Today, I have some fun and games for you. This is a puzzle exercise I use to open many of my training workshops. Hopefully it will translate well to an online environment. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
I have placed the content in the tabbed sections below, so nothing gets spoiled before you have had a chance to try to solve the puzzle yourself.
Starting in the first tab, "The Puzzle", it will be revealed how to set the puzzle up. You will be doing it with pen and paper.
The second tab, "The Rules", will contain the rules and explain what you need to do to solve it.
After you have tried, and either succeeded or given up, you may then click the third tab, "The Solution" to see if you completed it correctly.
The fourth tab, "The Ending", will provide some food for thought.
I hope you have as much fun trying this as I did putting it together for you! I look forward to seeing your comments on it below.
- the puzzle
- the rules
- the solution
- the ending
Get a piece of paper and draw nine dots on it in a 3 X 3 grid, evenly spaced, as shown in the picture to the right.
After you've done that, click the next tab, "The Rules."
Don't click it until you have your 9 dot grid drawn!
Did you draw your 9 dots? If not, I'll wait! Go ahead!
Ready? The rules are simple. There are only four of them:
1. Start with a pen or pencil on any one of the dots.
2. You will draw 4 straight lines, no less and no more, and they may not curve.
3. You may not lift the pen off the paper. On the top right, you will see two lines that form legal moves, because the pen did not have to leave the paper to draw them. The picture on the bottom right shows illegal moves, because you'd have to have taken the pen off the paper to draw them.
4. Once finished, all 9 dots will have been intersected by the 4 straight lines.
That's it! Good luck! Best of skill!
When you think you have correctly solved it, or you have given up on trying, click the next tab, "The Solution" to see if you are correct.
Did you solve it? If not, try for a few more minutes! Otherwise, click play on the video below, and see if you solved it correctly. Once you have viewed it, click the next tab, "The Ending", to read some thoughts on the exercise.
OK! Did you have fun? Did you solve it correctly?
What do you think the moral of this exercise is?
Most people say it's to think outside the box.
However, that's actually not the point.
There is no box!
Look at the 9 dots.
Is there a box anywhere, or did you create a box in your mind, simply because the dots formed a kind of "square"? It's OK if you did, as almost everyone does that.
The same thing happens in life. We create these boxes, and then feel we have to work within them.
The reality is, the boxes we create don't exist at all, except in our minds.
There are no boxes, no limits, no limitations, nothing we cannot accomplish.
People mean well when they advise us to think outside the box, but even that is a limiting thought, because there is no box.
Open your mind. Expand it to infinity. Once you've done that, and seen for yourself there are no "boxes", then you can go look for amazing solutions.
The solutions will come much easier, and you can have way more fun and get lots more creative, once you realize the only limitations are the ones you impose on yourself.
See, wasn't that fun?!
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