Have you ever thought about ‘why’ you like to buy, build and collect Lego models?  Particularly as an adult builder.  What aspects of being a Lego enthusiast or hobbyist do you enjoy the most?

In this article (part 1 of 2) I share 6 of 12 reasons that I’ve thought of on why I personally like to build Lego and why I find the hobby and experience to be so enjoyable.

Do one or more of these reasons resonate with you?

Reason 1: The act of creating something is an enjoyable experience

Regardless of whether you are building a standard Lego set from instructions, or if you are building an advanced custom Lego model or Lego creation of your own, there is something highly enjoyable about the process and journey of putting together interconnected building elements. …that after focused step-by-step effort, once complete forms something wondrous that you can play with or simply enjoy looking at and having in your home on display.

The experience of building and creating something from all those individual parts to me is a fun, enjoyable and rewarding experience.  Do you feel the same way?

Reason 2: Building Lego allows us to reconnect to our childhoods

For most of us our childhoods were a simpler and happier time where we were free from the worries, responsibilities and challenges we face as adults.  Often our first and most pure experience with Lego is as a child; and building Lego can reconnect us to our inner child and those happy memories of our youth.

I appreciate for some people that may not be desirable thing, but in my case, I often think back fondly to my teen years in particular, as I was lucky enough to be blessed with some good years.  At that time of my life Lego was a part of that experience.  So building Lego in the present as an adult reconnects me to memories of that care-free time of my past; and I find this often puts a smile on my face. 

I hope that nostalgic sense of connection to your childhood and teen years that building Lego can bring about is a pleasant and enjoyable experience for you also.

Reason 3: Bringing order from chaos

While I know some people love spontaneity and for life to be somewhat chaotic, ergo exciting and adventurous. I’m the other way around.  I thrive in the known.

I like to try new things and be adventurous but in a planned, ordered and organised way.   I feel that Lego talks to this way of being as it is a hobby where you are continuously, via building, creating order-from-chaos.

Think about it, you will often start a Lego build with packets of parts upended on your desk or building surface, parts everywhere in this chaotic mix of part types and colours.  But then step-by-step, in a methodical and planned way you are able to create an ordered and beautiful finished form from the chaos of parts that once was. I find this to be deeply satisfying and pleasurable.

Is this something that you feel to?

The added beauty of Lego in this regard also is that you are easily ably to re-order your completed Lego model into something else. And even re-create that order by re-building a smashed or broken Lego model if you have an ‘agent of chaos’ in your life like a small curious child, pet or clumsy partner!

Reason 4: You can get a perfect result

Quite related to my previous reason for enjoying Lego is that I like it that you can get a ‘perfect’ result with a Lego model.  This sense of being able to not only ‘get it right’ but get it perfect I find to be enjoyable given there is very little in our lives that we can control and get to a perfect state. 

What do I mean by ‘getting it perfect’?  I mean that you can craft a Lego design or follow instruction steps and end up, after your build, with the exact result in your finished Lego model that you set out to achieve.

Having that ever so small modicum of control over something in our lives feels cathartic and can remind us that not everything in life is out of our control or flawed or irredeemable.  Like building the perfect Lego model there are things and situations in our lives that we can control and guide and shape to get the result we want – it just takes effort, time and focus.  And in this regard building Lego models reminds us of this possibility.

Reason 5: A soothing mental break

How many times have you started a Lego building session only to have the moment mid-build where you look up and think wow, 2 hours just passed! 

There’s something about being focused and engrossed in a creative task like building a Lego model that means all of those distracting thoughts and worries just drop away and you are able to focus on only what you are doing. 

This state of mind is often referred to as ‘getting into the zone’ or being in a ‘flow state’ and it is where our mind is engrossed in a pleasant and productive way in a task or endeavour to the exclusion of all other thoughts and our sense of time passing. 

For me this state of mind is incredibly soothing and enjoyable and surprisingly helps me to stop thinking so much about current problems – perhaps even at times freeing another part of my mind up to re-process my thoughts to have a healthier and more positive outlook or ideas on what to do next.

Do you experience something like what I’m describing when you are building Lego?  Do you find building Lego to be good for your mental health and well-being?

Reason 6: It can be a shared and social experience

One of the best things about having a hobby is to share that hobby with other people who enjoy it as much as you do.  Think about the difference in the conversations you have had with people in your social circle (friends, work colleagues, family etc.) who are Lego enthusiasts like you, versus the conversations you have had with people who have no interest in Lego.  There’s a sharp difference right?! 

I bet you can talk about Lego for hours on end to a fellow Lego nerd and for it be an enjoyable and happy conversation.  Whereas when mentioning that you are into Lego and talking about say your latest Lego build with a person who is not into Lego – you will probably quickly see their eyes glaze over as they lose interest in the conversation and seek to change the topic.

Where I am going with this is that there is a lot of joy to be found in sharing your Lego related experiences, ideas and thoughts with people who are also passionate about Lego.

In this space I do two things that I highly recommend if you don’t have this opportunity to seek out:

  1. About once every 2 months or so, usually on a Sunday afternoon, a small group of my friends and I get together at one of our houses and spend a few hours building together.  We each are building our own sets or work on our own custom Lego projects. But the key is that we all sit at a large table together, build and talk about Lego for a few hours.  We may chat about what new Lego products we plan to buy or discuss the merits and cons of a particular Lego set or custom Lego project we are thinking of starting and so on. It’s a lot of fun and if you have someone or people that you can do this with to I highly recommend it.
  2. If you are able to, I recommend that you join a local Lego Club or Lego interest group. There are many of these in most major cities across the world and they are a great way to connect with fellow Lego hobbyists to discuss and share our passion for Lego.  Some, like mine, will often host annual Lego Expo’s which will give you the opportunity to build something special to display to the public if that’s something that interests you.  In my experience I also found that my own knowledge of Lego (in terms of building techniques and what is possible with the Lego system) has expanded as a result of being part of a Lego Club which I’ve found to be very enjoyable.

That’s a wrap for part 1 of: why we like to build Lego as adults.

You can immediately view and read part 2 here!