Every single day brings challenges that require personal stretching in our problem-solving skills. How many decisions do you suppose we have to make in any given 24-hour period? ‘Experts’ say anywhere between 500 and 35,000 per day, from trivial to mega-selections:
- What do I wear today?
- What’s for lunch?
- Which road route do I take?
- How do I get along with my co-worker or a certain family member?
- How do I navigate the automated customer service voice maze?
- Can I get all my projects accomplished today?
- How do I stretch my finances to cover all my family’s needs?
- Chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation?
- Who am I and what is my purpose in life?
Just to name a few…
Life is full of decision making. We get to continually test and strengthen our puzzle solving skills, especially when other people are involved. Like putting an actual jigsaw puzzle together—some basic principles might apply:
1. Don’t force a fit. If something is meant to be, it will come together naturally. Trying to ‘make’ personalities, skills, and ideas work together when they are perhaps not supposed to, can be very frustrating for those being teamed up—and for those doing the teaming.
2. Establish borders first. Cast vision for the big picture and set practical expectations in view. This gives a sense of security and order for all other pieces to hinge upon.
3. Every puzzle goes together bit by bit, piece by piece, and every single piece is crucial. Because we can’t instantly see where all pieces fit does not mean they don’t belong—we are just not sure where . . . yet.
4. Don’t be afraid to try different combinations. Some matches are very surprising. Look carefully at each piece to see if it fits with another. Often getting one area put together right can give clarity on the next.
5. If pieces are missing, the puzzle cannot be completed. Look for any missing pieces so the entire undertaking isn’t stopped or frustrated by what is missing.
6. It is ok to look at the picture on the box. Envisioning the clear, big picture can help with finding where to start looking for the right pieces.
7. Allow others to give input into your puzzle solving. Fresh eyes see what we do not see.
(All these can also apply to dream interpretation)
Puzzle Solving—in Dream Interpretation and in Life