Each week we change the words/quote/saying that we are displaying on the noticeboard in our kitchen; these are the words we try to live by individually and as a family that week. Some weeks may focus on lifting our mood, others may be about motivation or attitude to life; something that speaks to us on some level and that we can directly apply to our lives. Changing the words each week stops them from becoming just another thing you walk past without really seeing, it keeps things fresh and stops them losing their power. This series is where I share those words with you in the hope they may help you and your family too. If you a new to the series and want to learn more, you can read the first post here, or check out the Words To Live By tab in the top menu.

How my son came up with the best philosophy for life, by talking about Lego

This weeks words come courtesy of my 7yr old son after a conversation about Lego. I was telling him how good I thought his latest creation was (the cave in the above picture) and he started to tell me about his friend at school who never knows what to build unless he has instructions to follow and the advice he gave him:

“I never know exactly what to build either but I just start by just placing one block and then adding another and another until it starts to take shape and I know what it is meant to be. I like placing blocks evenly to create a good base and then move upwards, keeping it even and balanced so it doesn’t break. Every now and then I sit back and look all around it from every angle and if something doesn’t look right I move it or take it off, then I keep going. Once I’ve gone up a few layers I get pictures in my head of how I want it to look and then I make it like that. When I’m happy with it I’ll go choose some more blocks in different colours that I like and start another base.” M, Age 7

That kid never fails to amaze me. On the surface this was just a conversation about how he builds his lego models, but to me it sounded like a great philosophy for life.

How many times have you wanted to do something but just didn’t know where to begin or how to make it happen? I feel like it all the time. It’s so easy to overthink things (the subject of previous post: Don’t Overthink) and procrastinate and put things off, wishing that someone would come along and give us a roadmap and tell us exactly how to do it. What we really need to do is just start; place one block at a time and see where it leads us, stepping back periodically to assess what we have done so far and fix what doesn’t sit right, then keep moving forward.

Make the first step today

This is one of my all time favourite quotes and one I try to remember regularly. To hear this basic philosophy reflected back to me from the mind of a 7yr old was pretty powerful and I knew these had to be the words for this week. It can be applied to all areas of your life, whether its a work goal, a personal dream, a lifestyle change; break it down into ‘blocks’ and place one at a time.

Looking too far ahead can be daunting, just focus on the next step.

You might not know every step you need to take, and sometimes looking too far ahead can be so daunting it puts you off, just make a start, focus on what you can do now and do that, then take the next step and the next and so on.

Starting is the hardest part, get that out of the way and you're half way there

If we think about it too much we can scare ourselves out of taking action at all, just like my son’s friend who rarely took part in their lego building sessions. He was so worried that he wouldn’t be able to come up with anything or that it wouldn’t be any good that he never even tried.

Don't overthink it, just make a start with what you have now

Other times it might be case of thinking through all the things you will need to get or the skills you will need to acquire before you can do something, but this is just another way to put it off. Just take one small step, place one small block, and work with what you have, the rest will come as you move along.

So, this week, whatever it is you have been putting off or worrying over, break it down and just place one block.

I have created a workbook to go along with this week’s words which you can access here:

Workbook for Words to live by 13: place one block

Have a great week everyone x

 

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86 thoughts on “Words To Live By #13: Place One Block

  1. This is fab Alana. I love motivational quotes and it’s all about breaking life down into manageable chunks. Thanks for sharing and joining us for #marvmondays

    Posted on 23 January, 2017 at 8:41 am
    1. Aww, thank you x

      Posted on 26 January, 2017 at 4:57 pm
  2. Yet another fantastic quote to live by – I adore your sons theory to building something – the freedom of imagination and not following instructions is just beautiful isn’t it? Thank you for sharing some more great quotes – it really is about taking that first step – that’s the hardest x #BigPinkLink
    justsayingmum recently posted…Ten Sure Signs You Are Addicted to Social Media!My Profile

    Posted on 23 January, 2017 at 9:23 am
    1. Thank you, I wish I had half his imagination x

