Instructions are optional
This morning I hadn’t even finished my first cup of coffee and my six-year-old was already in a LEGO-induced rage. I’m pretty sure we’ve all been in a LEGO-induced rage at some point in our lives, but it was way too early for that.
The problem was that he was trying to follow the instructions to build a robot, but he had opened most of the numbered bags in his search for the characters and had gotten the pieces mixed up. It was nearly impossible to tell which teeny tiny gray piece he was supposed to connect next. There were…So. Many. Pieces.
He kept getting more and more angry and when I tried to help him, I couldn’t find the stupid pieces either. I wanted to flip the table, but then I would have had several hundred LEGO pieces to pick up of off the floor and would probably vacuum them up for months.
I sent myself to my room to calm down.
When I came back out, I explained to my son that he should just build his own robot the way he wanted it to be instead of trying to follow the instructions and not having any fun. We took a break to grocery shop and go out to breakfast, but when we got back he said, “I’m going to build my own robot,” so I dumped all the rest of the legos into one big pile and threw the box and instructions into the recycle bin.
He played for hours.
I think in life we can sometimes get so caught up in following the instructions we were given that we can’t see there’s a whole pile of bricks in front of us that we can make into anything we want.
There’s nothing wrong with following the instructions if that’s what brings you joy, but take a step back and look at your bricks —maybe building them in a different way would make you happier.