Do you remember having Legos as a kid? I certainly do- I had a big plastic yellow suitcase full of random brightly colored bits of plastic. I remember the anticipation I would feel every time I opened that thing- what would I create today? For me, it was often houses- I took pride in fitting the doors and windows properly into the randomly colored walls.
The best part of my Lego experience was not having boundaries (except, of course, for the limitation of quantity and shape of pieces). I could make a moon rover. I could make an apple pie. I could make a disco ball made of cheese. My imagination brought my creations to life.
After relaying my love for Legos, I was gifted some lovely sets for my 30th birthday. These sets are lovely collections of pieces- starter kits that allow you to make a bunch of small things (flowers, a crocodile, a train, and more) by following the instructions in the included booklet.
Which, of course, I did. Over and over again.
Now, every time I open the big, yellow, plastic Lego shaped container that houses my Lego pieces, I go in with the anticipation that I felt as a child…
I can make anything!
Once I’m in, however, I’m overwhelmed by the choices. Where do I begin? What should I make? Do I really have all the proper parts to fit together into that ambitious a project? How long will this take? I should make dinner soon. Did I feed the cat? …and so on.
And then I find myself reaching reaching for that damned booklet and getting my quick fix in a perfect creation that I didn’t put any thought into.
Where did my adventurous creativity go? Why do I waste so much time thinking about mindless drivel and less time doing satisfying things?
As adults in this crazy, fast-paced, instantaneous world we live in, we are working longer hours, doing more tasks at all times, and inundated with information. We are expected to know everything, be everything, and do everything. In majority, ours is a world of templates and box kits where speed and quantity are rewarded over ingenuity and quality. Along my journey into task lists and time tracking, I’ve lost my ability to let go and just… imagine.
Lately, I feel as though my brain functions as it should much, much later in my life cycle. I’m on auto-pilot, trying to make sure to be able to check off all the tasks before they are due. I’m addled by multiplying mundanity. It’s been an effort to turn the corner toward freeing my imagination. It’s an effort I’m very willing to make.
The imagination is a muscle needs exercise. Take the time to simply sit with a blank piece of paper and a pencil, zone out, and give in to whatever ends up on the paper. It doesn’t have to be a win every time.
We are not robots. We are not computers. We can’t always be measured in data and statistics and put into neat little categories. That’s part of the power of being a human being. Break free of the boxed sets and instruction booklets. It’s the only way to truly set yourself apart from the rest. Allow yourself the time to let your mind wander and process all of the information it is constantly gathering. Instead of chasing deadlines, change the game. We’ll never know what may be stirring in there just waiting to come out until you do.