The Purpose of Puzzles

So, I’ve been working on my 67’ Baja Beetle and, with the help of its previous owner, finally got it running again the other day! It was a triumphant moment that took months to reach and I could have never done it alone. This is the first car I’ve ever worked on and there has been a HUGE learning curve to say the least. One step at a time though, one little adjustment, tweak, and mechanical malfunction after the next has taught me a new lesson about how to keep this car alive.


We all encounter many “puzzles” in our lives. Problem solving is a daily occurrence for us all and can eventually seem arduous and frustrating. The beauty of roadblocks and standstills though is that they teach us something every time. What if everything was perfect? I bought the 67’ Beetle for the purpose of learning how to work on an engine, but if it never had any problems to fix I would never learn anything. Enjoying the process of problem solving and “putting the puzzle together” will help us enjoy the beauty of the finished product that much more. And it’s about the journey right? Yes!  Life is never going to be perfect, we will all make mistakes, and there will always be new problems and puzzles to solve. So remember that even the uncomfortable and confusing moments have a purpose too! Here are some tips to help you when you encounter your next great puzzle:

+Pranayama – taking a moment to do some balanced breathing is a great way to balance yourself energetically and clear your mind. During my yoga teacher training we always did some nadi shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) before taking a test!

+Call for reinforcements! With the Beetle this was a definite must!  Consulting mentors or professionals can prove to be a treasure trove of inspiration and knowledge. Added bonus: you can meet new people this way or reconnect with those you already know!

+Get it on paper! Using the old paper and pencil method to brainstorm ideas will shed a new light on the problem at hand.

+Sleep on it! Everyone says that for a reason. =)

Remember that mistakes…puzzles…problems…are opportunities in disguise! The only real blunder is not learning from each one!


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