      Posted on 26 January, 2017 at 5:39 pm
  3. Yes! Love these, they really are words to live by and your son is already very wise. I agree with the Stephen King. Very true for me at the moment! #MarvMondays
    Emma recently posted…Week 1 of my Moonwalk marathon trainingMy Profile

    Posted on 23 January, 2017 at 9:51 am
    1. Thank you, he’s definitely older than his years. And you can’t argue with Stephen King, I think he’s proved he knows what he’s talking about x

      Posted on 26 January, 2017 at 5:41 pm
  4. Love the idea. Love this weeks from your 7 year old philospher! You are so right about not looking at the notice board. Going to give it a try. Thanks for posting x

    Posted on 23 January, 2017 at 1:03 pm
    1. Thank you. If you do give it a try come back and let me know how you get on

      Posted on 26 January, 2017 at 5:46 pm
  5. Your 7 year old is so wise! I hope he carries that mindset with him as he grows up. #MarvMondays
    Angela Watling recently posted…Reasons I am grateful #1My Profile

    Posted on 23 January, 2017 at 3:48 pm
    1. Thank you, me too x

      Posted on 26 January, 2017 at 5:52 pm
  6. Place one block is a perfect way of looking at tackling big things when you don’t quite know where to start. That Lao Tzu quote is one of my favourites too and one that I often fall back on when I start getting overwhelmed about things – it makes me realise that I don’t have to think about the bigger picture – just take the first step in creating it and see where each step will lead me. I love that your 7yo has already grasped that concept. #candidcuddles
    Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) recently posted…From the mouths of babes #104My Profile

    Posted on 23 January, 2017 at 8:50 pm
    1. Thank you. He is ridiculously wise for his age, must take after his mum 😉

      Posted on 26 January, 2017 at 5:56 pm
  7. I adore this, what a fab post and yes what a wonderful philosophy for life. Popping over from #marvmondays
    Helen Gandy recently posted…Elarna at Nearly 2!My Profile

    Posted on 23 January, 2017 at 9:14 pm
    1. Thank you x

      Posted on 26 January, 2017 at 5:57 pm
  8. Place one block…such a simple approach we adults need to learn from kids! #bigpinklink
    Heather Keet recently posted…The ducks want their lips back…My Profile

    Posted on 24 January, 2017 at 1:51 am
    1. We certainly do x

      Posted on 26 January, 2017 at 6:02 pm
  9. Place One Block. I love it. I think I might write that in big letters across my diary for when I’m struggling with my to-do list. #dreamteam
    Becki Parsons recently posted…The Little One TagMy Profile

    Posted on 24 January, 2017 at 9:35 am
    1. Thank you. Hope it works for you x

      Posted on 26 January, 2017 at 6:28 pm
  10. It’s lovely to read that al the family inspire the choice of words you use. Our little ones sure can teach us a lot if we let them. This week also reminded me of someone’s view of lighthouses. #GlobalBlogging
    Helena recently posted…The Ultimate Guide to Getting Your Craft onMy Profile

    Posted on 24 January, 2017 at 6:32 pm
    1. Thank you, they really can if we pay attention x

      Posted on 26 January, 2017 at 6:30 pm
  11. Every week, I get so excited to know what will be the words to live by. You NEVER disappoint =) #DreamTeam

    Posted on 24 January, 2017 at 7:11 pm
    1. Oh wow, thank you so much. You’ve made my week 😘

      Posted on 26 January, 2017 at 6:31 pm
  12. Bless him, they are so open to everything at this young age. Make it strong at the base but otherwise, one lego piece take them anywhere. Coelho could steal this thought. 😀
    Loving the idea of making every piece count.

    Posted on 24 January, 2017 at 8:28 pm
    1. Thank you, it’s such a great age, I wish I had his imagination x

      Posted on 26 January, 2017 at 6:32 pm
  13. What a fab post, i love a good motivational quote.

