Have you ever spent time putting together a puzzle with 1000 or more pieces? What is the lesson from that to leaders and teachers?
I have been putting together puzzles with large number of pieces. It is challenging, takes some time. Putting together a puzzle also takes one to almost meditative mode. You are so focused that you don’t see the world outside. You actually might get a bit angry, when someone disturbs you. One of the things we see when people work on puzzles (puzzle is one tool we use in trainings) is the shift of focus. Those who get pieces on their place actually have an inner dialogue. This dialogue is between the ready made puzzle and the piece. Here is a huge lesson to learn for our every day life. Just think, what happens if you just focus on one single piece? How do you know, that you have a piece in hand, which you actually need to work with much later. Yes, you need to look at the bigger picture. Or get stuck to you one piece. If you are admiring the beautiful big picture, but never focus on single piece, means that you really never start!
When you have done 20 or so puzzles, you start to know how to do it. You know what works for you. One starts from a corner, someone with a very easily identifiable piece. Both need to have two things, understanding of where they are heading to and courage to place the first piece. That is all it takes to become successful! The best part is, that you can learn how to! Success is not something coming “out-of-blue”, it is the outcome of goal oriented actions and commitment!
Why doesn’t everybody do it? The main reason is that our brain doesn’t like to told that it made is mistake, it took the wrong approach. For the brain it means wasting energy. Changing the viewpoint requires energy. It puts us under stress (after all, it is a change). It is some much easier (for the brain) to choose one approach and viewpoint and then just live with that. It is easy to think and to say that we are so busy that we don’t have time to “play around”. But we have time be stuck?
I mentioned earlier, that we can learn. I was referring to the way we work with puzzles. Learning to do puzzles is just one form of learning. Learning is nothing more than a new approach and process we get our brain to do. Therefore we can also learn the habit and process of going from big picture to one piece and back. If you are doing this already, great. You are good in puzzles and in managing you life. If you are not really doing this (thanks for being honest to yourself), then the future is really great for you!
Whether you do or do not swap between the big picture and the single piece, the following will help you to pick up a good habit. Lets start with those, who love the little pieces. When you have this little piece at your hands, you need to stop for a couple of seconds. You need to ask yourself the following questions: A) is this really somehow related to the big picture, B) is the time right for doing this thing and C) what is the best possible outcome of this? As you practice these, you will find out, that they become standard operating procedure. Fast and giving results. Asking yourself those questions will really take a few second. Just like with the puzzle, you know quickly, if the piece has any value right now.
If you love the big picture, you need to build the habit of looking to little pieces. The best way to do it, is to make a daily work schedule. This is a bet done through the following process; 1. what is the big goal, 2. what is little thing you need to take care of today, 3. why is this little thing really important? You should do this in writing with a piece of paper, something you can and will have visible to you every day. Just like you have a set of those puzzle pieces next to you, you know you will be needing soon.
Leading oneself is about improving the quality of what we are doing. Both at work and at puzzle you can improve. Becoming better gives you flow – feeling. You get better results, in shorter time. Your trained brain serves you better, also when the situations change. The puzzle work approach is becoming more and more important, as the world is evolving faster than ever!
Leading oneself is THE MOST important skill for entrepreneurs and leaders. It all starts with looking at oneself. You wouldn’t buy a puzzle without getting to know the goal, the big picture. As you have the goal, then you can start to look at the details, single pieces!
Would you like to be puzzle master, who masters his/her business? Get in touch, we can make your progress faster and more powerful. Call today!
Your partner in making success happen, Kari I. Mattila, emotional intelligence advisor