Have you ever played Tetris? This video game has various shaped tiles which descend on your screen and you need to manipulate them so they fit together. That’s a very simple explanation, but I’m sure many of you have played or know of this game.
I am a fan on hands-on rather than computer games so was pleased to find a wooden version of this puzzle.
My eleven-year-old grandson was happy to be the first to sit down with the challenge. Before long he had successfully completed the puzzle. I was impressed when twice more he fit random pieces together with the same positive result.
Each time he finished, the design of the coloured blocks was different. This gave me hope that since there was obviously more than one solution, I might be able to put it together as well.
Then the scene in front of me changed. Rather than going by instinct, my grandson studied the pieces and created intricate patterns. When he was left with one or two pieces that didn’t fit, he was confused and frustrated. The first few times had been so easy that he couldn’t understand what had gone wrong.
This boy is a thinker so started over again, carefully planning each piece of the puzzle. It still didn’t work. Unfortunately, this was repeated again and again, becoming more difficult each time.
The lesson I learned from watching him is not to over think a situation. My initial instincts are usually correct. When I constantly second guess myself I end up unable to complete even a simple task.
Paralysis by analysis never works out to my benefit.