Puzzles Can Help Put Our Lives Back Together

I love to put puzzles together. For one thing, it helps me to clear my mind and organize a lot of scrambled messes and turn it into something beautiful. Throughout my lifetime, puzzles have taken on many different shapes, sizes, and enigmas that are just waiting to be solved. For example, when a crime is committed, there’s a process of figuring out who did it and why. That, in and of itself, is a puzzle. Then you have the board puzzles. These are the ones that you can literally see the pieces in front of you to put together. When it’s finished, you usually have some sort of picture that can be displayed. Over the years, word puzzles and games have helped us to sharpen our mindset. No matter how you look at it, life is one giant set of puzzles. The pieces are scattered, the pictures are distorted, and often, the puzzles consistently get harder. Rarely do we get hold of an easy one.

That’s the great thing about our lives. We choose the puzzle layout whether we realize it or not. Some of us go a more creative route. Others go a more religious setting. There are those who choose a professional layout but no matter what layout we choose, our lives are all colorful. We live our lives in a mixed blend of colors and patterns that are all part of various puzzles. We all have questions to answers we’ll never get. That’s okay. In fact, sometimes it’s better that we not know. There’s a puzzle in my own life that is filled with riddles and clues. I don’t usually do well with riddle questions. Nor do I particularly like them. My mind does better when I can see things that are laid out in front of me and I can analyze the pieces better because I can literally see the shapes and how they fit.

When we are young, we don’t see our lives as a puzzle. In fact, we look on our decisions as paths that we take. There’s a lot of truth to this. There’s also missing pieces in all of our lives. Even those who have their entire lives mapped out, have various pieces of a puzzle to make fit. The cool thing about puzzles with pictures is that you can see how the puzzle looks when it’s completed. But if you are a fan of mind puzzles, the cool thing about that is that it helps your brain figure out formulas and patterns. Sudoku is a different game for me but that’s one of the reasons I like to practice with it. The more I work on it the better I get. I love Word Search puzzles and can spot the words quickly. No matter what kind of puzzle it is, as long as I can see it’s a puzzle, I can usually figure it out.

Life, on the other hand, isn’t as easy to solve. We often can’t see the pieces that we need to solve a problem. Many times we are left to deduce what the best solution is for a problematic issue. The key is to figure out what is needed to solve the issue and work from there. There’s a few things we can all do when we are faced with challenges with no easy solutions.

  1. Getting information out in the open so people can act on it. .This is important. The more information you have, the more pieces you can begin to see where there are holes. It might be in someone’s story or a lack of information that is needed in order to figure out the best approach. Knowledge truly is power. Power translates into deciphering problems and obtaining solutions for some of the most complex issues we face.
  2. Name the problem  for yourself. What’s the issue? Is this something that is petty or is it something that can cause ramifications in the long run. In order to know how to solve a puzzle, you have to be willing to understand not everything is an enigma. However, enigmas translate into our lives on many levels so be sure to make decisions based on facts and not emotions.
  3. Identify the assumptions embedded in the enigma that keep the needs from being met. We all do this. We assume when we shouldn’t. Get the facts before you do this. We all know what happens when assumptions occur. It’s easy to assume but harder to admit when you are wrong.
  4. Describe the situation to others. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that it helps to get other’s perspectives. They may be going through a similar issue and are able to use your situation as a springboard to help them figure out the best course of action. Also, there’s a sense of validation that we all need at times to know that we’re doing the best thing for a given issue.

To be clear, there are always going to be challenges that we all face. American Ninja Warrior proves that every week with some of their obstacles. As people, we rise to the challenges that we are presented with. Never think that something is impossible because you might be the person who proves that the impossible is possible. Believe in yourself. Take a deep breath. Focus and regroup. There are many ways to cope with stress when you feel overwhelmed. The most important thing is to remember that our lives are full of puzzles that have yet to be solved, but as we solve the puzzles, the challenges and the obstructions we face, it’s amazing at the opportunities that present themselves.

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