5 Brief Tips from Legoland
“Madness is like gravity, all it takes is a little push.” (The Joker/Heath Ledger).
And nowhere do you see this more than with children. In particular, my godson. A precocious five-year-old, he can go from zero to sixty in a matter of seconds.
Case in point: he recently attempted an epic jailbreak from the confines of his New York City apartment. The discord started as a debate between him and his dad. It was time for dinner, but he wasn’t ready to give up on building his Lego Death Star. Unable to persuade his dad of the merits to assembling his soon-to-be Lego masterpiece, he declared he was leaving. For good.
He retreated to his closet, grabbed his Star Wars backpack and proceeded to fill it with dozens of color-coordinated Lego pieces, his toothbrush and a juice box.
Unfortunately for him, opening the heavy apartment door proved too much of an obstacle in his excited state and he tripped over his own backpack. Now sitting in the doorway, he began kicking his legs up in frustration.
“Well, that was a short trip,” his dad said, trying not to laugh. At which point, my godson looked up and began to giggle through his tears. A big hug, some dinner and a completed Lego Death Star later, and peace was once again restored throughout the universe.
For me, this slice of life contains several helpful tips for bettering ourselves as executives and entrepreneurs:
Pace yourself and remember not to react in the moment
Especially when things don’t go your way. Frustration is normal and setbacks are part of growth. You’re more likely to choose the wrong course of action in the heat of the moment. Remember, the slower you go, the sooner you get there.
Preparation, not desperation
Once you decide on a course of action, ensure that you and your team have the resources necessary to help you carry it out (just don’t forget the toothbrush and juice box).
Obstacles vs. Challenges
View obstacles as challenges. In other words, see them as valuable learning experiences and never give up because of them. Remember, in business as in life, perceived adversaries may actually be the ones who help you achieve your goals.
Similarly, mentors come in all shapes and sizes. Warren Buffet had Benjamin Graham, Steve Jobs had Robert Friedland, and Richard Branson credits his parents. Recognize relationships that are important to you and work to keep them alive.
Don’t Forget to Laugh
A cliché perhaps, but work to maintain your sense of humor. It will help you keep perspective and prevent you from succumbing to Chicken Little Syndrome (the sky isn’t ever really falling).
Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is what’s optional. Be open to the wisdom you find in everyday life, even from kids, and you’ll avoid the kind of gravity that drags you down.