Fitting the Fragments Together

You're no doubt familiar with the type of artwork known as mosaic. Artists attempting this expression arrange bits of stone, tile, colored glass, or other fragmented materials in order to create a pattern. Often, these patterns create a larger picture--but only when viewed from a distance.

What a metaphor for life. 

We can rarely accomplish big-picture goals in single blocks of time. Instead, we find little bits here and there, fit them together, and arrange them in hopes that one day our efforts will construct a larger reality.

A few years ago, someone told me that if I were going to make it as a writer, I was looking at between three and five years to see a return on my investment--possibly longer. The odds weren't encouraging, but I buckled down and started fitting pieces into place.

I wrote two hours a day, five days a week. 

That was it. 

Some days I wrote a little. Some days I wrote a lot. Some days I did nothing but delete the previous day's work. Some days I felt inspired. Most days I didn't. 

But on all days, I put in time. 

These two-hour sessions were my little mosaic pieces, dropping into place. It was tedious work; and up close, it was hard to imagine what might come of it, if anything.

Fast-forward four years later, and it's exciting to step back and see those little pieces coming together.

The same principles hold true in many aspects of life, and I'm not just talking about career or creative endeavors. In almost every area, it's the small, daily steps -- the tedious, fragmented little bits -- that create the big picture.

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By José Luis Filpo Cabana (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


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