I was trying to figure out the little blue car’s license plate.
Sometimes it pops right out at you. But not this one.
I added spaces. I added vowels. I grouped letters together. I grouped other letters together.
Maybe it’s an inside joke, I thought. Or a family name.
And then I saw it: TRUNORTH. True north.
That’s so obvious! How’d I miss that? It’s all right there except for the ‘e.’
But what occurred to me was that sometimes it just takes us a while to figure something out, and self-criticism rarely expedites the process.
And when I can’t make sense of that license plate, puzzle, problem, it helps to err not on the side of criticism, but curiosity. Which seems like a pretty decent true north.