    Posted on 24 January, 2017 at 9:17 pm
    1. Thank you x

      Posted on 26 January, 2017 at 6:32 pm
  14. Back again. I read this on #marvmondays and really liked it. #bestandworst
    Fran Back With a Bump recently posted…The Rocking Motherhood TagMy Profile

    Posted on 25 January, 2017 at 6:23 am
    1. Thank you x

      Posted on 26 January, 2017 at 6:34 pm
  15. back from #familyfun linky neighbour xx
    justsayingmum recently posted…Ten Sure Signs You Are Addicted to Social Media!My Profile

    Posted on 25 January, 2017 at 12:48 pm
  16. I love look at it as placing one block then the next. The idea of one step at a time, taking the chance & just starting is such great advice! Thanks for sharing your lovely quotes with us at #candidcuddles
    Becky, Cuddle Fairy recently posted…Blogger Club UK 52My Profile

    Posted on 25 January, 2017 at 2:45 pm
    1. Thank you, my boy knows his stuff 😁

      Posted on 26 January, 2017 at 6:38 pm
  17. What an insightful little man. I am awful for over thinking and sometimes you really do just need to take a step back and approach just one thing at a time. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun xx
    Tammymum recently posted…#FamilyFun…Week 19My Profile

    Posted on 25 January, 2017 at 5:57 pm
    1. Thank you, I’m claiming he gets it from me but it’s doubtful 😂

      Posted on 27 January, 2017 at 8:42 pm
  18. Back from #bestandworst still love this 🙂
    Helen Gandy recently posted…Best and Worst Linky #81My Profile

    Posted on 25 January, 2017 at 8:52 pm
  19. This is absolute genius! These little ones have so much to teach us right? #sharingthebloglove
    Louise | Squished Blueberries recently posted…Our Messy HomeschoolMy Profile

    Posted on 26 January, 2017 at 7:26 am
    1. I’ll pass that on, although he’ll probably give his stock a set of ‘I know’ 😂

      Posted on 27 January, 2017 at 8:47 pm
  20. When I first looked at this I thought it said ‘place one back’ and thought you must have been talking about blocks of chocolate! But, yes, this is much more inspirational! #SharingTheBlogLove
    Lucy recently posted…The working mum paving the way for women in her workplaceMy Profile

    Posted on 26 January, 2017 at 8:01 am
    1. Ha ha 😂. There is definitely no placing the chocolate back!

      Posted on 27 January, 2017 at 8:49 pm
  21. I absolutely love this, we have similar in the chalkboard in the playroom but I haven’t done it in a while and this has given me the push to start again. That conversation of lego is also something I am so passionate about as my two love creating new designs, and that is one very clued up 7 year old! xx #Sharingthebloglove
    Laura @ Little Ladies Big World recently posted…My December Birthday, My Fairy Party & My Overcompensating MumMy Profile

    Posted on 26 January, 2017 at 10:10 am
    1. He’s old for his years, that’s for sure. He amazes me every day x

      Posted on 27 January, 2017 at 8:51 pm
  22. WOW your son is so clever. Love all these quotes (you know I’m a huge quite fan) but I do love your place one block analogy, very clever! I do a weekly quote on our lightbox. This week we have House + love = Home Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉
    Catie: An Imperfect Mum recently posted…#a blogging good time #33My Profile

    Posted on 26 January, 2017 at 1:08 pm
    1. Takes after his mum, honest 😬. Love your quote for this week, beautiful x

      Posted on 27 January, 2017 at 8:52 pm
  23. Wise little guy! Sounds like my blogging philosophy! I never quite know what I’m writing until it starts to starts to take shape half way through and I move things around! #PoCoLo
    Sinead (shinnersandthebrood.com) recently posted…If Playdates Came with a WarningMy Profile

    Posted on 27 January, 2017 at 9:37 am
    1. Ha ha, me too x

      Posted on 27 January, 2017 at 9:02 pm
  24. I love these quotes. I think building blocks is a great analogy of life. It doesn’t matter what we are building, just as long as we keep adding those blocks. Fab post! #PoCoLo
    five little doves recently posted…A letter to myself on my 17th birthdayMy Profile

    Posted on 27 January, 2017 at 9:52 am
    1. Thank you, he’s a wise little boy at times x

      Posted on 27 January, 2017 at 9:02 pm
  25. Oh this is great advice. I think your son is going to grow up to be a motivational speaker! I am definitely going to take this on board. I am definitely one who has a tendency to get overwhelmed by the size of a task, but breaking it down and just forcing myself to get started really helps. #PoCoLo
    Lucy At Home recently posted…The Big Secret Pinterest-Perfect Mums Can’t Tell YouMy Profile

    Posted on 27 January, 2017 at 2:37 pm
    1. Me too, he’s got a lot to teach me!

