How to Deal with your Life Puzzle Equation

Remember when your were younger, you’ve probably been given a puzzle game once. I recall my first one at the age of five, composed of four big pieces representing some colourful fairies. More than just a game, I had a particular affection for memory cards and puzzles. In fact, it challenged my manner to deal with patience and creativity and maybe shaped my early personality into the person I am today.

Usually meant to prepare children’s brain by training their cognitive and physical skills, puzzles are a continuous reflexion on images, art of perception and forms that fit. Even if games seem to be random activities at first, they can reveal our manner to deal with problems.

As we get older, we regularly have to face new obstacles and fight off upcoming challenges. That is how we try to build our life puzzle, pieces by pieces with different shapes and colours. Each time, our ability to solve the equations depends on the skills that we put in practice every day. While it takes patience, dedication and enough motivation to figure out the assembling method in a game, life sometimes gives the impression that not only are the pieces difficult to put together, but also that some of them may well be missing.

With this in mind, how can we solve our personal puzzle equation?

Overcome the barrier of image

Who hasn’t dreamed to be a life-model for others? Since our childhood, we are taught to do well at school to have a “good” job, be polite, never interrupt adults when they speak, socialize and most of all, fit the illusionary image of a perfect life. While studying at good universities and working infinite hours behind a desk is a predestined path for some, others feel that a 9 to 5 day-to-day routine is killing their soul. They want things to be different but in reality, they are afraid of what others may think. Then, they follow in silence the usual life track of personal frustration. To blame this trend, you will find thousands of articles referring to the evil of social unrest and low self-confidence. All of them agree to say that we should change our perspective on life and society. But how?

We all have our own stereotyped image of success that influences how we should behave. However, our society’s model of success and happiness doesn’t take into account everyone’s plans and personality, simply because we are all unique individuals, full of hope and life aspirations. The problem of today’s world is that we are offered a view of what we should become in order to fit in this system. But, hey, we are not some pastry meant to fit in a baking pan. If in our life puzzle, we have no clue about what we really want to do, the image we will try to build will be blurry. Don’t be someone else’s copy simply because that person calls out his/her success. You don’t need that, there are copy machines for that purpose. In fact, you will feel way better in a job or a relationship that you like even if it’s not the most fashionable or coolest position in 2017. Keep on digging, you will finally find your personal purpose.

You don’t have to work hard and play hard just to please or impress the world

Doing your best every day is an excellent year resolution. However, doing things just to ease others’ judgements is a waste of time. No one has the right to tell you what’s best for you if your instinct tells you the opposite. Your closest friends and siblings can give you advices but you are the only one able to understand your needs. Maybe there are no such things as good or bad choices after all. There are only choices that we make in time and in mind that matter. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have to take responsibility for what we do, it simply means that we have to free ourselves from the burden of perfection and harsh self-judgement. Believe me, I know that it is hard but only you can ease your heart from the need to please. Undoubtedly, our society has formated us so we can indefinitely compare ourselves with others. However, what’s the point in comparing red apples with green ones? Aren’t all apples of the same kind but with different colorful personalities?

It doesn’t matter how many pieces are left in your puzzle but how you will fight your fear to put them together

Our globalized universe can be compared to a crazy roller coaster ride full of high speed information tracks and vomiting consumerism loops of all sorts. In order to survive and not be overwhelmed by others’ demands at work or at home, try to grant yourself some time to relax. With all the details, information and expectations we are facing on a daily basis, we become vulnerable targets for a nervous breakdown. Humans are these special creatures that have to fill their life with things they don’t need simply because they follow a social norm. The constant search for happiness is no longer taking into consideration what we want but instead what we should have. Whether we recognize it consciously or not, our society model based on consumerism and subjective needs is putting ourselves against each other.

Maybe as a matter of fear and failure, we prefer to follow the classic path of the social norm. It’s somehow securing ourselves to play it safe rather than taking risks to realise our dreams. In fine, it’s easier to blend in the crowd than taking the risk to be a failure. In my sense, as in a jigsaw game, success takes patience, determination and self-tolerance. It doesn’t matter how many pieces you put together at a given time, it’s rather what you will do to achieve your goals. It’s fortunate for you if you turn into the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates at the age of eighteen but it’s also acceptable if you publish your first book at forty-two. Socially, you will definitely feel the pressure on your shoulders to become “someone”. But honestly, we do not need others’ approval to exist on this planet?

Some people like me were formatted to do well at school and attend university programs. Curious by nature and multi-task, I believed that my numerous languages and interpersonal skills would open doors with a snap of my fingers. Naively or idiotically, I finally figured it out that the adult life would be a jungle full of predators and preys. Once again, I have the impression to play a sort of complicated puzzle game: trying to find the corresponding pieces that would solve my life equation and find my life goal. Nevertheless, it seemed so easy just like when I was five. Only what I had to do was to put together these four pieces of my existence: start with a good job, find an apartment, enjoy social evenings and maybe get married some day. However, as life sparkles us with its unexpected events, following a plan is more adventurous than an Indiana Jones movie. As hard as we may try to control our life, it will usually take a different turn anyway.

The rule is to stop imposing yourself rules

It sounds contradictory and unrealistic but even if we are obliged to obey some rules in order to avoid anarchy, we should be more tolerant with ourselves. What looks rather naive and unrealistic is to set some unachievable goals just because we are afraid of what others may think. Not because we are not capable to do so but because we unconsciously ignore our aspirations. However, it doesn’t mean that we should head straight for every plan that pops up, otherwise it could be a disaster. Dreams only come true if we believe in what we do, and if we get enough maturity to take work seriously. In other words, never let your dreams vanish in the back of your head, embrace your fear and be indulgent with your capabilities. All depends on the amount of efforts you put into your project. Sooner or later you will make progress at your own pace.

Only you can find the missing piece

Finally, just slow down for a second. Close your eyes and breath deeply. If you can’t meditate like Yoda and think about nothing for a moment, just remember to keep things simple and you will feel better. I know that because myself I can’t stop thinking. Don’t try to control every aspect of your life, it simply won’t work out. If you are stressed about something, try to find the origin and face the problem. You won’t find the answers to your equation on your neighbour’s desk. Everyone’s life is a unique puzzle, composed of several shapes, colours and sizes. Only you can find the missing piece to your puzzle equation by allowing yourself time to love you and have tolerance for imperfection.