Not content with running a business and raising four children I thought I’d set myself a new challenge: solving the Rubik’s Cube.
I was a boy of the 1980s and the Rubik’s Cube was the one toy that every one of my friends and had. It mesmerised (and frustrated me) every time I picked one up. However, no matter what I did, I was never able to solve it. I would just move it and rotate it up and down from side to side, trying desperately to get more than one full side complete.
As I moved into my teens and grew older, the Rubik’s Cube was cast aside. Only to re-emerge at Christmas last year when my children received a Rubik’s Cube as a gift.
Once again I became besotted with the familiar look, feel and sound and soon commandeered the gift as my own. I was surprised to see that the current version of the cube has actually been updated from when I was a boy to coloured plastic panels instead of stickers, preventing peeling and cheating.
In January of this year I set myself a task. I decided that I would try to solve the puzzle once and for all. And with the help of YouTube – time has moved on from the paperback instruction book – I gave it a go.
I am pleased to say it took me just under two months of 10 minutes here and five minutes there, to master the puzzle. I am very proud of myself. It’s a boyhood dream come true! My wife is also very pleased as she’s no longer subjected to the familiar sound of the cube being twisted and turned while she is trying to get to sleep!
Did you know the world record for solving the Rubik’s Cube is 4.59 seconds, held jointly by Feliks Zemdegs of Australia set on 27 January 2018 in Hobart and SeungBeom Cho of South Korea. I’m not quite at that level, I must admit. Actually, I’m more at the 25 minute mark myself… but you have to start somewhere!
So why is solving the Rubik’s Cube good for business?
1. Mental health
I had heard that problem solving can help reduce stress. Running a business is not easy and stress often has a huge impact on my overall mood, ability to sleep, and decision-making.
I wanted to see if the solving the Rubik’s Cube could help. And I can safely say that it did.
I would find myself forgetting about the trials and tribulations of work. It helped promote clarity and renew my focus, and I looked forward to trying to solve it and it made me happy when I did. I went to work with a sense of vigour and a belief that I can tackle further problems in the future, if I just put my mind to it.
2. Problem solving
A problem in business can often seem unattainable. Solving the Rubik’s Cube reaffirmed my belief that if you put your mind to something you can achieve it. It was also a great example of putting something to one side and coming back to it later, with fresh eyes and a different approach. Albeit, over 35 years later in my experience!
3. A new skill
It has given me a new skill that I always want to put to the test whenever I see a Rubik’s Cube. I recently visited the offices of an agency I use and they had a Rubik’s Cube in their reception. I found myself really wanting to pick it up and leave it solved.
As you may know I am in the business of helping people sleep. I found solving the Rubik’s Cube an excellent tonic for drifting off to sleep. It was also a way to unwind in the evening, and to put my mind to a task which was unrelated to work and did not involve a screen.
What’s your Rubik’s Cube? Maybe you have always wanted to retrieve the bones from the man in Operation without setting off the buzzer? Or is that just me!