Puzzles are no “child’s play”

possibility thinking, problem solving

Yesterday I spoke about how the puzzles are so difficult for people like me to solve. Even though I talk a lot about being open to possibilities, to think laterally etc. there are times when you give up or come out with compromise solutions.

However the puzzles that we give children to solve, have a single solution which needs to be identified. Most children are able to solve these problems by trying multiple times with an open mind. They also don’t operate on time pressure generally.

In the corporate world we generally have time pressures, but maybe I could be using it sometimes as a excuse. However when we are dealing with humans in the problem, there is no fixed solution because human beings can change stance. Then we are dealing with a moving target.

The main thing about myself , I would think is that I run out of patience, in trying out different options. I think that’s one take away after working on the puzzles.

Working on these puzzles is addictive in nature. So some kinds of puzzles like the simple to medium Sudoku, and word puzzles I am able to solve quite fast. But puzzles like Mashu have taken me an enormous amount of time for me to figure out eventhough the instructions seem to be simple.

The big difference between children and me I think is that I tend to take the instruction as the only possibility and not trying out the possibilities that have not been listed, assuming they are not allowed. This is the biggest problem with most of us adults. We don’t try to identify unlisted assumptions and explore solutions using that.

Till next time then….see what other possibilities can be explored.

Carpe Diem!!!

Puzzles for children- can create possibilities

possibility thinking, problem solving

I was recently cleaning up a storage space in our house. I came across some books which my son had used at different stages of his schooling. Some of those books I gave away to my maid for her children.

There were a few books of puzzles, which were not used and then there a couple of books specifically for mathematical puzzles.

I started working on some of the puzzles. I had known about SuDoku and I used to enjoy the simple and medium difficulty ones. So I started with those. But then there were others like Kakuro, Hutoshiki, Heyawake and Mashu.

I tried my hand at Mashu initially but I got so engrossed that I didn’t have the time to go to the others I have listed above.

Mashu is all about drawing a pattern with one line which does not cross itself. As a concept this is very simple. But when you get down to drawing using the constraints that have been placed, it is just mind boggling.

Maybe as adults we get so fixed with our ideas, we don’t think of other possibilities. We use the same parameters to solve all problems. But children don’t put limits, hence for some of them these puzzles are literally “child’s play”.

I have still not been able to solve a single Mashu puzzle on my own without referring to the solution to give me a starting point. That’s how tough it seems to me. But it has also made me more humble and made me think ata few more ways now than I used to.

If you are fed up of your daily routine, try using the time you have spare and start solving puzzles, it will help you open up to possibilities for solving problems that you are faced with.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!