The Puzzle piece MASTERING MY LIFE
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Explore the Puzzle framework
Witness how others have used the Puzzle and inspire yourself
Pick one Puzzle piece
Apply the tip(s)
Follow up on results
Acknowledge positive impact
The puzzle tips
INTRODUCTION TO THE PUZZLE PRACTICE BOOK
The practice book is available to keep track of my thoughts, and support me step by step through my transformation to live well.
I will find here all the Puzzle tips, together with some help on how to apply these tips, and measure progress.
I can either print it and write on it, or use a side booklet of my own to take notes.
3 key advises to live well are:
Start small, and build up from there.
Experiment in place and/or with people I am comfortable with, then expand.
The more I practise, the more comfortable I am, and the easier it gets!
Have fun anchoring these new habits!
SETTING THE SCENE TO LIVE WELL
How do you feel starting this practice book? On a scale 0 to 100.
How do you want to feel after applying the Puzzle in your life? On a scale 0 to 100.
Close my eyes and imagine being there.
Capture here with my own key words what it feels like - with some thoughts, feelings and sensations how it will be:
When do I want to be there?
And when do I want to start?!
I have chosen to focus on the tips of the Puzzle piece:
MASTERING MY LIFE
Capture why I have chosen to transform the role "my Filter" plays
On a scale from 1 to 10, capture my perception how dysfunctional the Puzzle piece "my Filter" is today
On a scale from 1 to 10, write down what success will look like after I have successfully practiced the tip for 7 days in-a-row
Last, capture what I have achieved after these 7 days
SETTING UP EXPECTATIONS
BRINGING EXCELLENCE IN MY LIFE - NOT PERFECTION
What this tip is about:
How to practice this tip?
I deserve to live well, and to bring this wish to (my!) life.
To enable this, I do my best every minute of the day. Excel at taking good care of myself. Excel at living well.
Excellence means that I put all my heart into it.
Which is different from being perfect. Perfection is by definition not achievable, as I constantly seek to do better as it is never good enough. It is a never ending race!
While excelling implies that I always do my best, giving the maximum I can at a given point in time.
I will doubt, I will be polluted, I will experience fear: still, I am committed to live well, and will let nothing stand in the way.
There is a BIG difference between excellence and perfection.
Excellence means I do my best, at all times.
Perfection means that it is never good enough, and therefore I have to do better. And better. Forever.
1. Let’s assess where I stand on these 2 notions:
On a scale from 0 to 100, how much do I tend to seek for perfection at work?
And in my private life?
And how much would I like my excellence levels to be at, by the end of my 7 Days in-a-row experiment (in %)
In my private life?
When I reach Day 7, assess how much room I have made for excellence in my life - and whether my objective was met. As needed, keep practising until my goal is enforced.
2. To enforce excellence, each time I spend 30 minutes doing one task, ask myself:
Is this good enough? Is the extra time I spend from now on going to make a major difference?
If yes, then how much more time do I need for this task to complete with excellence?
If not, decide to leave perfection and enter excellence. Stop doing what I am doing, and allocate my meaningful time to another task.
3. On Day 1, how many times a day did I catch myself seeking for perfection, instead of choosing excellence?
Same question on Day 3:
Same question on Day 7:
Also, how does it feel when I leave perfection to enter excellence?
4. Last, did anything terrible happen during these 7 days in-a-row experiment?
For instance, has anyone noticed a major quality drop in my work, or have I been blamed for not doing well enough?
All these questions are to help realise that I sometimes put too much pressure on myself. Doing a little less can lift a burden off my shoulders, in particular when all the extra miles I was making were not noticeable. Allowing myself to repurpose this time is OK.
Table of content
Bringing excellence in my life - not perfection
Owning my future
Find out why I want to change
Reflecting back on this experience:
What worked well?
What will you change with the next Puzzle piece?
Be kind to yourself!
Habits come and go: what matters is to be directionally correct.
It is OK to come back to a Puzzle piece you have already tackled, or to take more time to anchor a habit.
Do as it suits you best.
What this tip is about:
How to practice this tip?
The Puzzle is a solution to feel and live. It transforms my life as I use it, and therefore I should practise it as much as I can. Savour its positive impacts.
I am also leveraging the Puzzle because I enjoy what it does - and certainly not because 'I have to'! There is no obligation with the Puzzle: only choices to make, and the accessible option to live well. It is a tool to enjoy life - not to add pressure on myself! I use it because I enjoy what it brings!
It is also a modular solution: I do not need to learn it by heart, or dive in every piece of the Puzzle. I focus on what I need at a given point in time, and master the piece(s) that concretely help me.
