Lessons From Legos

This is Day 17 in my 30-day blogging journey.

The “why” for the journey can be found HERE.

Both of my sons love Legos.

Jackson (15) has been a fan of Legos for years and while he doesn’t seem to have the same fascination for them at this age as he did when he was younger, he still will pick them up at stores to work on.

Sebastian (5) just started getting into them. He doesn’t have the same patience (yet) that his big brother did but he’s getting there, slowly but surely.

There’s one distinct difference between the two boys when it comes to building Legos.

Jackson will only follow the directions from what’s provided on the set. He rarely, if ever, will free build.

Sebastian, by comparison, will happily do both. He’ll follow the instructions AND he’ll build items with his own imagination.

Because Sebastian gets frustrated more easily with following the instructions for a set, I’ve had to help him a few times.

There’s a sense of calm that comes over you when you’re working on them.

Mind you, I’m helping him put together a kit that’s sold for ages 6 and up, but there’s a certain wonder in putting all of these tiny little blocks together to form something that has not quite taken shape yet.

Much like putting together a puzzle, things only tend to fit a certain way.

However, there’s a lesson from Legos in both life and work.

Which kind of person are you?

Are you a rule follower: the person who needs the guidelines and systems to put things together in a strategic way?

Or are you a creative: the person who needs to free build and let things happen spontaneously so you can find the flow in the process?

Of course, you don’t have to be exclusively one or the other. You may have areas of your life where you lean to one side more than another.

Rules and guidelines can be helpful. They can give structure and order when there’s a sense of chaos.

A sense of creativity matters, too. Life isn’t black and white, we need to know where to ebb and flow in the gray areas (and when to add color).

Because I spend much of my days coaching strength training and nutrition, the same concepts can apply.

There’s value in structured training plans and there’s value in just winging it to move for a sense of feel as opposed to a quantitative measurement.

There’s value in calorie counting and meal plans, just as there is value in trusting or listening to your hunger signals and your body’s feedback when you eat certain foods.

The next time you’re at the store, buy a Lego set. Expect to spend $30-50 for something that interests you, whether it’s a Star Wars ship or a Harry Potter set.

And as you’re building that set, think about the process that appeal to you most: the structured plan or the ability to free build.

And what does that say about how you approach your life as well?