(Written by William)
Every brick we put in place and each building technique we use comes from somewhere. The real question is – what is that motivational spark? Not many of us think too deeply on this subject since we simply build what we want to. However, if we take the time to examine what we build it could tell us a lot about ourselves.
LEGO has already seen the potential for this. They have a program called Serious Play which works through management issues with the use of building blocks. Of course not all of us are managers, looking to improve our skills in business. That does not matter however, since many of the same principles can be applied in a general sense.
Take for instance, the three areas that generally motivate us: power, achievement, and social interaction. Each of these areas defines how we apply ourselves. Now consider the idea that we actually understood these factors in how we interact with LEGO. Not only could it shed light on issues we are struggling with in our lives, but it can also focus us as builders. As you read this just remember; we are not necessarily exclusively tied to one of these areas only.
LEGO POWER, ACHIEVEMENT & SOCIAL INTERACTION
Those who seek power wish to have control over the process. It excites them to see a project guided properly and know that they were responsible for it. These are the people that like making decisions. When applied to LEGO and a building project, those who enjoy power should focus their attention on making decisions on how the overall picture should look. You’re a conductor of chaos. Tell people what colors things should be and what size things should take.
The main asset you bring to the table is that of unification. Things often need a purpose, which is what makes you perfect for the lead. LEGO creations with a straight-forward focus tend to look better because we understand things that look and feel logical. The thing to watch out for as a power person is the ability to understand those you exert power over. Each person has feelings invested in a project. Failure to recognize this will only result in steering everything into the ground.
When we build by ourselves, the only power we have gets exerted over the LEGO bricks. This means we like to follow very deliberate patterns or styles. Our creations must bend to our will and look exact. You will probably find a great deal of satisfaction in detail work. You like a challenge. The idea that something can’t be done or has yet to be done invigorates you. You like to find ways to break the mold and explore the world of novelty. Your strength lies in designing. The achiever likes to press forward in novel ways and find new uses for pieces. Without you, a building project will simply come off as being boring. You are the innovator that constitutes success.
The thing to watch out for is managing unrealistic goals. Many things we want to do are impractical. We must realize some limitations need to be respected. Failure to do so may result in consequences that are unpleasant. For example, if you need too many LEGO bricks, you might accidently spend the grocery budget or get into heavy credit card debt.
The solo builder will most likely strive towards one goal. Does it work? Functionality is key in an achiever. The functionality of a piece can be visual as well as practical. Try looking for odd pieces. Chances are you’ll find what you’re looking for in them. A team that is made of individuals is no team. You are the glue that binds everything together. Remember, this is a fun activity that everyone should be passionate about. The bricks before you are not the accomplishment. Rather, it is the fact that everyone working together could make it happen.
The asset you bring to this recipe comes in the form of a go-between. You are someone that needs to help others connect. Two achievers may have great designs, but if they have no common ground you can step in. The downside to the social person is they may lose themselves in the process. Think of all the art projects you had as a child. Very few times was the glue supposed to show. Don’t let this happen to you.
LEGO gets built and taken down so much that the social builder when building alone enjoys the experience. What you build is not what makes you a great builder. You become better by understanding the frustration of your pitfalls and the joys of your successes. You’re not building creations, but memories. For this builder, it’s less important picking out pieces than it is finding new ways to share with others.
Whether building by ourselves or with others, we have motivational needs that drive us. Many of us contain the desire for all three areas. The trick is that we should take some time to understand who we are. Those who do will not only be happier in the long-run but be able to capitalize on their LEGO creativity. So, what kind of LEGO builder are you? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below!