Life is a Series of Experiments
“The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or to spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick alongside it.” — D.L. Moody
You experiment from the time of birth.
As Ray Bradbury once said, “Life is ‘trying things to see if they work.’” A failed experiment is best not repeated. It teaches you what not to do or what doesn’t work.
Children are little masters of experimentation. It’s their primary means of learning. Parents know the look of a child who is about to defy a warning. Although frustrating, the child only understands what is experienced.
Only after many painful mistakes does the same child temper experiments with the wisdom of a parent. This respect of the parent is earned through trial and error proving the parent right. As the child grows older, this cycle of challenging a parent’s wisdom is often repeated.
Life largely revolves around the Law of Probabilities. According to Jack Canfield, “the more things you try, the more likely one of them will work.” Other people may direct you on a more efficient path, but learning is a process of elimination separating what works from what does not.
Even when you are well read and educated beyond reason, true understanding comes from getting your hands dirty in the act itself. Otherwise, how can you know…
- What it is like to lift twice your weight if you haven’t experienced it?
- How to author great works without writing thousands of mediocre works?
- How to engineer the tallest building without first designing buildings of all shapes and sizes to varying degrees of success?
Life doesn’t translate directly from a dusty old book to the unforgiving maelstrom of everyday life. The only way forward is the next experiment.
Understanding you will get burned is not the same as getting burned. Reading about it or being admonished CHALLENGES you. Experiencing it firsthand CHANGES you.
Rediscover your lost mastery of experimentation. Temper it with the wisdom of others you respect, but don’t fear failure. Failure precedes success.