzle of the World, ” explained the father knowing full well that his son probably has never seen a picture of the world and that would add to his time to complete his project.

“When you are finished, let me know.”

And with that they both headed off into two directions, each to complete the task at hand.

An hour had gone by and the son returned with a big smile on his face.

“Finished!” shouted the son, “Can we go do something now?”

The father was shocked and thought there is no way he could have done it and even questioned his son on whether he was telling the truth or not.

The son grabbed his fathers hand and led him to where the completed puzzle laid on the table. Sure enough there it was all completed.

“Wow, I’m impressed! That was not an easy puzzle,” said the father.

The son looked at his father and replied, “It was not that hard. On the back of the puzzle pieces I noticed parts of a man’s face. Since I knew I couldn’t put the world together, I flipped the pieces over and worked on the man. Once I had him together, the world naturally went together too.”

If your going to save anything you have to work on you first. Like a good sculpture, you take away anything that is not you and you show up. It’s like magic!

In Paul Foreman’s blog, he talks about those pieces we come across that we think fit, but there is no place to put them. When you are complete, you already have the right pieces fitting in the right places. There is no forcing anything to fit.

Eckart Tolle calls it the ‘natural you’. You without all the stuff that you felt you needed to add to have some feeling of completeness.

Unfortunately our economic world is set up for Do – Have and then Be. Anytime you hear yourself say, ‘once I have this’ or ‘once I do this’ i will be happy – wake up!

I’m not saying don’t have them. I have lots of those things we are talking about and I know that they don’t last; they don’t complete me nor do they make me something better. It’s not sustainable, although many have tried.

So start with you first. Be first then the do’s and the have’s fall into place as they should – naturally.

RICK RUPPENTHAL is a professional Personal and Leadership Transformational Coach and a Certified Change Practitioner. As a retired paramedic of 30 years, Rick has held positions in leadership, education, as a coach and a mentor. Through those experiences, understanding, and adaptability, Rick has dedicated his life to a continual journey of self-discovery, adventure, and guiding others on their own journey of being their best self.

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