Do you enjoy jigsaw puzzles? There is something about putting puzzles together. It allows you to think sometimes for long periods of time. And if done with another person, it gives you an opportunity to spend time together. I love puzzles. Not just the little, easy ones—I want a challenge. Give me the big ones with lots of pieces and lots of color. The ones that take hours to finish! Recently, my dear husband found a great jigsaw puzzle app for me that I can control the number of pieces and the level of difficulty. Of course, I quickly became addicted. So, I had to delete it to get some work done at home.
The goal of putting puzzles together is connecting pieces and making one amazing, delightful picture—one piece at a time. And we notice that the individual piece is not the complete picture. It takes one piece connected to another to another and so on to make the picture complete.
Thus, the purpose of this blog was born. We connect people. We connect life. We connect excellence. So our lives become one big picture. Hopefully, the way we connect will be beautiful.
Every part of our lives involves connecting in some way to each other and to life. Our most personal connection is to each other. Deep within each of us is that social need for contact with another human being. Because we simply need each other. Whatever our personality, we may find it easier to connect socially with one person at a time or in small crowds, or we may get energy from mingling in a crowd.
We connect through areas of life: physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. When we connect with areas of life, it may be a little more difficult; and we may struggle in certain areas. Physically, there is power in the human touch. We may have read that infants thrive when they are held or touched. Emotionally, we connect with friends, family, coworkers, or acquaintances, if we discover we may have a hobby or an interest in common. They encourage, support, and challenge us to grow. Mentally, we connect with those who challenge us to learn or who are similar to us intellectually. Spiritually, we connect with those who may have similar beliefs or practices. We have opportunities to become energized when we connect with others and ideas.
Connections have benefits that allow us to grow. We discover a person’s uniqueness. We grow personally in knowledge. We discover and develop other interests. We become the person we are meant to be. We identify what fulfills us and what does not. We discover our purpose. We connect to people, and we connect to life.
As I was thinking about the connections to people and life, I was reminded of a song Amy Grant recorded early in her ministry, ” What a Difference You’ve Made.” Some of the key lyrics:
“What a difference You’ve made in my life … / You’re my sunshine, day, and night …”
“What change You have made in my heart … / You replaced all the broken parts …”
The song is a testimony of the difference and change Jesus makes in our lives. As we focus on the difference He makes in our lives, we can be a witness and an encouragement to others. As a result, maybe we can help make a difference in the lives of others as we connect. It is all about investing ourselves in others and living a life to make a difference.
Our connections challenge this week: Practice the art of connecting. One technique when you meet a coworker or client is to find out their name. Introduce yourself if you do not know them. Be intentional. If you have an opportunity to engage in conversation, listen to them, and pay attention. Listen for things that may help you remember them. Say their name a couple of times where appropriate in the conversation and especially when they leave your presence. The next time you see them, make it a point to say their name. One of the Dale Carnegie points is to learn and use the other person’s name. We may never realize the power a simple word or smile can make a difference in someone’s life. So learn someone’s name–and take a simple step to get connected.