Have you ever felt like you did everything right and still did not get the results you were hoping for? I know I have felt this way many times and when it happens I am left wondering what went wrong. So, why is it that if we do a task exactly like were told to do it, sometimes it does not provide the end results that we desire?

I remember when I was a young boy my brothers and I loved to work on putting together puzzles. It would start out by picking out a puzzle at the store. We would look at all the boxes on the shelves and pick the one that had the coolest picture or the most beautiful landscape on the box. We would then take the puzzle home and pour out all the pieces onto a table and set the box up in a place where we could see how the finished product would look. Piece by piece we would start to assemble the puzzle until each piece was put into it’s rightful place. The task of putting together the puzzle had an endpoint that we could visualize and each piece had it’s own particular place where we knew it belonged. Now, putting together the puzzle took patience but I knew if I did the task of getting each puzzle piece into its right place we would end up with the “landscape on the box.”

Sometimes, I wish life was more like putting together a puzzle. How nice would it be if we could just put together our life piece by piece with the guarantee that we would end up with the beautiful “landscape on the box?” Unfortunately, our lives are a little more complex than the puzzle pieces that fit just right! In life, our success is determined not only by the tasks we perform but also by the depth and breadth of the relationships we develop with others. Relationships are messy, multi-faceted and take work! Relationships don’t work like puzzle pieces and always fit together just right in one pattern. Relationships involve people of all different walks of life who carry different belief systems and possess different wants and needs. Relationship building takes time, adaptability, and a willingness to recognize each other’s individual desires. It involves looking at things from more than one angle, not just at the beautiful landscape on the box! Building relationships is about connecting! As nice as it would be, you can’t just “task” your way to better relationships! You also can’t task your way to success! Tasking without connecting is useless! If you want your life to end up looking like the “landscape on the box”, start connecting instead of just tasking!

Dr. Nathan UnruhDr. Nathan Unruh of SIDECAR

PS: This may be difficult to swallow for all you “taskers” out there. I know you’re wanting the checklist of “how to connect.” Stay tuned…