I love puzzles, my love for puzzles started from an early age – thanks to my parents. I still remember how proud my sister and I were when we finished our ‘Unicef children of the world’ puzzle then. We would happily carry the box around, always careful not to lose any piece. And then there were others, can’t really remember much about them as my first puzzle set! But my love for puzzles has always remained intact and it’s no surprise I got my boys to also love puzzles.
Last Christmas, the boys got a 1,000 pieces impossible puzzle for Christmas. They got an Avengers impossible puzzle and the minions’ impossible puzzle. I have been trying to get them to assemble one, we tried to start once and I think they were overwhelmed. We agreed to try it some other time.
So last Sunday, I decided to start the avengers one, (the Minions puzzle is really impossible not sure I’ll ever touch that!) I started it and it took me a week, but I completed it and surprisingly learnt a few lessons from it, who would have thought! Being the goody two shoes that I am, I’ll share 😊.
Lessons learned from my PhD puzzle project 😋
- When starting a business or a project, your idea may be unpopular or rejected by people around you but that shouldn’t deter you. When I started the puzzle, my boys refused to help and told me it was too hard. This only pushed me on as I was determined to prove to them that ‘impossible is nothing’.
- Stay focused even if the project starts ‘not make too much sense’. Ignore the detractors. After starting the puzzle, by day 2 it still wasn’t looking good. I was already considering giving up by day 3 especially with my hubby aka ‘the scoffer’ calling it ‘PHD’ project 😁(a title I have now adopted) and the boys just shaking their heads every time they looked at it 🤦♀️.
- Don’t be too proud to ask for help. When your project starts coming to life and looking good, Don’t be too proud to ask for help. My boys would check in often, and I started asking them to try and find a few pieces. They fixed some for me as they wanted me to fix their favourite heroes and villains first. This encouraged me to keep on. Fresh ideas could boost your project/idea, it could even come from people who had earlier discouraged your idea.
- Don’t force things to work. If it doesn’t feel right no matter how much you want it to be right, it probably isn’t right. And some times it feels right and even though you have that nagging feeling that it’s not right you decide to go ahead with it and then the right one comes along! It could be too late. I found some pieces that felt right for a particular place and I put them there even though I kind of knew they were not right, but I was so desperate to complete it that I put it anyway, but guess what? The right one came along later. It’s easy to fix this in a jigsaw puzzle but when it comes to life choices, this could be disastrous.
- Don’t gloat when your project starts taking shape (even though I must admit I indulged in a little gloating 😉) By day 4, I was beginning to make progress. My puzzle was looking up and the boys began to take interest in what I was doing. At first, I told them to F-off 🙊, but I calmed down and let them see what I was doing as they excitedly pointed out the heroes and villains.
- Success they say has many friends! This is a fact that I’m sure some of you have experienced one way or the other. When I had almost completed the puzzle, my boys were all over it. They knew most of the characters so it was slightly easier for them at this point. They wanted to finish it with me or even by themselves, a far cry from when I started. When you’ve successfully completed or launched a project, there are instances where you may have to share the glory. It’s up to you who you want to acknowledge and bring along as part of your success. But one thing is certain, they’ll be many that’ll lay claim to being part of it.
On Saturday morning, my husband and I were wondering why the boys were still in bed and had not barged into our room when we heard a familiar cough! I went to their room only to find them fixing the puzzle (I had it set up In their room). I told them I wanted to complete it by myself but guess what, all of a sudden it was not my puzzle but theirs 😯. Well that was exactly what they told me 🤷🏽♀️.
oh, I nearly forgot, beware of naysayers! You know those people that always have something negative to say. Oh, I got that idea first, oh what a horrible idea, oh what a bad move. Hmmm 🙄, when I was almost through and doing my little gloating guess what my son said ‘you’re cheating mum’! 😱 All because I had a picture of the puzzle on my tablet just as it is on the cover 😁. Ignore naysayers please.
So there you have it, my completed Avengers 1,000 pieces impossible puzzle. Tyah, hope I did you proud 😊. Oh, by the way, your project/idea may not exactly come out the way you planned or pictured. Please still enjoy your success. I lost a piece in the process of moving it around before completion but I’m still proud of it. (Can you spot the missing piece and your favourite avengers? 😁).
Facts about Jigsaw puzzles
Did you know that:
- The 1st puzzle is believed to have been made in 1767 by Mr John Spilsbury, an English cartographer. He mounted a map on a sheet of hardwood, cut it using a saw and challenged the public to reassemble it. It then became a popular educational tool.
- Jigsaw puzzles were a lot more challenging back then, as there were no guide pictures on the boxes! If the titles were vague, the pictures would remain a mystery until the last pieces were fitted together.
- Jigsaw puzzles make your entire brain work. The left side of the brain, our analytical side, works to logically sort the pieces while the right side of the brain, our creative side, serves to see the finished product and works intuitively.
- Successfully piecing a puzzle together, even just placing one piece successfully, encourages the production of dopamine. A brain chemical that improves learning and memory, and maintains healthy brains.
- Playing with jigsaw puzzles helps to enhance mental and intellectual growth in young children, and also improves hand-eye coordination.
- Several large scale studies (the most notable being the MacArthur Study) found that people who play with jigsaw puzzles have a better quality of life and a longer life expectancy.
- Recent studies show that solving puzzles and practising a second language every day can reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, improve cognitive function, and ward off memory loss.
- Jigsaw puzzles are easy on the eyes, as there is no backlight and no glare that slowly wears down your vision, as opposed to today’s internet, video games and television.
Assembling jigsaw puzzles helps to clear your mind and relax. You’re overcome with a sense of delight and achievement with every piece found. Not to mention, the sense of achievement and satisfaction when you complete your jigsaw puzzle! I must agree that it puts the brain to work, look what I got out of it – a full post after having writer’s block since my last post 👧🏽.
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