Everything that is now complete, at one time came in pieces. The house you live in, the chair you are sitting in, the car you are driving, the health you are experiencing, the life you are living, and the results you are experiencing. Every piece is critical, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. You may be tempted to leave out a small piece or part of a process, but do so at your own peril. If you are not experiencing the joy you would like in an area of your life, all you need to ask is, what piece is missing?

I recently bought a desk for my office in my new home. I was very specific about what I was looking for, because it had to fit in the space I had allocated for it. I searched high and low, and finally came across one with the perfect dimensions to fit snugly and ideally in my office. I don’t know if Amart is a global store, or just an Australian one, but I had never shopped there before. So, I decided, as the desk was just what I was after, to buy it. It was delivered on Tuesday last week in three flat boxes. Yes, a flat pack. I am not a handy man, that’s for sure, but I had a friend coming over to help me, so I was confident we could put it together.

I opened and emptied each box and was left with 40-50 pieces, and hundreds of screws, bolts, and other necessary bits n’ pieces. In addition to that, I had an instruction booklet that may as well have been written in another language. It was terrible! It was, however, all we had, so my friend and I got started trying to decipher the instructions and put the desk together. Well, it wasn’t long before we hit a brick wall. Each piece was labelled with a small sticker, and we got to the stage where we needed the piece labelled C9. It was just a very small piece, but a critical connecting piece for two larger pieces.

We searched high and low, and it was not there. We had hit an impasse. We could do no more, because of that one small, seemingly insignificant piece, So, with bits of an un-assembled desk all over my office floor, we gave up for the evening. I left frustrated, a little angry, and very clear about the importance of every single piece. Long story short, the next day I went, at great inconvenience, to pick up that missing piece, and I was able to complete assembling the desk. It looks great, and I am glad I finished it. But there is no way it could have happened without every single tiny, obscure, and seemingly unimportant piece in place.

Why, you may ask, am I talking about my desk? Because it is a beautiful metaphor for the life you are living and the life you want to live. We live in a quick-fix and shortcut focussed world, where many people, including me, are looking for the quickest and easiest way to be fit and healthy, make money, avoid conflict, and live a meaningful life. I hate to tell you, there is no quick-fix or shortcut, and every piece of the process is needed, no matter how irrelevant or unenjoyable it may seem. In fact, it was the great John C. Maxwell, who said, the longest distance between two points is a shortcut!

As you sit there reading this blog, I want to encourage you to think about the one area of your life that is not as you would like it to be right now. Do you have it in your mind? I am now going to ask you a question, and I guarantee you know the answer, even though you may be pretending not to. How do I know? Because I do the same. The question is, in that area of your life you would like to see a positive change, what piece is missing? Think about it for a moment. You know the answer, don’t you? The next question is, why are you avoiding putting that piece in the process? Are you squirming a little in your seat? If so, good. You are ready.      

Are you looking to improve your wellbeing? Is the missing piece breakfast? Is it exercise? Is it sleep? Is it not enough water? Is it too many poor choices? Is it too much stress and anxiety? You know, don’t you? Are you wishing there was more money in your bank account? What is the missing piece? Is it not tracking your daily expenses? Is it too many loose change choices? Is it spending money on things you don’t need? Is it looking for a way to increase your income or diversify your cash flow? You know what it is, don’t you? Do you want better relationships? What’s missing? Is it quality time? Is it undistracted attention? Is it some simple daily words of love, and affirmation? Is it small gifts? Is it doing simple things to help more? Is it more intimacy? You know what the piece is, don’t you?

Trust me on this, when you put the missing piece in place, that area of your life will become a beautiful, meaningful, and joyful part of your life. In my podcast this week with Joyologist, Pat Armitstead, called Creating inner joy, Pat discusses some simple pieces that you can put in place to bring more joy into your life. It is a great conversation.

It is just one small piece, and it almost seems like it shouldn’t matter if you leave it out, but it does. Honestly, would you be driving that car, living in that home, boarding that plane, buying that television if you knew there was a piece missing that could prevent it from standing strong or functioning correctly? I know I wouldn’t. Every piece is critical in the construction of a desk, the functioning of all technology, but most importantly the living of a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. My challenge for you this week is to identify the missing piece and put it in.