What crosswords can teach us about life and business (2023)

I enjoy crossword puzzles. I do one almost every day. It's both a brain booster and a meditation for me. When I'm doing a jigsaw puzzle, my mind is focused, not wandering or multitasking. what do you enjoy For some of you it's Sudoku or maybe a game on your phone or tablet. For others, it may be yoga or reading a book.

Since my family and I live in the New York area, I haveLos New York Timesdelivered daily. I can rarely read more than a few articles in a day while having breakfast, and I can get the same news on my NYTimes app for iPhone. I get news notifications on my phone so I'm up to date on the latest world events. I find that reading the actual newspaper, like reading a physical book, is a different experience than reading on a screen.

appeal to more senses

When it comes to crosswords, I'd rather do a physical crossword than use an app. I can do that tooNew York TimesPuzzles same day in your app. I've tried and I get bored and distracted too easily. It's too easy to switch between the puzzle and email or social media. That's why I like the analogue version (pencil and paper).

Even my millennial son now solves the crossword on paper. he getsThe Wall Street Journaldelivered, so we both have puzzles to solve. Our daily ritual is to make copies of each of the puzzles so we can all do both (and don't worry, we always recycle them when we're done).

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A few years ago I saw a documentary calledPun, what is aboutLos New York TimesCrossword puzzles and the people who make, edit and solve the puzzles. You can probably find it on Netflix or a similar service. One thing I learned from watching was that Monday is the easiest dayLos New York TimesRiddles, and it turns out that for toolos Wall Street Journal. The puzzle gets progressively harder each day until Saturday (which is the hardest). I always thought Sunday was the hardest. The Sunday puzzle is larger but has the same difficulty as a Thursday puzzle.

Encouraged by this knowledge, I began doing the Monday puzzles in the pen (with a Tube Wite-Out nearby). After I was able to finish the puzzles on Monday, I started trying on Tuesday. When I was able to finish Tuesday's puzzles with some regularity, I continued on Wednesday, and so on.

a new pair of eyes

Many times I had to leave a puzzle and come back to it. The answers that had previously eluded me were suddenly clear. The puzzles towards the end of the week are particularly challenging. While the answers are often familiar, the clues become obscure. Sometimes I want to give up and throw the puzzle in the trash. After all, what is the loss? It's just a crossword and no one will know (except me).

It's like life

And that's when I realized crosswords are like life and business. Some days the answers are obvious and simple, and other days the answers elude us. Some days we want to throw in the towel and quit, and other days we revel in our accomplishments. So what's the difference? If I can go back and solve a puzzle I missed, why couldn't I solve it the first time? After all, I must have already had the knowledge and skills to find the answer, so why didn't they work for me the first time?

Some days get more demanding

When I first tried to solve the Friday and Saturday puzzles I was humbled. I would get a handful of answers at most. The sight of all those empty boxes was depressing; but something told me to keep trying. What I found was that there were always some answers I could get, so I just ran out of them. In the moviePun, they filmed different people (actors, former presidents and other personalities) doing the same puzzle. They talked about how some people have to go in order by doing all the across tracks in order before doing the down tracks. While others worked more haphazardly towards a complete answer, going back and forth until they got stuck.

Is it structured or random?

Isn't that life? Some people need to go in order, others in a more unstructured way. They might come to the same conclusion, they just get there in different ways. The other thing about life is that some people leave while others hold on. Which one are you? Do you walk away when the going gets tough? Do you go back and give it another chance, or do you throw it in the metaphorical trash can of life? in my book"Your attitude towards success' I say that the difference between those who succeed and those who don't isn't ideas or money, it's actions.

Action, action, we want action.

Ideas give you nothing if you don't act on them; And it's not just about implementing your ideas, it's about sticking to them. If it were easy, someone would probably be doing it already. And yes, sometimes we need to walk away and come back with a clear head. We often have to get out of the environment to clear our heads. Have you ever thought of the elusive answer in the shower or at your kids' soccer game? I'm sure there's a good psychological reason for this, but for the purposes of this article let's assume it's happened to all of us and will happen again. Sometimes we just need to keep our eyes peeled and sometimes stop thinking about it for a while and then come back.

The answers are not always where we are looking. Artists and product designers draw inspiration from everywhere. The answers you are looking for may well come from outside your industry. You must be willing to look for them and be willing to customize them to suit your needs. We have a phrase in the National Speakers Association, "Adapt, not adopt." It means not taking someone else's idea, adapting it and making it your own.

Be an original, not a copy

Too many people in our industry try to copy a competitor's ideas instead of adapting what they see and coming up with their own ideas. It's hard to copy someone else because you're living their reality, not yours. They are actually copying his story. What you see are his past ideas, executed. They don't know what new ideas they are working on. If you copy what you're looking at, they might have something newer. So are you original or copy? Do you give up or do you stick with it and see your ideas through, especially when push comes to shove? The next big idea is waiting for you, don't give up.

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Alan Berg has been called "the leading international expert and speaker in the wedding and events business". speak in eachCatersource Conference– including the 2018 conference in Las Vegas as well as conferences around the world. Visitwww.AlanBerg.comfor more information on his speaking engagements, sales training, website reviews, business consulting, books and audio presentations.


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