Life Is A Puzzle

I stay engaged by knowing that life is a puzzle to be assembled. As a child, everything was about experiencing and learning. As an adult, I’ve spent most of my time reining myself in. Risk management and cost analysis aren’t just part of my work life or budgeting process. They are part of my daily routine. Here are some thoughts and examples:

  • If you “wear your heart on your sleeve,” other people can more easily harm and manipulate you.
  • If your first reaction is detached and analytical, you need to wait and acknowledge your emotions.
  • If you are too helpful or volunteer too much, people will just expect it rather than appreciate it.
  • Caring more about someone or something than that person or thing cares about you, gives them power over you.
  • Does the benefit outweigh the cost of emotional interactions? For example: If you correct factual errors does it make a difference to the outcome? Does it lead to recriminations and complaints you have to deal with later? Do you wind up feeling defensive?
  • Don’t waste time trying to change someone’s mind. If they deny the facts and refuse to think for themselves, they deserve the outcome. Just make sure you don’t suffer for their poor judgement.
  • Compassion is okay, but you have to eschew sympathy. It takes to much energy and focuses you on the outcome rather than the action.
  • Being the peacemaker and explainer is tiring. I’ve learned to (mostly) step outside the chain and relinquish the middle. “Do not engage.”
  • Depending on yourself is much more reliable than depending on others … and leads to less disappointment.
  • Procrastination isn’t always bad. Sometimes it just diminishes the amount of resistance you encounter. Or shortens the argument and diffuses the confrontation.
  • People and relationships are puzzles too.  I make a point of acknowledging the “good” and “bad” of a person because nobody is all black or all white.
  • Nobody really wants to know you “completely.”  Familiarity breeds indifference.
  • Contentment is easier and safer than chasing joy and finding regret and disappointment.
  • Ideas, whether new or from a changed perspective, make me happy … and keep me trying.