The Rubik’s Cube is a peculiar toy. If you decide to engage with one, you soon realize it’s an all-or-nothing feat. You commit to sticking it out until you solve it, or you’re only wasting your time.
You can’t just solve one side of it and call it a day because you will know you haven’t really achieved anything. If you leave it only partially solved, you know you have only given up. The absence of accomplishment continues to haunt you—a toy that eludes you, a six-sided brightly colored accusation of failure.
A question naturally follows: Is there anything you can at least learn from it? We have pondered it thoroughly and decided that the Rubik’s Cube offers its players many valuable lessons. As you’ll find out, the popular puzzle toy has quite some wisdom to share with us all.
17 things you can learn about life from a Rubik’s Cube:
1. It comes ‘solved’ in the box for a reason.
Marketing accounts for most of it. A neatly arranged Rubik’s Cube encourages you to purchase it by displaying its own preferred end-state, promising you it’s just within reach. If they were sold all messed up, most of us would likely be intimidated by them, and few of us would buy one.
The promise of a good thing can easily convince us to get ourselves in any mess that stands between us and the promised goal, even though we would likely sidestep the mess in broad strokes if we could see it beforehand.
2. Its transfiguration is comparable to other areas of our life.
When you purchase it, the cube looks perfect, exactly as it should. Then you go ahead, scramble it up yourself and try to put it all back together again through much strife and perseverance.
This progression of events often resembles beginning a new relationship, starting a new project, getting a new job, or starting a family. The beginnings are always bright, easy, and promising.
Our journey through these things is often a mess ripe with obstacles, mistakes, and confusion, but as long as we persevere, the ending can be just as good as the beginning promised it was going to be.
3. Sometimes you have to destroy the perfect part to get the perfect whole.
When you’re new to the cube, it’s easy to get preoccupied with a single side. You finally manage to get all ‘blues’ together, but what then? How do you proceed without messing it up? Well, it’s impossible.
It would help if you were ready to make smaller sacrifices along the way in order to reach your final goal, but once you do, everything else falls back into place as well. However, you should never lose sight of the bigger picture.
4. Life is beautiful and full of color.
Regardless of its current state and progression, the Rubik’s Cube is always colorful and beautiful. The same remains true of life. Regardless of the hardships we are going through, how devoid of a solution we feel, how confused and frustrated we get, life is beautiful and worth our time and effort.
It’s important to learn and remember to look past our problems at times and just enjoy the view.
5. It’s important to nourish your roots.
When solving a Rubik’s Cube, we first need to solve the colors at the center to allow liberty of movement around the edges later on for a final solution. In life, too, focusing on and nourishing our roots is essential. We won’t get far and won’t achieve much until we are ‘solved’ and serene at the center of our being.
6. Life is full of twists and turns.
Things are always changing and moving around, so much so it can make us dizzy at times. At such times it’s important to take a step back, take a deep breath, allow yourself a moment to unwind, then come back to it with a refreshed resilience.
As long as you keep your end goal in clear sight, you can rest assured you will reach it eventually, all the ups and downs along the way notwithstanding.
7. Thinking and planning are more important than execution.
Regardless of how fast and confident you are, unless you are thinking about your actions, you won’t solve the cube.
You need to consider your strategy to achieve the end goal. Even if it takes you more time than you’d like to, it still poses a better outcome than simply failing to solve it at all. Once you get that cracked, faster and more efficient execution will follow naturally, with practice.
Take your time to learn the things you have to achieve the things you want to.
8. For every problem, there’s a solution.
It’s easy to feel stuck. The cube and life can both make you frustrated, discouraged, and confused. It’s important to remember a solution always exists. Sometimes all you need is practice, patience, and perseverance. If that fails, you can always seek out help (use Google to find a solution).
9. It teaches you the importance of understanding.
To solve a Rubik’s Cube, you have to spend a lot of time learning all the nuances of how it works and how it’s done.
When you decide to master any new craft, take the time to understand it, don’t shy away from seeking out expert help, be patient, grasp the concept. Eventually, you will realize that the better you understand something, the better you perform.
10. It teaches you the importance of focus.
The cube doesn’t have an ‘undo’ button, and neither does life. Once you make a mistake, there is no correcting it. All you have left is going back to the beginning and doing it all over again. This happens more often if you are distracted by another activity, only passively paying attention to the cube.
If you are facing an important task, don’t try to multitask it alongside something else. There is no going back, so focus. It will yield much better results and will save you a lot of time.
11. It teaches you the importance of practice.
If you want to master anything in life, be prepared to spend a lot of time practicing. Give it your all, and don’t try to outsmart it and make shortcuts until you’re certain you know how to do it the traditional way. It may seem more time-consuming initially, but ultimately learning something the right way from the start is better than wasting time until you realize you have to go back to basics regardless.
12. It teaches you to set your goals.
While savoring the journey has its place in life, you should have clear and set goals to pursue. Otherwise, you may just end up getting lost along the way. Any real achievement in life requires that you have a set goal to strive towards continuously.
13. Be humble.
Solving the cube is a matter of perseverance, time, and patience. Sometimes it’s a matter of performing a search and spending hours watching and reading tutorials. It is most certainly not a test or testament of anyone’s raw intelligence or intrinsic skills.
Remember that if someone is really good at something, it’s likely that they spent a lot of time learning about and practicing, and it certainly doesn’t mean they are intrinsically better than you.
14. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something.
It should be clear by now that with enough time, patience, and a set of right tools, any problem can be solved, and anyone can achieve any feat. So don’t allow others to discourage you from things you wish to pursue in this life.
Any set of skills can be learned, and any obstacle can be overcome. If others tell you you aren’t made to do something, do it anyway and keep practicing until you prove them wrong.
15. Think outside the box
Unlike most other puzzles, to solve the cube, you can’t only focus on a single piece at a time. It would help if you constantly kept the bigger picture in mind. You can’t only think about your moves but need to consider how each move you make will affect the subsequent moves and, therefore, the outcome.
Small things in life can carry great significance, but we can’t let ourselves get so lost in them that we grow blind to the larger mechanisms that are moving around us all the time.
16. It can boost your confidence.
Once you solve the cube for the first time, you will likely be overwhelmed with the feeling of achievement. This can help boost your confidence and inspire you to approach things with more optimism.
17. Patience, perseverance, and pride.
No talk about the cube goes without mentioning at least one of these key concepts, which should come as no surprise as they are inseparable companions of the world-beloved puzzle.
Because of how difficult the cube is to solve without any pre-existing knowledge of its mechanism, it may get you frustrated with how long it’s taking and cause you to want to give up. However, the cube seems to lure people back in just as easily in another attempt to find a solution.
This way, you will learn to overcome your negative emotions of defeat and wounded pride and persevere in solving your problems. It always pays off in the end.
The cube has been with us since the mid-70s, and since then, it’s become one of the most popular toys in the world, enjoyed by kids and adults alike. It turns out it’s more than just a fun (and frustrating) toy. The little, brightly-colored six-sided puzzle can teach all of us some invaluable life lessons that can benefit us in various situations in life, at any age.