The People Puzzle

Well, I suppose a happy 2021 is in order (is it?). The good news is, it is no longer 2020. The bad news, we all still need to live our lives, full of the many ups and downs it brings.

I tried (albeit not very well) to end 2020 with a solid streak of writing… I think I got two. And the lack of momentum has pretty much carried over into this year. Hopefully, that is about to change, especially as I reach my 10th year of blogging, the past 4-5 of which have been a little light in terms of content :(

So here we are on a dreary, slightly chilly Wednesday, following a great week of some epic snow. The snowboarding has been absolutely fantastic, one of the highlights of those wintery days (as well as the perfect number of mugs of hot chocolate). Mmm!

I recently was told a story of a friend who went through a major acquisition at work. The Goliath in their industry scooped them up and out of the way without giving their tiny company a second thought. Literally overnight everything changed. They lost an excruciating number of colleagues, who they cared very deeply about, and while the decision may be the “correct one” in the long run, it’s sometimes very hard to see the forest for the trees when people that you talked to, interacted with, and who’s lives you cared about, are suddenly missing – gone. Companies love talking about how much they value their workforce – acting on that sentiment is a difficult and arduous task…

In a year where loneliness has been (and is) rampant, (hello, when was the last time you saw someone’s face in public without some mask??) it is no wonder that a brutal change like this affected my friend so. The human element of so much of our lives has been smooshed, smashed, squished, and upended for almost twelve months now. The repercussions are coming. However, in one sense, it really makes you value what we had. Interaction, touch, laughs, eye contact – perhaps those days are soon returning.

I took the bit below from an email my colleague sent me this week (thanks, Aaron).

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the Peanuts comic strip.

How many can you do in their entirety? (Note: I successfully completed zero)
1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

Here’s another set of questions. See how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier? The lesson:
The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money or the most awards. They simply are the ones who care the most.

Ok, so what’s the point? The point is that the second set of questions could probably completed in about 30 seconds, because the value of the contributions there have stuck with you for your entire life (because they actually matter). Real, tangible, impactful changes. People selflessly sharing value, time, and love with you for a greater benefit. Don’t lose sight of what actually matters, and don’t waste time on the things that don’t.

“When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.”

George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

It’s easy to get wound up, distracted, or just simply finding yourself too busy; however, make the time for what maters (hint: it’s helping the people in your life).

Who do you have in your wolf pack to check up on you, support you, and sit with you? Who do you need to check up on? Who do you need to thank this week?

If you like this post, please share and subscribe. I can be found on InstagramStravaYouTubeLinkedInTwitterFacebook, and the planet Earth.

Picture credit.


  1. I’m not on any of those sites to leave my comment, but I wanted you to know I loved that writing today.
    Aunt Ilene

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