I've always liked puzzles, and board games whether it was Sudoku, a crossword puzzle, or chess. But I was never able to figure out the Rubik’s cube. In fact, when I was younger, I broke mine out of frustration. Not just taking the stickers off, I literally tore out each block so that I could see the inside. Now that I'm older, I know there's an algorithm to figure it out, but where's the fun in that? You know what's always peaked my interest? Jigsaw puzzles. Not the little ones either, I'm talking about the ones with 5000+ pieces. The ones that after you complete, you frame and put on display for everyone to see. No tricks, no gimmicks, no life lines, just you and the pieces. And that's when I realized life is like that. I ask myself "where would I begin?" Finding the correct 2 pieces to put together is like finding a needle in a haystack. So instead, I ask myself, "well, what is the bigger picture supposed to look like?" And then I look at the box as a point of reference, for guidance, just like I visualize the direction I want my life to take. And then I group the pieces together according to the image on the box, probably starting at the corners or the edges, which are more defined, and work my way in continuously until I reach the center, and before you know it, you have a complete, fully realized work of art. Although it technically never gets easier, it does become less difficult as you progress, not only because you have less pieces to place, but also because your vision becomes more refined in time.
I think about the style I've developed, my brand as a whole. When I first started writing at 14, I wasn't concerned with my style or becoming the best at what I do, and I didn't even know what a brand was. I just knew what I wanted to do, and my love and passion for what I do guided me to the point of my career in which I'm in today. But it all started with that first piece.
Sometimes we either get so caught up in what the final product is supposed to look like, that in our frustration we never start, or conversely, we get so caught up in the moment whether because of complacency, by putting things together piece by piece, focusing on one section longer than necessary, or making sure things are perfect before we move on, that we lose sight of the bigger picture, thus leading to complacency. There's no such thing as the perfect picture, but there is a such thing as excellence, and if you are to paint an excellent picture of your future, you must realize that there's a balance between the two extremes that must be maintained. It's also helpful to have a vision, or a mission statement. A little persistence and patience go a long way. Because how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
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