It was a beautiful afternoon at the beach. I’d finished my book and had begun to entertain myself with a little game on my ereader. The game was ‘Block’. It’s a puzzle game where you try to get a red block out of a grid by moving all the other blocks around. I’m still on the easy level so the puzzles don’t normally take very long.
However, I’d gotten stuck on this one particular puzzle. I’d made a couple attempts at solving it, but it seemed that no matter what I did the red block was boxed in.
“This is hard,” I thought. “Nothing I do is working.”
And for the next twenty minutes this is what my puzzle solving process looked like.
I would look at the game and not know what move to make. So I would look up at the scenery to take a break. I’d stare at the ocean or people watch until I got bored. Then I would remember I was working on the puzzle, look down at the game…
I did this over and over again until I realized that I wasn’t getting anywhere with the puzzle. I became frustrated. (Imagine the word ‘frustrated’ in super tiny font because really, how frustrated can you get while sitting at the beach playing a game?)
I tossed the game to my boyfriend.
“I can’t figure it out,” I complained.
He quickly began shuffling the blocks around, solved the puzzle, and tossed it back to me.
“Hmmph,” I said. It appeared the puzzle was not the impossible task I was making it out to be.
So I started the game again. This time I made myself focus. I moved the blocks around until I solved the puzzle myself. Then I did it again just to be sure it wasn’t a fluke that I’d figured it out the first time. I spent the rest of the afternoon happily engaged in completing many more puzzles.
Now for the point of this story. Notice the breakdown of the initial events.
-I tried finding a solution and failed.
-I had the thought that I couldn’t solve the problem and gave up on trying.
-I distracted myself.
-I did not solve the puzzle.
Ring any bells?
This, my friends, is the Give Up, Distract, and Fail (GUDF) process. It’s classic. I’ve done it before. I’m sure I’ll do it again. I imagine you may be the same way.
Now that I’ve brought this process to your attention I hope you will be far less likely to fall prey to it’s wiles. But if you do, there is a way out of the GUDF conundrum. And it only involves doing two things, though you do need to do the second one repeatedly.
The solution is to Believe and Attempt and Attempt and Attempt and Attempt and Attempt (BAAAAA). By the way, best acronym ever. You are welcome.
Change your mindset to believe that success is possible. Look for examples of other people who have solved your problem before. Or pull from other places in your life where you have been successful in the past.
2) Attempt and Attempt and Attempt and Attempt and Attempt
Move those blocks around people! Seriously, try something. Then try something else. The key here is to take action. Take action even if you don’t know what the right action is. Guess, but do something. This is the only way to learn what works and what doesn’t, which will eventually lead to you finding a solution to your problem.
At this point in the article I ought to write a conclusion. But I’m terrible at writing conclusions. Maybe I’ll just go surf the internet for a little while.
Oh dear, I’ve done it again. Baaaa! Baaaa! Baaaa!