Lessons from a Rubik’s Cube

For the past 30 plus years, I’ve always admired people that could solve the Rubik’s cube. My first encounter with the Rubik’s cube was in the early 80’s and my teenage cousins would spend hours solving the cube and they would carry it everywhere with them. People who could solve the Rubik’s always seemed like they were in a league of their own…they seemed smarter and way so cool. (Note: I am a geek).

It has since impressed on me that in order to solve the Rubik’s, I’d have to be nothing short of a genius. Till recently, I saw a vid of a 2 year old that could do it! I bet she’s a genius, she did it in 70 seconds. But I figured, hey! genius or not, if a 2 year old could do it. I know I could too (probably not in 70 seconds).

So I called up my brother-in-law, whom I knew had loads of Rubik’s cube to spare in his closet and asked him to loan me one. Better yet, he gave me a really cool Dayan Rubik’s cube. It’s really smooth to play with.

Thank God for Youtube. I watched, rewind, broke it down to segments and practiced. I drill, drilled and drilled till it became almost second nature. My training in Breaking the Learning Barrier did help me understand what was required of me to successfully learn the Rubik’s.

It took me 36 hours till I finally solve one on my own. I can’t believe it took me 30 plus years to decide to do this when it was really at the back of my mind something I’ve always really wanted to do but felt ‘impossible’. In that one moment when I finally solved my first Rubik’s, it felt like I’ve vanquished a dark force that had been for years telling me that I couldn’t. I sat back…and savoured that moment of victory.

Since then, I’ve continued practising and am now beginning to ‘see’ the solutions (trust me, you will begin to see the ‘Matrix’). My kids are very impressed. To them solving a Rubik’s is like MAGIC…like it once was for me. I have learnt that MAGIC comes from focused dedication and loads of practice…’Sprezzatura’

Sprezzatura…“an easy facility in accomplishing difficult actions which hides the conscious effort that went into them”


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