Ever since Mallory and I visited Joshua Tree back in November, we’ve gotten more interested in puzzles – and I’m talking about literal jigsaw puzzles.
Over Christmas, we picked out a 1000-piece puzzle and were pretty quickly overwhelmed. When you first look at the box and you see the photo, you think, “Oh wow this is going to be fun!”
Sometimes you even think, “Oh, this one looks pretty easy actually!”
Then you open the box, turn it onto the table, and 1000 pieces fall out. Most of them are upside down, and you start turning them over.
And when you start looking in closely at the individual pieces, the weight of what you’ve signed up for hits you.
All of these pieces look the same.
You have a full vision of what the finished product – success – looks like. But now, you see there are 1,000 individual steps to get there.
And you’re faced with the hardest question: where do I start?
Working towards just about any ambitious goal feels a lot like a 1000 piece puzzle. You know exactly what success looks like, and at the beginning, it may seem simple!
But when you start digging in and looking at the individual components of making that a reality, it gets a lot tougher. Figuring out how everything fits together isn’t immediately obvious.
But the best thing you can do is get started.
The starting point is totally up to you. I like to start by building out the border and working inwards. Mallory likes to group the pieces together by what’s on them and build out around small areas.
It doesn’t really matter where you start – eventually, everything starts coming together. And instead of a staring down a giant open space, you’re staring down a single, small piece that you can easily identify.
You can’t build a puzzle all at once. No one solves a puzzle by sitting around and thinking about it forever – eventually, you need to start laying pieces down, one at a time.
Stuck on a piece? No problem. Look for another area you can sink your teeth into and start building out from there.
Success comes from trying to fit them together, failing, and trying again.
Eventually, everything comes together into the nice, cohesive vision you started with.
So whatever you’re working on, start small. Start with a single piece and build out from there.
But you have to get started.