Tinkering Around

One of the first toys I remember playing with as a kid was legos. I’m a 90’s baby, and I assumed that LEGOs was invented around then. But the LEGO group has been around for awhile. It was established in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen in a Danish carpentry workshop.

The original name for the LEGO brick was Automatic Binding Bricks (1951). The bricks where iterated and refined into what we know them as today. Kristiansen’s toy business had many ups and downs. Fires, economic upheaval from a post World War—not to mention WWII and the fallout from it as well. But despite it all, Kristiansen kept creating and tinkering.

One of the best things about lego sets is you can break the rules and build whatever you want. There’s instructions, sure, but those are just guidelines. You don’t have to use them. Growing up, I would usually building by the instructions first (achievement unlocked) and then I would tear it to pieces and then build things from my imagination.

It’s easy to go through life living by an instruction manual. We live by the expectations of the people around us. Family. School. Society. We conform without necessarily thinking about what we are signing up for.

Sometimes this works really well. Instructions by themselves are bad. It’s nice to know exactly how to fix a tire or how to learn illustrator or how to start an online business. The problem is it’s easy to follow instructions blindly, without completely thinking things through or experiencing things yourself.

And when it comes to creativity, there is no instruction manual. So if you are used to living your life through step-by-step directions, stepping out and doing something creative might sound daunting.

A part of being a creative is thinking differently and getting your hands in the mud. Book smart only gets you so far. Hands-on practice and experimentation unlocks a new level of creative ability. There’s knowing something from reading or hearing about it, and then there’s knowing something from hard-earned discovery and tinkering.

How to Learn by Tinkering:

• Don’t always follow the instructions.

• Play first.

• Try it the wrong way.

• Make your own rules (add limitations).

• Approach the world with childlike curiosity.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1461

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