All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the
One of the stories that my family likes to tell on me is when my mother found my three year old self in the bathroom, making soup/mess/goo from soap, shaving cream, toothpaste and water in the sink. When asked what I was up to, I replied: "Look, Mommy! I makee sper-e-ment!" (My Dad was a scientist, who often spent time "makee sper-e-ment" in his lab at the university, so no big surprise at where this idea might have come from!)
Later on, as a college student, teaching science to elementary school aged camp kids one summer, I quickly found that all children are really natural scientists: why is the sky blue? what happens to the sun when it goes down? why is it summer? Great questions!
In my young working life as a scientist (and as a human being), I later learned (often painfully) that the greatest insights and breakthroughs came through a "failed" experiment – that is, learning through trying something that it didn’t work as I thought it might.
I notice, though, that something seems to happen to many of us on our way to becoming a "grown-up" – we stop asking questions, and often we stop experimenting. We fear "failing", looking "dumb", not "knowing".
The cost to not experimenting may not initially appear great – in fact, it may seem easier to follow the hypothesis we feel more sure about. We are often rewarded – in school, at work, in our families – for knowing "the answer".
But I also notice what we lose in stopping that experimentation process – the wonder, the possibility, the novelty, and learning.
So, my challenge to you this week is: experiment! What do you have to lose?
What experiment are you longing to run?
What would you gain by experimenting more?
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