Then I let the Puzzle rest and keep it at the back of my mind: all I need is to remember is that it is here for me, and to refer to it any time I need help.
At times, I refrain from believing too much in my dreams, to protect myself from being too disappointed if it does not happen.
Savouring my life is about making the most of what I have, at a given point in time.
To run a quick test:
On a scale from 0 to 100, how much energy do I have?
Still in percentage, how much of this energy am I giving to myself - versus to others?
Also, how much do I care about others, to the detriment of taking care of myself? All the time / Most of the time / At times Never
Savouring my life starts with myself. It is the typical story of the oxygen masks in the planes: first I put it on, then I help other people.
Because if I help others first, then I run out of air and I most likely die, even before I am able to help anyone - while if I am in condition, I have both a chance to survive and help others make it.
In percentage, how selfish do I find people that put themselves first?
If my answer is 50% or higher, then I have a bias in mind - can be a limiting idea, and up to a Cold Case. Choosing to put myself first does not mean I will forget about others.
To give myself some perspective, is the Dalai Lama selfish?
Typically he takes time to meditate. Such time he could give to the people who need his guidance. But he chooses to retreat, one of the many reasons being that meditation is a big part of who he is. It is a spiritual food he needs. Plus it also gives him ideas that he is then able to share with many.
This example is to highlight that living well starts with myself. Waiting for something to happen, for someone to be well - does not bring inner peace of mind. I may be relieved at that moment, but then I will move to the next worry.
Living well is about how I look at my life - not about what is in my life. I cannot control what happens to me, but I am in control of how I live it.
The tricks to savour my life are for instance:
To see what is beautiful around me. Can be someone dressed up well, can be a flower at home or in a shop, can be the light at a given time of the day, a beautiful book cover. Anything nice for my eyes.
To savour when I am smiling or laughing. When I take a few seconds to realise that I am living something I enjoy.
To savour nice smells - such as a flower, but can also be clean laundry or a product smelling nice in the bathroom and that I use everyday.
To savour eating or drinking something I love. Something sweet or sour, and that is a delight to taste.
To savour time with people I love, and enjoy their company
To savour time alone, doing something I want to do on my own. Can be lying down for a few minutes, reading a book, taking a walk, taking a bath, listening to music, watching a game. Something I am doing for myself.
There are plenty of moments each day I can enjoy, even when in the middle of a storm.
It is essential to notice them too, and to make room for them.
They feed me to be well.
FIND OUT WHY I WANT TO CHANGE
What this tip is about:
How to practice this tip?
I have decided to purchase the Puzzle and therefore I want to make the most out of it.
To ensure I will use it to the full extent I need, it is useful to know why I want to change. Why is it important? What do I want out of this transformation? What is my “greater purpose” - i.e. the reason why I am motivated to transform my life?
It is no longer about my challenge, it is about the fire that fuels me inside to change. This is the thought I will hang on to and that will keep me motivated. This is the reason why I will make it happen.
To give you an example, the Puzzle was created because I wanted to give time back to everyone - save you years of struggle, and use these years to do good things rather than stress. That is my ambition behind the Puzzle, and when I faced difficulties, I related to this goal and remembered why I started, and why to keep going!
It is not a sinecure to transform my life! At times, I am tempted to drop it and go back to my good old habits! To avoid so and ensure this time I am not giving up, it helps to know why I want to change.
When I reflect about what brought me to the Puzzle, why did I decide to purchase it? What did I want to change?
My motivation is not my challenge: it is the reason why I want to overcome my challenge. It also has to be positive, and compelling! It is the reason that makes my heart beat! Something I cannot give up upon, because I would miss it too much. It is also something I do for myself: changing to please someone else can be an extra motivation, but at the heart of change is what I - not another person - will get out of it.
Please find enclosed some examples how to phrase my greater purpose:
Once I have overcome …, I will be able to….
I want to stop being …. because I want to ….
It is time to end ….. and fulfil my dream to …..
Be specific, and ensure it is something I 100% believe in - as this sentence is what will keep me motivated when I doubt.
Each time I wonder why I am doing all this, both think about it and feel it. Be what it will be once I am there, in anticipation.
Also, when I tell myself why I am changing, how do I feel?
Is it rather on the scary or energising side?
If it is rather scary, then I can take a moment and talk to my Ego. Ask it to partner with me and fuel me with its courage and strong will. Then come back to this question, and witness that I am already more at ease with the idea of becoming another person.
Each time I doubt, I can run through the following 3 steps:
On a scale from 0 to 10, how close am I to giving up?
Remember and feel why I am doing it
Back to the scale: 0 to 10, how motivated am I to continue?