      Posted on 27 January, 2017 at 9:08 pm
  26. You can apply this to any facet of life really.

    #fabfriday

    Posted on 27 January, 2017 at 2:45 pm
    1. So true x

      Posted on 27 January, 2017 at 9:08 pm
  27. What a wise little boy you have! I’m definitely guilty of putting off taking action while I overthink and weigh up all the consequences. Sometimes we just have to take that leap though and just go for it. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove
    Katy – Hot Pink Wellingtons recently posted…The Pregnancy Diaries: Week 20My Profile

    Posted on 27 January, 2017 at 3:26 pm
    1. Thank you. He’s taught me a lot this week!

      Posted on 27 January, 2017 at 9:09 pm
  28. I love the idea of having motivational quotes on a notice board, I may have to adopt it! Your dons advise is brilliant, something which I’m sure we could all fit into our lives and take on board! #bigpinklink
    Becky Clark recently posted…Have you seen my boobs? I seem to have lost them!My Profile

    Posted on 27 January, 2017 at 3:44 pm
    1. Thank you, it really can be applied to anything x

      Posted on 27 January, 2017 at 9:09 pm
  29. What a wise young man, breaking big things into little building blocks is the way forward. #fabfridaypost

    Posted on 27 January, 2017 at 11:53 pm
    1. Takes after his mum, honest x

      Posted on 30 January, 2017 at 1:33 pm
  30. That first step is definitely the hardest!! These are great quotes! Definitely words to live by! Thanks for sharing #globalblogging

    Posted on 28 January, 2017 at 1:10 am
    1. It certainly is. Thank you x

      Posted on 30 January, 2017 at 1:40 pm
  31. Oh Alana, this is wonderful. Last night, no joke, I had a dream that Mr. T built the border wall to mexico out of lego’s. Then I read this today! Too funny. Your wee one sounds brilliant! #DreamTeam #BigPinkLink xoxo
    Lisa Pomerantz recently posted…Mary Tyler Moore taught me the “F” wordMy Profile

    Posted on 28 January, 2017 at 1:50 am
    1. Ha ha, how strange x

      Posted on 30 January, 2017 at 1:40 pm
  32. I really like the Martin Luther King one – I often use that one. #KCACOLS
    Lydia C. Lee recently posted…A Night at the OperaMy Profile

    Posted on 28 January, 2017 at 10:09 pm
    1. Thank you, it is a great one x

      Posted on 31 January, 2017 at 4:58 pm
  33. Love your Words to Live By! Your little man is Amazing! I think you have a little philosopher there.

    My Ethan was doing his homework today. I asked him to read the question, which he did and then turned to me and said that he did not understand it. I asked him to read again but this time to cut it into chunks and then he understood the question. He still need a little guidance but hopefully one day he will be able to take the first step all by himself just like your little man did.

    Thank you so much for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost x
    Su {Ethan & Evelyn} recently posted…#FabFridayPost January 2017 Round UpMy Profile

    Posted on 28 January, 2017 at 11:04 pm
    1. Aww, thank you. That’s so great that he was able to do that x

      Posted on 31 January, 2017 at 4:59 pm
  34. Great quotes, I like the Stephen King one about the scariest part is just before you start. Thats so true for me then I like to feel the fear and do it anyway:)
    Mainy
    #KCACOLS
    mainy – myrealfairy recently posted…When Mainy met Piers …well…sort of….My Profile

