Globe of the world as a jigsaw puzzle.

When thinking about the state of the world, do you ever feeling completely overwhelmed and unable to actually make a positive impact? Here are Jade’s reflections.

I was never one of those people who knew at a young age (or any age for that matter) what I wanted to do with my life. A wide array of topics, activities and issues grabbed for my attention and care.

I love this about myself; I enjoy so many things in life with a wide range of hobbies, but it can be exhausting and confusing when trying to find my career path.

Then in 2019, I was lucky enough to hear Jane Goodall talk. She spoke about the world as a jigsaw.

I like to envision the whole world as a jigsaw puzzle… If you look at the whole picture, it is overwhelming and terrifying, but if you work on your little part of the jigsaw and know that people all over the world are working on their little bits, that’s what will give you hope.  – Jane Goodall

When I heard this, a penny dropped for me. I realised I had been scurrying through the metaphorical jigsaw box getting distracted and horrified by all the pieces needing solved. Thus I wound up feeling completely overwhelmed and unable to actually make a positive impact on any of the pieces.

I’ve since been shifting perspective, asking myself questions in search of that jigsaw piece.

A book I was gifted recently has been very helpful on this journey; it’s called “Ikigai: the Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life”. Your ikigai is your ‘reason for jumping out of bed in the morning’. You find it in the place where your skills and interests meet a need in the world that you can be paid for. Quite honestly I’ve found the process of finding my ikigai (my jigsaw piece) very challenging and I’ve needed buckets of patience and dedication. I’m not quite there yet, but I am getting closer and closer and I’m beginning to feel the sense of purpose that I’ve been longing for.

The beauty of this metaphor for the world is that it allows you to care about a wide number of causes, while alleviating the overwhelm of trying to solve all of them, knowing there is a fellow human who is as dedicated to that issue as you are to yours.

And don’t forget all the pieces are connected and interlocked. You are invited to truly contribute in your own unique way to this massive collaborative patchwork puzzle which by definition, has to be a team effort. We can’t possibly do this whole world sized jigsaw puzzle ourselves, we need to work alongside and collaborate with one another. And hey, we could maybe even have fun doing it?

So, which jigsaw piece has your dedication?

Jade Peace, March 2022

Feature image by Alexas Fotos from Pixabay