The puzzle pieces bounced on the table as I poured them out of the box.
"This is my least favorite part," I offhandedly remarked as I started dividing the edge pieces from the center pieces.
It really was, but I knew it made putting the puzzle together that much easier and more enjoyable once everything was sorted, so I just went to work and let my thoughts drift.
Watching a puzzle come together is quite satisfying! Where there was only chaos and ambiguity, appears a cohesive and beautiful picture; and on top of that, you get to experience the sensation of creating that beautiful image!
The funny thing about puzzles, though, is that they really aren't that fun once you've put them all together. No matter how long I get stumped on finding a certain piece or putting wrong ones in, I've realized that the most enjoyable part of a puzzle is the process of putting it together, not having it done.
Quite often, especially in the process of starting a coaching business, I get trapped in the thought that it'll be more enjoyable once I've reached my end goal, and I've completed what I set out to do. I don't want to 'divide out all the pieces' and then spend who knows how long trying to figure out which ones fit where. I just want to see immediate results. But that's not what life is about, nor is it what makes life enjoyable!
No matter what goals we decide to pursue in life, we all have to 'pay our dues.' And the more ambitious the goal, the more effort and sacrifice is required. I don't say that in a discouraging way, but just as a matter of fact. We never get something for nothing. But remember, it's the process that is the fun part! And usually, it's what ultimately prepares us to be able to actually accomplish our goals!
Right now, the puzzle Ryan and I are putting together looks pretty chaotic and ambiguous. It'd be easy for someone to look at the chain of events in our life for the past two years and conclude that we are rash, unprepared, non-committal, overly optimistic, and naive.
I mean, just since I graduated with my master's degree in 2018, I've worked in 8 different jobs, three of those being personal businesses Ryan and I have started. Our bank account as reached $0 three different times, two of those times being right after we drove up to Alaska. We've lived in a variety of different situations, with varying amounts of amenities, but none of which would make many people jealous (hehe ;-) And, we don't have much to show for our efforts except that we've become experts at packing and we're pretty dang good at making 'uncomfortable', comfortable.
Just a few weeks ago, after arriving in Alaska for the second time, I got stuck in the trap of focusing too much on the chaos and ambiguity of my 'puzzle' and all the pieces that were still not put together. The more I focused on everything that wasn't ideal and all the unknowns in our current situation, the more I sank unto despair and frustration.
Although unpleasant, the feeling of despair can be somewhat addicting and hard to break out of. After always trying to be strong and 'put on a brave face', it can feel good to just let yourself be depressed and discouraged about life. I don't know, maybe it just feels good to finally acknowledge that, "hey, things are pretty hard right now, and I do have a right to be worried and depressed."
But, as I've learned time after time, wallowing in self-pity never makes things better.
So, I figuratively hit my 'reset' button, and got to work! I resumed in full vigor my rituals of daily gratitude, spiritual growth, and physical exercise that I had neglected in various degrees the week before. Getting my mind, spirit, and body in the right place at the start of each day is 100% my key to success!
The circumstances of our journey do not determine our happiness or success. Nor does accomplishing our goal finally bring us the happiness we desired. Rather, it is our perception of our circumstances that determines our happiness, and our happiness that leads us to success!
We need to stop wishing the puzzle was already complete, or worrying about how many pieces we have left, and start enjoying the process of discovering where each piece goes, and creating a beautiful picture!
Ryan & Courtney Bringhurst, we are a happily married power couple! Our purpose together is to inspire and uplift others to live the life they were meant to live, as well as to find true joy and satisfaction in their life's journey.