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Why should you cube?

Bhargav777

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Post 2017, while I was applying for new colleges and preparing for interviews, I realized there was a lot of overlap between what most corporate/ universities expect out of a candidate and what we all have learnt in cubing without actually realizing. I also realized there was very little discussion in this space since most of us perform these things as if they are second nature to us and hence, this thread.

Although this list is extensive, it is in no way exhaustive. So, if you have had any success with something not mentioned here, please contribute.

I mostly had these as hints and developed them during interviews. I have managed to crack every single interview I have been called for and currently working with a major Healthcare company. Since most of you guys are teens or in your early twenties, shaping your careers, I hope this helps you all in your college applications or acts as fodder for interview discussions.
Caveat 1 - You might want to precisely point out excerpts from your life to add more conviction to most of these.
Caveat 2 - I live in India. If you think you are unable to relate/ can contribute better for a different professional stream specifically, please comment below.

1. Feynman technique:
Basically a technique that can be explained as a 4 step process: choose a concept - > teach someone - > identify gaps in knowledge - > review, simplify and continue.

Most of us film ourselves, do a lot of self-critique and go forth with targeting those gaps. We also try to grasp the basic understanding of a new method /concept, work on it further and refine/ optimize it as we practice.

This is basically a modified version of the Feynman's technique and most companies appreciate this self-appraisal process. This also shows most of us, cubers, have a decent understanding of self-realization, which is also lauded.

2. Adaptability:
Each and every single competition you attend might have a new venue you have never been to, a new atmosphere you have not gotten acclimatized to and new challenges you did not prepare for. We, cubers, have the need to adapt to any new environment as soon as possible and get into our zones quickly. This has toned our instincts to adapt and perform, something companies expect from their employees.

3. Mutual growth:
We understand the need for helping community grow by contributing. Be it a new trick, new method, fun finger-trick, we have not shied away from posting it public so someone else could nourish it with new perspectives. The world has enough people who are constantly trying to keep things to themselves fearing running out of their USP but we very well understand helping peers helps us grow.

4. Unlearning and relearning:
All of us started out with methods that might not have been good enough to pursue after landmark times and had to relearn something else. We have had finger-tricks and lines of thoughts that we are used to so much but when we see more potential in something new, we have been flexible about switching to those. Your company might be running on primitive tech, guess who isn't going to shy away from change?

5. Knowing the best method:
Be it any problem (scramble), the ones who are the best tend to flow with the art. We understand it is good to know a lot of methods to solve problems, but the best one is to not have any, "Be like water, my friend" is something we do on a daily.

6. Valuing someone's time:
I always understood showing up on time is mandatory to avoid being disqualified, so much so that it has become a practice for me to go to places a little early. This also makes the other person feel valued and adds more to my reputation. (I know this is something some of you might be doing like it is your second nature, but this is also something cubing helped me with).

7. Accentuating the type-A in us:
Due to the innate spirit of competitive cubing, cubers tend to resonate towards being a type-A personality. We tend to look at all hurdles thrown our way as a challenge, set competitive goals for ourselves and enjoy constantly chasing ambitious targets. We also tend to be much more organized, so as to not waste time.

8. High pressure situations:
Being a successful cuber also involves showmanship. Most of us have faced media, delivered speeches, been part of Live TV interviews and been victims of enthusiastic pressurizing crowds. This also means we have constantly explored what works best for us in trying to keep calm and are adept at handling pressure.

9. Operating in good faith:
"I have never met a group of people than the cubing community that is just a perfect representation of the utopian world"
- Shwan Park

There are very few sports where you find the competitor penalizing themselves because they know they deserve the penalty. Some of these instances might snatch our chance at a podium but we do realize operating in good faith comes a long way.

10. Patient:
"Embracing the suck is one crucial element when you begin any art"
- Mastery,
Robert Greene
All of us know learning a new event/ method/ technique is going to slow us all down and demotivate us. But we also know the same is applicable for anything new we begin with. This means we spring back faster since we are familiar with the pattern of progress here.

