Build an Igloo (or do something else really hard)

Everyone should have the experience of building an igloo. 

That’s what I did this weekend.  And let me tell you, it’s not easy.

But I learned many lessons that I think could be applied in other situations.

1.  To get the great feeling of significant accomplishment, you have to do something really difficult.

     Spending 5 hours packing snow, shoveling snow and lifting heavy blocks is not a small task.  And it helps your motivation if you have nowhere else to sleep that night.  Commit to something big, and you’ll feel great when it’s over.

2.  Follow instructions.

     If someone has experience, or knows more than you, and has provided you instructions, it would be wise for you to follow them.  We had specific instructions for building an igloo, including layout size, block sizes, and techniques.  There were others who tried to  build igloos just based on what they thought was a good idea, but in the end, they didn’t turn out so well.

3.  Have faith in those with experience.

     This is similar to # 2 but there were times when the instructions just didn’t seem to make sense.  Only later in the process did we understand the wisdom of the specific instructions.  There were also times when we didn’t think the blocks were very stable and that the whole thing could come crashing down in an instant.  But we had faith, followed the instructions, and the structure turned out very sturdy.

4.  Persist.

     When you’re really tired, and nothing seems to be going right, and you want to quit… don’t.  Don’t give up.  The thrill of success will be so much sweeter when you’ve gone to the edge of defeat.  When one of our key large blocks broke, we thought we were done and had no way to finish, but we kept working it and figured out a way to make it work.  Only pure persistence got us through, because logically, we didn’t seem to have any options.

These probably sound like old fashioned lessons, but that’s why they’re so valuable, they have stood the test of time and apply to almost any situation. 

It took building an igloo for me to understand them at a deeper level.

Destroying our 7' high igloo
Destroying our 7' high igloo

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