We are in the process of welcoming a new cohort of members to the Wonder & Whimsy Society. Each quarter, we send out a Mystery Mailing to members packed with all kinds of fun stuff. Some of the items included in January’s red box were a custom-designed Tinker Journal, a set of greeting cards not yet available for sale, and an assortment of random Lego bricks.
With those bricks came an important reminder Kim and I wanted to share with members, and one I want to share with you now.
Just as the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, the building of a great castle begins with one brick.
The danger is that the solitary brick can feel insignificant to our impatient selves. Daunted by the knowledge of how many more bricks it will take to amount to something of note, we never actually begin. The tragedy arrives ten years later when we may have built something truly grand, yet have nothing to show for a decade’s worth of time.
The other pitfall arises when we are delayed by our own sense of perfectionism. We’re eager to put down that first brick, but overanalyze what we are to do with it. Is it the right size? Should we get a different color? Wouldn’t it be better to wait until we have a few more bricks to determine if this is really the best one to start with?
Instead, we should take our cue from children, playing with blocks. They are not intimidated by first steps. And they are not bogged down by all the analytical baggage that plagues our adult minds. They build without hesitation, trying this and trying that, tearing everything down when necessary to start again, all the while with a smile on their face and joy in their heart.
They just play.
Oftentimes, the best ideas come from play. The willingness to let go, be silly, and experiment with no expectation of outcome is like napalm for good ideas.
And if the castle we are speaking about is our lives, may we be reminded that few decisions we make in life are truly permanent. Every step forward, even if it leads to a few steps back, results in progress, whether it’s more knowledge, courage, or wisdom.
Sometimes that thunderbolt of inspiration comes when we have given our minds permission to take a break by participating in some other “trivial” pursuit.
And so with this random assortment of Lego bricks, we issued members the challenge to build an accessory, vehicle, or piece of furniture for Wonder Marty. (Another exclusive item a member receives when he or she joins.) I was overjoyed to see the awesome creations that were posted in our private group. It is my hope that this excuse to step aside from the omnipresent to-do list also sparked a few breakthroughs that had nothing at all to do with Lego.
If you’re on the hunt for the next big thing, the idea that changes everything, or a solution to your most vexing problem, maybe you need to stop pressing so hard. Maybe you need a break.
Maybe you need to be a little less serious. And. Just. Play.