Small wins matter

My 4-year old niece recently graduated to a 200-piece puzzle. Since she is now a pro at her 100-piece one, my sister thought this would be a sufficient “upgrade” to the next level. She was ripe for a new challenge. But when the puzzle arrived, opened, and the pieces taken out of the box, everyone seemed overwhelmed. I remember thinking, “No way I am putting myself through this” and my sister actually said, “I am not even going to try” But seeing our little girl also feeling overwhelmed by all these pieces we decided to give it a go together to encourage her and show her it was possible. She is that kind of person who just wants to watch you do it wants before she tries it out on her own. And so we did…

Did we not sweat?! 😅

It took 3 grown ups plus a 4 year old a whole two hours to put together this puzzle. The celebration after fitting in that last piece made us realise that this wasn’t a small thing for a 4-year old to accomplish alone! It really was the definition of a challenge.

Two days later, I decided to try out the puzzle again with my niece. Once again, I felt overwhelmed but I was ready to tackle it. I was looking at the picture and trying to put together pieces that had the same pattern. I told my niece to do the same. She liked doing it this way because, even though she didn’t have the entire puzzle completed, she was putting together small related pieces in groups which we eventually started slowly joining together to complete the puzzle. And guess how long it took us?

An evening plus two hours the following day! 😂

After we were done and looking at our masterpiece the process was just replaying in my head and I was thinking of how sometimes our plans in business and life are like these puzzles. We have so many pieces that we need to put together before we see the final complete picture. How many times do we want to give up because we are overwhelmed by not being able to see this final picture yet, we can put our energies in joining the smaller, related pieces which give us those small wins. Small wins are worth celebrating too you know!

Your small wins matter. Celebrate them!

Read that again.

Sometimes we think that it’s impossible to achieve something because it appears as if we don’t have everything we need when, in fact, all the pieces of the puzzle are there. There is no one way to solving a problem. In the case of our puzzle, we actually realised that we work better when we start with the edges or perimeter. However, my niece didn’t quite get this method and preferred to join similar looking pieces in groups. At the end of the day, after we joined them our different methods brought about the completed masterpiece.

As you work through your business, remember that it is made up of many moving pieces and your method of working around issues, even in a team setting, can be unique to you and it’s OK. What is important is taking those small action steps (piece by piece) towards coming up with that bigger picture. That means communicating your progress and getting help fitting in the missing pieces. Our commitment determines whether or not we are going to eventually going to fit the right pieces in those missing gaps. More than anything, we should discount or downplay the small achievements we make along the way because they are leading us to that desired outcome.

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