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Monday, April 5, 2010

Jack of Clubs

When you get an idea, what does the image look like to you? Do you see the big picture first? Most of us envision the finished product before we think about the individual pieces that must fit together. This week the Jack of Clubs will represent a jigzaw puzzle to illustrate how it helps to break down large plans into smaller components. If you can determine what pieces should connect, you can begin to build a framework for your end result.

A jigsaw puzzle has a picture on the box of what the completed product should look like when you have assembled all of the pieces. When you are pursuing a goal, do your research to find examples of successful outcomes. Your representation will not be identical. It will be unique to you. However, it should have characteristics of the model, or template, you are following. It is important to identify your four corners, border framework, and interior components.

The four corners serve as anchors for the puzzle. They help it take shape and keep it from shifting. Stability is important for any display, or road map. Before you start down the path that will lead to your desired destination, identify the people who will be in your corners. These will be the people who are there to advise, guide, and encourage you. They may share things with you out of their own experiences or wisdom they have learned from others. Think about Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. She had four corners to assist her on the journey and help her reach her goals. The Scarecrow, Tinman, and Cowardly Lion provided sound counsel as she encountered obstacles and sometimes became discouraged. So you may be asking who would be the fourth corner for Dorothy. It could be Toto (constant companion and faithful friend) or Glenda the Good Witch (intermittent presence and voice of common sense).

The border pieces of the puzzle connect the corners and provide support for the remaining pieces that will fill in the middle. You can identify the border candidates by looking for a straight edge or level side. Borders protect you from distraction, enhance your presentation and provide a sense of direction. This is true whether you are talking about jigsaw puzzles or your network of family, friends, and other associates. The people who surround you should help you focus, make you better, and share knowledge that will benefit you.

Once this frame is formed, you can shift your focus to the core, or substance, of the puzzle. This is the essence of what others will see when looking at the completed project. Examine the remaining pieces and identify similar patterns and shapes that will help you join the correct ones together. There is usually more color and detail in this section. As you pursue your goals, this would equate to your vision and mission statements. Let people know what you want to do and how you will accomplish it. Your preparation and confidence will enable you to succeed when you are given opportunities to prove yourself.

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