What LEGO taught me about dreaming and thinking BIG!

What LEGO taught me about dreaming and thinking BIG!

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Our two sons are teenagers now but when they were younger… they LOVED Legos.

I would look for opportunities to give them those knobby bricks by the boatload.  They would get so excited!   And I have to admit… I’d be so excited too.

Over the years, our boys amassed an impressive stock pile of Legos and I have loved to dig in and help them to build some pretty incredible feats of engineering!

And… during that time… LEGO taught me some things about going after BIG dreams.

Lesson One: Start with a plan.

Have you put any Legos together lately?


Some of the kits our boys received came with not one… but TWO instruction manuals. That’s right! In fact, one of the last sets my youngest son received needed over 250 steps to complete the model.

At first, I thought this might be overwhelming. Honestly, when I first saw the two volumes of instructions fall out of the box… my heart raced. But I found that as long as we just took it one step at a time, it was completely doable.

As long as we took it step by step, we did just fine.

Plus, we had a lot of fun and put it together much faster than I expected.

How does this play out with our our dreams and our time?

Well, I bet you already know where I’m headed.

Start each day with a plan. Know what you need to accomplish in the day and put those “to-dos” in order, so you can go from one to another… just like our LEGO model. That way… even the most overwhelming tasks and the BIGGEST dreams can be tackled… one step at a time.

Now… I’ll be the first one to admit that life isn’t as simple as LEGO, but I have noticed that if you start your day with a plan, you’ll get a lot more accomplished than if you don’t have one.

When it comes to pursuing BIG dreams… a plan makes a difference too.  It doesn’t have to be a HUGE complicated plan.  It can be pretty simple.  (That’s why we stick to the “Power of 3” approach in my book IGNITE.)  But just knowing some of the small but significant steps you need to take will exponentially increase the chances that you’ll actually take them!

Lesson Two: Group the Pieces.

When we first dump out the Lego box on the table, it is chaos.

It’s a jumbled mess of blocks, tubes, planks and LEGO people parts.

We found, over time, it makes sense to group some of these pieces before we get started. So wheels go into one pile. Square pieces go into another. Long narrow rectangles get their own pile, too. That helps us to find the pieces we need quickly.

How does this play out with our BIG dreams?

Well… recently, I was meeting with an entrepreneur. He was trying to bring some order to his week and give each of his business entities the time they needed and even have some time to work on some new BIG dreams. As he looked at his schedule, it felt like a big pile of LEGO pieces piled up on a table. There wasn’t a lot of order and there was sense of chaos.

So, we spent some time “grouping” things.

Instead of trying to squeeze everything in… every day, we started to say one day could be for entity A, and the rest of the week could be for entity B.

That “grouping” allowed him the ability to focus on the things he needed to do and not get overwhelmed. It also allowed him to be more in the moment and know that everything had more order.

How could you “group” your pieces?

Are there certain tasks that you need to do each day or each week that you could “group?” You know… do them all together… and do it with some specific and protected time?

Or… maybe your BIG dream isn’t your day job, yet.

So, maybe instead of trying to squeeze time in each day… you can reserve one night a week or a couple of Saturdays a month to work on it.

That way, you can be more focused when you do work on it… and also not feel guilty when you aren’t working on it.

What could that do to your ability to focus? How might that save some time? How could that help your peace of mind by knowing you are making slow but steady progress?

Lesson Three: Play when you are done!

That’s the beauty of LEGO.

When you are done with all the steps, you have a TOY to play with.

I know this may seem simple but since it takes some work to put it together, it’s easy… even for the kids… to sometimes forget to play when it’s done.

Can you identify?

Have you ever told yourself that once a big project is done… you’ll finally relax or go do something fun? But then, when that project is complete, you find yourself jumping into the next big task or duty!

Or maybe when a major mile marker for your dream is accomplished… you forget to celebrate because you feel driven to move on.

Well… take a lesson from LEGO.

Plan for some times to PLAY.

That’s right!

Schedule some times in your day or week to play a bit. Whether that’s taking a 15 minute walk or calling a friend or… you fill in the blank.

Schedule some time to play when you are done with a task… or a milestone towards your BIG dream.

Even five or 10 minutes… to enjoy yourself and revel in the moment…

And just see what it does for your overall productivity!

Okay… that’s it for now.

Those are some of the lessons I learned from those blocks… wheels… and planks.

So… I say… “Thanks LEGO for the reminders!”

I should have expected no less from such a great company and from such amazing toys!

By the way, what was something you loved to build with YOUR Legos?  Join in the conversation.  Click comments and let us know.

  • Annamarie Muirhead
    Posted at 23:08h, 07 September Reply

    My website is still waiting for help to be set up.
    I loved your lego lesson, I hate planning. I now think that I may have a go in making my own plans.
    I do follow a plan when I learn something new and always read instructions.
    Having used a lot of energy refusing to make a plan as you suggested, I believe that I Will now make my own plan for the day, If it’s only to see the difference. Enjoying your Blogs and your stile, thank you for that.
    L&B Annamarie

    • Mitch Matthews
      Posted at 12:13h, 08 September Reply

      Thanks so much Annamarie! I sure can identify with wrestling with a plan… but it sounds like you’re going to rock the coming days with a plan YOU OWN!!! Keep bringing the awesome, Mitch

  • Sharon Olson
    Posted at 14:03h, 12 September Reply

    Well. THIS is a brilliant post, Mitch! Of course! Legos… and a plan! Thank you for such a poignant post! And on something so simple!

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