Have you ever watched a small child put together a puzzle?

With only a dozen or so pieces, it’s not that difficult for you or me. We can mentally see where each piece goes. But for a toddler, it’s a challenge. They don’t know the concepts yet – the connections are still being created inside their brains – so they grab a piece, twist and turn, try and try. We encourage them. We may even push the correct piece to the front, knowing it will fit easier than others, giving them a boost as they see the pieces fit into place.

Sure, we could walk up, grab the piece away from them, slide into place and solve all of their problems. But that’s not the way life works. We have to let them face challenges and see it for themselves. The connections have to be made in order for them to learn.

We can offer advice along the way. We even buy puzzles at an appropriate level so they won’t get too frustrated as they learn. We see what they need, and provide it in an appropriate order so they will understand and learn along the way. When they do it once or twice or three times, they figure it out. The next time it’s easier. The next time they can upgrade to a harder puzzle. The next time they’ll see things mentally in a whole new way.

That’s how we learn. That’s how we grow.

So why are we so afraid to ask for help when one small challenge presents itself as an adult?

Picture this.

A business owner struggles to create a thriving business. She created a website. She has brochures and business cards. She has a service in place. She brings in clients every month. But no matter how hard she tries, she simply can’t get past the barrier she’s reached with her current income. No matter how hard she works, no matter what she does with her current client list, no matter how she changes her marketing, her income remains the same.

She’s stuck. And if she remains alone, no matter how much she tries her problem will always remain a problem.

Yet others have been in her shoes. They have faced the same problems, been stuck in the same places.

So she decides to think big. She comes in for a full day coaching session to revamp her current business plan and start looking at things through someone else’s eyes.

Using coaching to change your thinking

We explore her current business; we talk about a few issues. Then – wham – just before noon the light bulb goes off and the lights start flashing.

We enjoy lunch. We continue to talk about the “light bulb” moment. We add dimension to it. We clarify it. We build around it. But for this business owner, all she really needed was that one moment that put everything else into perspective. She discovered the missing piece she simply didn’t know about. Once she dropped it into her “puzzle”, it all made perfect sense.

And she knew this one piece would take 3 minutes to implement and easily increase her income by $100,000 or more that year.

Was that moment worth a day of private coaching to her? You bet it was.

Just because we’re adults, doesn’t mean we don’t need to sit down on the floor and play with our own puzzles once in awhile. With everything we do, we start over from square one. We have to find piece one to make piece two fit in. And without piece two, piece three will simply make no sense at this point in time.

Playing works. You can take all the time you need to discover your own puzzle, lay out the pieces, research them, discover their shapes and sizes. You can spend days, months or even years in discovery mode.

But as adults, we can also learn a valuable lesson when it comes time to asking for help. Chances are no matter what you’re doing, where you’re going, or where you would like to be, someone has already “been there, done that”.

You can discover it on your own. Or you can seek out advice that will speed up the process.

So let me ask you, how are you going to play? If you could learn one thing today that would take 3 minutes of your time to implement, and easily increase your income by $100,000 or more this year, would you be willing to play?