And if my greater purpose does not help me sustain the effort, then it is OK. Either I am fine how I am, and there is nothing wrong with that conclusion! I don’t need to change if I am well already.
Or I may not have captured in full why I am on this transformation journey.
Another option could be that I have a Cold Case to address (cf. “my Filter” tips), and that is standing in the way of my transformation.
Come back to the Puzzle as you see fit
Seeking for inspiration?
Go through Thoughts and People’s stories to find out how others have leverage the Puzzle to solve their challenge
OWNING MY FUTURE
What this tip is about:
How to practice this tip?
I have learnt to catch when my Ego is in charge - and that living in the present is one of the good ways to stop being polluted mentally.
Still, while being present is very useful, there are also times where I need to think about what I would like my future to be. Anticipating and projecting myself is relevant and useful - as long as my Ego is not leading, as it would imagine a depressing future!
Power comes when I am able to project and align physical sensations, feelings and my thoughts together. Experimenting what my future could be (and not only thinking about it) makes my brain believe it is already happening - as feelings are always real, regardless whether I am imagining the situation triggering them.
To enable so, I can apply the following this 5 steps process:
Define what I need: where do I want to be?
Why is it good for me? What will it bring to me?
What emotion will come with it? How will I feel once I am there? Name the emotion and feel it.
What physical sensation will my body experience when I am there? Describe the sensation and feel it
When telling this story to myself, I also bring up the feelings and the physical sensations. And tell myself such anecdotes over and over, in the present tense (not future) - as another element for my brain to think I am already there.
For instance, I "need to work with people I like", because I love to share and exchange ideas. That makes me feel listened to and valued, plus it makes me really happy when people build upon ideas of others! The emotion that comes with this complicity is happiness and proudness. My body feels energised.
While this is about my future, all these sensations are happening now - hence I can start enjoying today what tomorrow will be!
Paradox is that in the end, it does not matter if it happens or not: I am already living it now!
1. While stress just comes, building my dream life requires some thinking!
The objective is not to have it perfectly nailed (refer to the “perfection” tip) - rather to have a clear idea of what fits me. And then work my life towards it.
What matters is not so much that my grand plan all works out - they rarely do!! What matters is that I will get more and more of what I am seeking for, regardless of the format.
Focus on the journey, enjoy the ride - also because the journey takes longer than being at destination! Enjoy all the nuggets along the way.
Start by defining what my dream life is, and cover all aspects that are important to me.
My dream life can for instance include aspects of my health, my work, my friends, my family, hobbies, social work, my finances, etc.
I may want to change one part of my life - for instance work; or many. As I imagine my dream life, also cover the consequences of my transformation. For instance, moving to a different city or country for a new job will also change my personal life.
Describe what my dream life is,
Add a picture that symbolises it
Name the emotion I will feel the most when I am there
Explain how my body will feel when I am there (ex. relaxed, relieved, soft, etc.)
2. As often as I wish and no less than once a day, walk myself through the story of my dream life. And when I do so, use the present tense and not the future - as I want to experience being there already, and inform my brain accordingly.
On a scale from 0 to 100, how close am I to my dream life today?
Also, on a scale from 0 to 10, how much do I trust my dream life can happen?
If my score is 7 or below, what happens if I decide to believe my dream life can come true?
Often, I hold myself back because I fear I could be disappointed, even not recover, if I believe too much in something - and then it does not happen.
And certainly: I will have to digest it if it does not work out. Yet, take a different perspective for a moment: if I choose to trust it is possible, then I could remove the stress of shielding myself against life. Avoiding issues comes with a high price: I have to avoid living anything, to avoid bad things from happening (because who could say in advance it will be good or bad?!).
3. Here are the 2 choices I have:
I live in fear, in case something wrong happens one day. I shield myself from living, to ensure I am not hurt.
Still, despite all my efforts, I will face issues. Such is life. Paradox being that as I protect myself from issues, I will also miss what is good in my life. So the contrast is not too much to take, plus how would I know how it will turn out? I will stress and pollute myself in anticipation of issues.
I trust I deserve a better life, and that I will be able to handle what comes, when it comes. That life is worth living fully.
Challenges can be rough to live, but stressing at the idea they may occur, does not make them smaller. Like as I have already chipped in stressing about them beforehand, so I get less stress when they occur! Life does not work that way. I might choose to enjoy my days until then, plus doing so will put me in a much better place to deal with issues once there.
So: which one is my choice?
How do I want to live?
YOU HAVE IMPLEMENTED THE TIPS RELATING TO THE PUZZLE PIECE "MASTERING MY LIFE"!