lego-bridge-germanyI’m telling you, playing with lego prepares you for life. I used to joke that people who didn’t succeed didn’t play with Lego as kids, but there’s some truth to this, I think. Not a universal truth, mind you, but I think you know what I mean.

According to Wikipedia, “The word Lego is derived from the Danish words “leg godt”, meaning “play well.” The word “lego” can also be interpreted to mean “I gather together” in Latin, and “I connect” in Italian.” The bridge in the photo is a beautiful example of this spirit.

So that’s cool. But what does playing with Lego give us in the real world?

Playing with Lego prepares you for life by giving your imagination tools to work with.

Nicolai Berdyaev said that “God created the world by imagination,” and we’re created in the image of God. Lego gives us the raw material we need to make whatever we want. Even my less imaginative son, Joel, can make some pretty sick stuff out of Lego.

Playing with Lego prepares you for life by forcing you to create with finite resources.

You want to make a spaceship, so you go digging in your Lego box for the pieces you need. Aggh. There aren’t enough black angled pieces to make a third wing. Now what? Plan B, that’s what, and you keep at it until you find a way. Taking this attitude towards real life problems would go a long way in place of the “We can’t do this project without A,B, and C” mentality we bring to far too many projects.

Playing with Lego prepares you for life by simplifying structures.

How many times have you been paralyzed by the complexity of the problem? Lego teaches us that even the most complex structures can be broken down into larger, simpler parts. Look at the bridge in the picture, for example. Successful companies like Apple grew powerful and profitable by embracing simplicity as a value.

Playing with Lego prepares you for life by teaching ‘one brick at a time’ thinking.

There really is no limit to what you can create with Lego… if you have the patience to put it together one brick at a time. When we build a tower, we see it rise one brick, one row at a time. We’d all do well to remember how our little, timely investments in real life are building something, too.

Playing with Lego prepares you for life by teaching that it’s the connection between parts that builds a whole.

Lego creations are built by connecting parts with other parts. In real life we think success is found in maximizing our little part, but we’re wrong. Whether we’re dealing with a product, a church, a company, a website, or a spouse, it’s how what we do connects with others that determines our success.

How has playing with lego prepared you for life? Do tell!