I recently completed a one-thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle only to find one piece missing. I thought I did everything right as I prepared and worked on the puzzle. I worked in a space where I could focus and work without distraction. I used a large piece of cardboard so I could carefully lay out all the pieces. I found all the frame pieces and positioned them to help get me started. I placed like pieces together so I could work section by section.
I worked on the puzzle diligently for a few hours daily for two weeks. And of course, I expected the beautiful landscape print of Zion National Park (my favorite National Park) to look just like I remembered it when I visited a few years ago. But in the end, through no fault of my own, the one-thousand-piece puzzle had only 999 pieces!!
It's frustrating and seems somewhat unfair, but there are very few guarantees in life. You can do everything "right" and realize you are still missing a few pieces. Sometimes you plan and work hard to achieve your goals only to come up a little short. You planned for every known contingency and even anticipated some of the unusual problems. But after all of this, things still didn't turn out like you planned due to circumstances above and beyond your control. Like the weather, life can be predictably unpredictable. That's when you learn you can only control what you can control and the rest, well simply put; is out of your control!
Success is usually surrounded by many failed attempts and valuable lessons learned. The lessons learned by failing not only teach you how to deal with failure but also how to deal with success. They teach you not to become too distraught by failure, but most importantly, they teach you to be humble in your success. Because rest assured, if you keep trying you will succeed!
Don't worry if sometimes a few pieces come up missing . Learn to work with the pieces you have and make the best of the situation. Besides, missing pieces give the picture character and reminds you that nothing and no one is perfect!