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Did you ever watch a child put a jigsaw puzzle together? What’s the first thing that they do after dumping the pieces from the box? Come on, you remember don’t you? They’ll look at the picture on the front of the box so they know what the finished product will look like, right?

We’ve all heard about the importance of focus and keeping our eye on the end goal in order to get there. But how many times do we focus on just the piece that we happened to pick up that day rather than focusing on the photo on the front of the box?

I believe that life is just like that jigsaw puzzle. There are a lot of pieces and sometimes we’re looking at just one piece and we think we know what the entire puzzle “should” look like. Or, we’re looking at a piece saying, “No, this isn’t my piece. This belongs in another box.” We pick up an orange piece and think to ourselves something like, “If this is a picture of the ocean, then how can there be an orange piece in this puzzle? The ocean is blue. This isn’t mine!”, when we know that it is. We focus on the orange piece and lose sight of the big picture, in this case, of a beautiful sea scape, ah… with a gorgeous sailboat with yes, you guessed it, a sail with an orange stripe. Why do we sometimes have to see the end before we have faith that the pieces will fit and actually belong in our puzzle?

It’s only when we can see the entire picture that we realize that all of the pieces are not only indeed ours, but all of the pieces play in important role in making the entire picture complete- and beautiful. It’s fairly useless to look at just one piece and try to predict what the entire picture will look like, but how many times do we do that with our lives?

We’ll look at one circumstance and very quickly lose sight of the big picture that we were creating, only to focus on that one tiny piece and question why it’s in our box in the first place!

I believe that as the pieces of our puzzle show up in our individual lives, it’s important to remind ourselves to look at the picture on the front of the box! Keep the big picture firmly in your mind and in your consciousness. See it. Dream it. Feel it. Be that picture! Don’t try to second-guess if the puzzle piece should or shouldn’t be in your life. Trust that it’s there for a reason even if you can’t see it in this moment. When the puzzle is complete, then and sometimes only then, are you able to look back at those individual pieces, especially the ones with the tricky edges and odd shapes that were so difficult to fit in, and know that they too were necessary to complete the entire beautiful picture.

That nasty divorce that allowed you to find the new relationship, getting fired from your job to make way for a better one, and perhaps even the car accident that created unwanted circumstances in your life where you can’t yet see the benefit- all are pieces of the puzzle. All have a place in the grand scheme of things, even if you can’t yet see how they fit.

So the next time you’re going through a challenging circumstance, or as I like to call it, a growth opportunity, ask yourself if you’re focusing on the individual puzzle piece or the beautiful picture on the front of the box. It’s only when the glory and the beauty of your finished picture is stronger than the drama of the individual puzzle pieces, that the pieces of your life will easily fall into place creating the wondrous picture you carry in your heart. I wish you a beautiful puzzle and fun putting it together. ☺

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Gail Lynne Goodwin is the founder of, bringing the best inspiration to the world. provides free inspiration, each day from a new Inspirational Luminary, to a global community of folks from over 150 countries. Gail has interviewed many well-known names including Sir Richard Branson, Guy Laliberte, Seth Godin, Tony Hseih, Gary Vaynerchuk, Michael Gerber, Marci Shimoff, Jack Canfield and hundreds more. According to Mashable, Gail was one of 2009's Top 25 Most Inspirational People on Twitter.

Prior to, Gail spent several years as manager for her recording artist daughter, Carly. As a result of the success of their co-penned song, "Baby Come Back Home", Gail accompanied her daughter to bases in the US and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Carly performed for our troops. Gail and Carly created the 'World's Longest Letter' of love and support and delivered the 18-mile long scroll on a month-long tour of Iraq and the Persian Gulf in 2006.

Gail is excited to present her latest course, Love in 21 Days, a step-by-step guide to finding love online. Love in 21 Days is founded on a logical process that has been tested - and proven! - by not only Gail, but also by students around the world who too have found love.

Gail is a published author and a regular writer for the Huffington Post. She offers mentoring and mastermind services to clients worldwide from her home in Whitefish, Montana. Follow Gail on Twitter or Google+.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Well put Gail.

    I believe the next step is the transition from believing that this concept is true to KNOWING it is true. My experience has been that it takes a slow, objective look back through ones life to gain this realization.

    Life can only be understood looking backwards, but must be lived going forward.


  2. Thanks for your comment Dan. I’m looking forward to having you on the site as an Inspirational Luminary!



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