Puzzling indeed...

In a classic example of what is at times both my greatest strength and most glaring weakness, I picked up a Rubik's cube recently and did not stop until I had solved it. Within 24 hours I had memorized all the necessary ways to manipulate the cube in order to move blocks around in a deliberate, controlled fashion and the process for solving. Then it was just a matter of perfecting it. Within 3 days I was able to solve the cube in < 3 minutes.

Now, I am completely bored with it. But, I have learned a useless but neat party trick. It is interesting to see the response it invokes in people. Most are either awe stricken for about .025 seconds and then on to more interesting topics or completely suspicious. I like it when I solve it in front of the latter type in less time then they spent trying to mess it up and they invariably ask: "What's the trick?"

Well, the trick is to spend an entire weekend ignoring everything in life except a web site containing videos of some kid with really fat fingers manipulating this damn block of colors in a dozen different ways. If you are lucky enough to understand they cryptic language used to describe the moves (Up, Left, Up Inverted, Left Inverted, Bottom, Top, Left, Up) and keen enough to recognize when each combination of carpel tunnel inducing joy should be applied...you too can share in the sense of satisfaction knowing you can solve a puzzle you haven't touched since you threw it out your window in disgust in 1985. Provided anybody will still be your friend after you ignored them for 3 - 5 days memorizing every algorithm...you can show them the trick.

Anyhow, I did take away one very positive detail from the experience. Like most things in life which are difficult to achieve...there is a process. And therein lies the trick...trusting the process. With Rubik's cube it becomes most difficult to trust the process on the last group of moves where the it truly appears as though you have ruined everything you spent the previous time building...and then it suddenly all falls into place.

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