This post was inspired because like me a lot of you are currently in the midst of going full steam ahead with your goals. It could be a new job, a new relationship, purchasing a home, running an important project at work or building a business. (*Please feel free to add what it is that you are moving towards)
Here’s the thing about the journey towards goals and dreams; you start with an end result in mind, align with your inner wisdom and have a plan to get there. But then, ever so often you evaluate where you are and spiral into thoughts like ‘Am I ever going to get there’ or ‘why hasn’t it shown up yet’ or ‘why is it taking so long’.
It happens to me more than I'd like to admit. A few days ago, out of nowhere, I remembered this memory of my three-year-old nephew that gives me an interesting perspective about the process of achieving goals.
Earlier this year, my entire family spent two weeks vacationing at my parent’s home. I was selected as the go-to entertainer by my three-year-old nephew and I was on-call 24X7. I had one of two jobs, either I was performing for him or I was playing the audience as he did his thing. (It was mostly me being the audience as he continued to rock out doing his thing!)
He loved doing puzzles and he had quite a few boxes to his credit. Every time he sat down to ‘chill’ with his puzzle box, he always had the same flow of actions. First, he would lay down the board and drop the puzzle pieces to the side. Second, he would stare at the board for a few seconds as if he was making a mental note of what he was to do in the immediate future.
He’d go on to pick up a random piece (any piece, generally the one within arm’s reach; easy was his guiding principle!) and then he'd mostly try to ‘guess’ the placement of that piece on the board. Some pieces he’d know straight away. Some he’d try to place a couple of ways and then get right. While others he was immediately aware he didn’t know and would drop without thinking twice; as he moved on to the next one. As the board filled up, the outline for those unknown pieces would start to show themselves. And that's when he'd make his 'easy' move to put those 'unknowns' on the board.
It was remarkable to see his focus on that board and he never got frustrated with the unknown pieces; all the while humming his way to the finish. At the end, he’d raise his hands and declare ‘I did it!’ with a huge smile on his face.
I thought to myself, how cool it would be if I engage his strategy? Why am I losing focus of ‘my board’ and why am I not ‘playing the puzzle’ and enjoying the process?
So those of you that are on that journey towards achieving goals; here's a reminder of the upsides of playing it like a three-year-old would play a puzzle:
The next time I find myself in a funk about how it's going; I am going engage my nephew's ninja playing approach to snap me out.
I am going to remind myself that it’s like playing a puzzle!