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by: Patricia Ribeiro

Growing up as a girl, I never played with LEGO. I am not sure if it was because I was not interested in LEGO or if I just did not have any exposure to it. When I was young, girls did not receive LEGOs as gifts. Now that I am the mother of three boys, I build often with LEGO and I really enjoy it. I love that you start with nothing but a bunch of pieces and a map and if you carefully follow each step, which in itself is very easy to do, you can end up building a pretty complex toy.

I was building a LEGO Universe with my 4 1/2 year old son, who was tremendously impatient to get to the finished product so that he could start playing. I was attempting to teach him to follow the directions in order to accomplish each step of the construction process.

It then occurred to me how the principals of building with LEGO are a great metaphor for life.

1 – The picture of the final product is your goal.

2 – Do one step at a time and complete them in order. Do not jump ahead or you may miss something along the way. Do not worry about what happens in step 2 or 3 if you are on step 1. You may not know how each step is going to get you to your goal but they are essential and you have to trust the directions.

3 – Enjoy each small victory. Each step you do correctly takes you one step closer toward achieving your goal.

4 – If you skip a step along the way, you may have to go back and start from the beginning. The good news is that now you have a clearer understanding as to why each step is important. Your tasks will progress with less difficulty the second or third time around.

5 – If you have not experienced success, be patient. You can always try again. Remember to focus on one step at a time and try not to get ahead of yourself.

6 – Just because you have reached your goal does not mean you will be satisfied with your final product. You can always take it apart and build something else with the pieces, not following the directions at all.

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