Those of you who are old enough will remember the diabolical Rubik’s Cube puzzle. You had to twist and turn the blasted thing until each side had a different color or image. It was quite maddening.
The Cube, however, can teach you a lot about problem solving.
Have A Plan
The trick to solving a Rubik’s Cube is to memorize a set of algorithms – which is a scientific way of saying “different combinations of turning the different puzzle pieces.” If you just sit down and try to randomly solve the puzzle, it will likely take you days and perhaps forever. However, if you have a plan in place like THIS ONE, you can solve it in a matter of minutes.
Sometimes this takes a little research. Buy a book on the subject, cruise the internet or just ask a few friends for their advice. Take this information, then make a plan to work through the issues. By staying on track, you will avoid making additional mistakes and setting yourself farther back.
Set It Aside
Sometimes you just have to step away for a while. When you grind away at a problem for too long, your brain starts to lose focus. The minute you notice your focus starting to wane, move on to something else for a while and give your brain a breather. Brain Burnout is your enemy – so don’t let it hold you back.
The first way I learned to solve a Rubik’s Cube was when I accidentally dropped it on the concrete and it broke into a bunch of pieces. I realized I could put it back together however I wanted and that became my preferred solution for solving the puzzle.
Same principle applies for your daily life problems. Break the “big problems” up into a series of smaller ones and work your way through them one at a time.
If you are looking to be inspired, check out Feliks Zemdeb, the guy who solved a Rubik’s Cube in 5.66 seconds.
Get Your Own Cube
Next time you are at a toy store, pick up a Rubik’s Cube and leave it on your desk. Every time you look at it, hopefully it will remind you of these simple problem solving strategies. You can also help you to pass the time when you are waiting on hold. If you do it fast enough, it might even count as your cardio for the day – but don’t quote me on that one.
By the way…. have any of you actually solved a Rubik’s Cube before? If so, post your fastest time below and be an inspiration to all!!
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