11. Goal - oriented:
We always function with a short-term and a long-term goal in mind. Almost each and every practice session that we grind, we push ourselves towards the short-term goals for the day/ week in order to get closer to our long term goals (Long term - WR, short term - sub 10, sub 8, getting comfortable with a method, etc.,)

12. Peer influence:
The cubing community is filled with students from major institutes of the world. We have had people representing their nation at high level power-lifting events to playing music at Grammy Awards. This means, we always tend to strive for greatness and not settle for anything mediocre, thanks to the peer community.

13. Time management:
Being a type-A personality automatically forces us to balance multiple things at once and hence, we tend to naturally be good at time management. Most of us tend to juggle studies, cubing, career goals, music and fitness pretty well.

14. Appreciate diversity:
"...the most amazing thing in cubing is that everyone is accepted."
- Patrick Ponce

Speedcubing opens up avenues to go to new countries and meet people you might not come across, if not for the sport. Most online discussions on a daily basis also happens with people from other nationalities and we understand the background/ culture/ race/ nationality/ religion has nothing to do with how one performs. Appreciating diversity is second nature for all of us and the opportunities to meet new people while working for major organizations is only going to make us more sensitive towards cultures and remove our unconscious biases.

15. Open to learning:
The community is always open to new ideas regardless of a person's speed/ age/ gender. There have been multiple instances when people who have much slower averages have come up with amazing techniques and we have learnt to appreciate for what it is worth.

16. Willingness to fail:
We cubers realize not everything new we try, fetches success. We learn to accept failure as part and parcel of experimenting with the sport and embrace failures day in and day out.

17. Giving comebacks:
Resilience is one trait the community teems with. There have been innumerable instances of us losing records, getting counted out, having down periods and backing ourselves up just to prove everyone wrong and springing with comebacks.

18. Organizing:
Most of us have also been part of organizing teams. Right from an elevator pitch with the sponsors to ensuring things are in place, scheduling, finding right person for the right job, we have done it all.

19. Volunteering:
"All major communities/ sports have people that are paid to run it. They are people who work a full week in those jobs. Cubing is a sport where everything is done on a 100% volunteering basis".
- Kit Clement

There have been instances of selfless contributions from various volunteers, delegates and parents all with a goal of pushing this happy community further.

20. Becoming good linkers:
Owing to the nature of the sport, we realize most events we practice are spill-over events. We tend to play around to see if we could use skill 1 acquired in an event in event 2.
Similarly, we also try to constantly look for how transferrable the skills we learn are and the tools we use could be, constantly looking for inspiration (magnetic cubes, non - Newtonian lubricants, paced breathing techniques to name a few).

21. Understanding the need for practice:
Since cubing is one of those very few sports where progress can be easily measured in quantitative terms for each skill added/ practice session done, we tend to understand the need for practice much better.

22. Miscellaneous:
Trivial things most people end up messing - sending e-mails, resolving disputes, sticking to basics under pressure, commuting to new places comes easy to us. Also, striking up conversations with strangers and making new friends is something we always enjoy.

I am not including some well-established facts but you can mention if need be:
- Short term, long term memory
- Spatial intelligence
- Hand eye coordination
- Decision making
- Finger dexterity
- Increased cognition
- Increased problem solving abilities
 
Last edited:

abunickabhi

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Amazing article. I too believe cubing is an art and a science and many skills that we pick from it help us in the fast paced money earning life.

As a kid, I have always been fascinated by the game of chess, and I play it for quite a while during high school. The thing that I used to find that separated the very high-class GM from a normal amateur chess player, was the amazing preparation the GM used to put to get his technique and repertoire correct. As an amateur player, I had faint level positional chess sense, and I was riding high on attacking chess and tactics. But this thought of how important chess preparation is always stayed in my mind.

I am always been perplexed by the Rubik’s Cube, and my perception keeps changing as I grow older. At first, it used to be a great feat just to solve one side, upon which I stayed satisfied for years, then one day I learned how to solve it completely by looking up an online tutorial.

Socializing has a big skill add-on that I have gotten from attending 50 competitions. Meeting people from all age groups and backgrounds make for a best testbed to be very social and be able to carry out conversations with everyone at their level.

5. I still have no clue about that.
22. A very important aspect, and I think you have taught me this and I am grateful for that.

All the for your cubing journey and your future work-cube (~work-life) dynamics as you get older. Your ZBLLs are always fun to watch yo!
 
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