Which puzzle bandwagon are you on—Wordle or Sudoku? Read on to discover some life lessons of puzzles.

Wordle or Sudoku?

By: Sandra Sears

Sandra is the owner and founder of Staffworks. Follow along and read more insights every Friday on her LinkedIn.

I am not one who tackles the Wordle every day—I never got into it. Wordle was all the rage, but I stuck to my guns: I’m a numbers person, not a word person. It wasn’t for me.

Sudoku is my game. Every morning at seven, I settle in with my coffee and my puzzle and that’s how I start my day. I like to think it gets my brain going (but the caffeine might have something to do with that).

Life Lessons of Wordle and Sudoku

Sudoku puts into practice some genuine life lessons. When I first started doing the number puzzles, I was NOT very good. I didn’t have a standard starting point. I didn’t know what patterns to look for. I just had to push through, and I kind of felt stupid every time I picked it up.

Fortunately, an old dog CAN learn new tricks—that’s the growth mindset.


When I’m doing the Sudoku, I always know that there’s a solution. I may not know it—but I will, eventually. As with a work assignment or personal project, I can simply put it aside and come back to it later. When my inner voice is saying, “What am I not seeing?” I remind myself: “You’re just not seeing it…YET.” Sometimes you’re going to get stuck—that’s life. But I know that if I give myself enough time, space, and patience, I will always get there in the end.


A fresh set of eyes can make all the difference for me. Like those pictures that change into something new when turned upside down, analyzing the situation from a different angle can uncover options you were previously unable to see.

A friend once told me about a time she was working on a big proposal with significant numbers. After poring over it all day, she had to set it aside to make our 6 o’clock squash game. The next morning, while reviewing before sending, she found a $2M mistake! She had never been so grateful that she’d saved the final review for a fresh set of eyes.


When I feel like I’m getting stuck—whether in a puzzle or a project—I remind myself to go back to the beginning and start with what I know. It’s useful to remember tennis player Arthur Ashe’s words of wisdom: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

I know that often the way forward is actually discovered by taking a step back and reviewing the facts; they can provide the basis for developing your solution.


  1. Remember that there is always a solution—you just haven’t found it yet.
  2. Look at your puzzle differently. Turn it inside out and upside down.
  3. Start with what you know. Facts are your building blocks as you work towards your elusive solution.

So… Wordle or Sudoku?

And now that I’m done my Sudoku for the day, maybe I’ll take a crack at the Wordle. I won’t be a rookie forever, I just don’t know how to do it… yet.


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