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y whanau (family) have a
$15 maximum for spending
on each other’s Christmas
presents so I was surprised
to receive a big parcel from my wife.
I was even more surprised to see that she
had bought 6 x 500 piece jigsaw puzzles for
just 10 bucks!
To be honest, my first thought was when
am I going to get time to do jigsaw puzzles in
my busy life schedule? And so my jigsaw
education began. Here are five life lessons I
have learnt from doing jigsaws:
Lesson One. Make time to do ‘slower’
activities. I realised that I had to take time out
of my busy life to do slower activities such as
jigsaws and reading books. I will often read
books on flights but taking time out just to do
a jigsaw was a whole new level.
Lesson Two. Have a good life picture.
None of the six jigsaws my wife bought me
were ugly pictures. They were beautiful
pictures of amazing scenes. The pictures we
have for our lives should also be pictures of
beauty. Whether it is our whole whanau
speaking te reo Maori fluently, everyone in
good health, success through businesses, or
the fulfilment of goals, the pictures of our
lives are what we make them and no one
wants an ugly life picture on purpose. Our life
pictures should be things of beauty.
Lesson Three. Start with the borders. The
In this article Ngahi relates how a jigsaw puzzle is a little like life itself.
borders are the easy jigsaw pieces to find because they have a straight edge and usually have
clear colours that are easier to join to each other. I liken the borders of a jigsaw to the borders of
our lives that also have a straight edge and are hopefully clearly defined, or should be. That is,
they are the boundaries and values in our lives that are defined as our bottom lines that we are
not prepared to compromise on or step over. Or allow others to step over in our lives for that
Lesson Four. There is freedom and flexibility in how we put jigsaw puzzles together. We can
start at any corner and move to another area at any time. Life is similar if we allow it to be. In
any one day we can find ourselves involved in a variety of activities depending on the ‘pieces’ or
activities available and our interests at that time. In fact we could break our whole lives up and
see that we have been involved in activities for sectors of our lives depending on our choices.
Hopefully, we make the right choices to make the most of the right opportunities at that time to
create freedom in our lives.
Lesson Five. I was given six jigsaws which made me think about how I have many jigsaws on
the go at any time in my life. For example, I have my professional speaking jigsaw which can
take me anywhere in the world at any time. I have my professional director jigsaw which can see
me at a variety of hui making huge decisions on any day of the week. I also have my whanau
jigsaw which can see me out at the Awahou river or in a café with one of my kids in Auckland.
In each of my jigsaws I have values and borders which are the same throughout my life and
determine which jigsaws I choose to build.
So how are your life jigsaws going? Where does the MICE industry jigsaw fit in your life of
jigsaws? Do you make time to slow down and chill? Do you have values and bottom lines in
your life which you will not cross or allow others in your life to cross? What does your life jigsaw
puzzle look like? Are there any ugly pictures to get rid of? What are the various areas or jigsaws
in your life such as whanau that you are building piece by piece?
I am sure my wife did not intend on giving me these lessons when she bought me the six jigsaw
puzzles for ten bucks, or maybe she did. Especially given I am a big part of her life jigsaw as she is of
mine, after 32 years of marriage, one piece at a time. Best ten bucks she ever spent on me I reckon.
Can’t wait to see what I get next year for the whole fifteen dollars! m
Ngahihi o te ra is The Face of New Zealand, an award-winning international keynote and incentive
professional speaker from New Zealand. Book him now for your conference or incentive by phoning
+64 21482281 or through his website at www.ngahibidois.com
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