    Posted on 29 January, 2017 at 1:32 pm
    1. Thank you, it’s a great quote I try to remember often x

      Posted on 31 January, 2017 at 5:01 pm
  35. Well your son is just great isn’t he!!? I do think that’s a great philosophy. If we don’t at least try we will never know! ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬
    Karen | TwoTinyHands recently posted…Happy Days #43 – Buggys, Ducks and Late NightsMy Profile

    Posted on 29 January, 2017 at 4:33 pm
    1. He certainly has his moments that’s for sure x

      Posted on 31 January, 2017 at 5:04 pm
  36. The kids both a great lego builder (awesome cave) and a great philosopher. #kcacols
    Bread recently posted…My Sunday Photo: 22nd JanuaryMy Profile

    Posted on 29 January, 2017 at 8:09 pm
    1. Thank you, he’ll love that x

      Posted on 31 January, 2017 at 5:06 pm
  37. I love this! I often find that I work best when I have a plan, then I make a list and get on with it. But so often I don’t have a concrete plan, just an idea or a dream of what I would like to do. Then I don’t how to make a start. But this is so true, just take a step and the rest will come. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x
    Laura – dear bear and beany recently posted…Growing Up…The Ordinary MomentsMy Profile

    Posted on 29 January, 2017 at 8:25 pm
    1. Thank you. I’m exactly the same, so he very taught me something x

      Posted on 31 January, 2017 at 5:07 pm
  38. I love this! I’m a serious over thinker tok so this is perfect for me. Your son is a genius! What an amazing insight for a 7 year old! x #KCACOLS
    Kimberley | Oh Just My Little Blog recently posted…Our Bittersweet Home MakeoverMy Profile

    Posted on 29 January, 2017 at 11:26 pm
    1. Ha ha, thank you. He’s getting rather a big head after all these amazing comments 😄

      Posted on 31 January, 2017 at 5:07 pm
  39. Back from #fabfridaypost on a Monday morning with lovely inspiration for the week ahead! Thanks Alana!
    Sinead (shinnersandthebrood.com) recently posted…If Playdates Came with a WarningMy Profile

    Posted on 30 January, 2017 at 9:10 am
    1. Thank you, hope it helps x

      Posted on 31 January, 2017 at 6:13 pm
  40. What a wise son you have! Love the quotes you have chosen – especially the Martyn Luther King one.

    Thank you for linking up to #KCACOLS and I hope to see you back again on Sunday x
    Maria recently posted…Growing my home to fit with my familyMy Profile

    Posted on 31 January, 2017 at 11:23 pm
    1. Thank you, he’d be the first to tell you he’s a genius at these things. Think all this praise is going to his head 😂

      Posted on 2 February, 2017 at 6:15 am
  41. Good mantra! especially those last two. Being scared or worrying over something, taking those first steps is the crucial bit.
    http://www.vanityandmestyle.com

    Posted on 1 February, 2017 at 6:37 am
    1. Thank you, you’re so right x

      Posted on 6 February, 2017 at 5:31 pm
  42. Just love this. That beautiful summary from your son speaks volumes doesn’t it. Really great post #pocolo

    Posted on 2 February, 2017 at 4:49 pm
    1. Thank you, he has a wise head on his shoulders that’s for sure x

      Posted on 6 February, 2017 at 7:51 pm
  43. Wow, how clever is your 7 year old. That is definitely the right philosophy to go by. I am becoming quite the fan of this series, it’s very inspiring. Thank you for sharing with the #DreamTeam, I LOVE this post! xx
    Annette, 3 Little Buttons recently posted…#HappyLittleButtons January 2017 Round UpMy Profile

    Posted on 5 February, 2017 at 2:27 pm
    1. And he knows it too 😂. Thank you x

      Posted on 10 February, 2017 at 3:00 pm
  44. It’s logical isn’t it, but also very profound. Thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo x
    Stephanie Robinson recently posted…Travelling light, and stylishly so too…My Profile

    Posted on 6 February, 2017 at 10:11 pm
    1. It is, thank you x

      Posted on 11 February, 2017 at 2:49 pm