A few weeks ago, I was at a training session at work. We were split into 3 groups and each group had a jigsaw puzzle to complete. There was a prize to be won by the group that completed the puzzle first. We all got to work, different strategies. Trust me, I got all the edges together and my team was making progress. However, we realised that we couldn’t complete the puzzle as hard as we tried because some pieces just did not fit in. We kept trying to force them in until a member from one of the other groups mentioned that they had the same problem. Just the fact that we realised that we had similar issues made us check out the random pieces they had, and they had some of the pieces we needed whilst we had some of the pieces they needed. Between all three groups, we realised that what we considered to be random pieces on our boards were the completing pieces for the other teams. They could have tossed the random pieces away and stayed with their incomplete puzzles as we could have as well. But when we shared our random pieces with them and they theirs, everyone had completed puzzles. It really wasn’t about who won at the end of the day, it was about team work and the interconnectedness of humanity.
This got me thinking really about the number of times I was in a quandary of some sorts and without even speaking up, someone provided just the wisdom I needed to manage my situation. Sometimes, they even tried to apologise for speaking too much but hardly knew that that random story or tip they shared was the final piece to my puzzle. Shall I attempt to remember the number of times someone threw out a random post or tweet and my response was ‘Eureka!’ often unbeknownst to the person sharing? I’ve had people thank me for sharing things that I didn’t remember saying or that I did not think were material or relevant to anyone else in anyway. I’ve since learned that the fact that it does not appear relevant to me does not invalidate it as a material connection for another.
We all need one another and must be willing to share those random pieces with others. Those little things you learned a few years ago may come in as random when you recall or mention them in gist today but they may just be ALL another needs to hear to make progress. You may think some of your experience was needless until you find someone for whom the wisdom you gleaned from having gotten through same is a bridge over the waters that almost drowned you.
In summation, a missing puzzle piece is not a tragedy the way we see it. First, what you may consider a random statement could be ALL another needs to complete their unfinished puzzle. The interconnectedness of humanity is astounding! Also, what it does is that it provides an opportunity for us to encourage another person by affirming his or her strengths especially as we know that no manufacturer creates puzzles and dispatches them with missing pieces. The piece has to fit in somewhere.
“The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.”
So you see, nothing about your journey is wasted.
Here’s to sharing and building together.
Have an amazing day!