Wednesday, May 7, 2014


If there was one thing that I could point to in order to explain why my mind works the way that it does—even if it only served to reinforce what was already there—it would be Odyssey of the Mind.

What was Odyssey of the Mind? For us less-articulate participants, it was referred to as OM. OM was an after school program where teams of 5-7 kids would solve various problems within a set of rules. Nothing special there, right? Not on the surface, anyway. But the one thing that made OM unique was the phrase “if it doesn't say you can't, then you can.” That, in and of itself, was the challenge. The encouragement was to find as many barriers as you could, get as close to them as you could without crossing them (or maybe go the other way altogether—your choice entirely), and solve a problem in the process.

As the years passed, my teams got better and better at this. But it didn't start out that way.