Your Life Is an Experiment

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Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

There are plenty of metaphors for life. You may have heard one of the following:

  • Life is a game
  • Life is a stage
  • Life is a dance

There’s merit to each of the above metaphors, but there’s one metaphor for life that doesn’t get enough love.

Life is an experimen

Don’t worry, no bunsen burner or lab coat is required.

When it comes down to it, our lives are a series of experiments. These experiments help us learn, grow, and develop as people.

Any good experiment follows the scientific method. If you’re rusty on what the scientific method is, here’s a nice overview.

For simplicity, I’ve consolidated portions of the scientific method into three parts: the hypothesis, the experiment, and the analysis of data.

Hypotheses Of Life

Whether you realize it or not, we formulate hypotheses, or predictions, constantly.

See a few examples below:

  • I predict drinking a glass of milk before bed will help me sleep better.
  • I predict I’ll attract my crush at work if I dress better.
  • I predict a career in journalism will be my most fulfilling career path.
  • I predict moving to Florida from the frigid north will boost my mood.
  • I predict by benching heavy weights 4x a week, my chest and arms will look like this guy.

At face value, we don’t view these predictions as hypotheses. But that’s exactly what we’re doing.

We’re predicting the future based on information we’ve acquired through research and observing other people’s experiences (case studies).

We’ve got our hypothesis lined up; let’s get to the fun part.

Life Experiments = Life Experiences

You may have to reread the previous heading. Notice how close the words “experiments” and “experiences” look and sound. I like to think this is not a coincidence.

At this point, we’re simply experiencing (experimenting) with life. We take action on our previous hypotheses.

I’m going to chug a glass of milk before bed, dress to the nine to attract my soul mate, quit my current job and pursue a career in journalism, move to Miami Beach to live my best life, and go hard at the gym to look like this guy.

Analyze Data

Alright, how did I do? See my results italicized.

  • I predict drinking a glass of milk before bed will help me sleep better — Horrible idea, stomach cramped all night.
  • I predict I’ll attract my crush at work if I dress better — Smashing success!
  • I predict a career in journalism will be my most fulfilling career path—Best decision of my life; work is more challenging and fulfilling.
  • I predict moving to Florida from the frigid north will boost my mood—Results inconclusive; miss my core friends up north but love the warmer weather.
  • I predict by benching heavy weights 4x a week over the next two months, my chest and arms will look like this guy — No chance.

Live And Learn

Experimenting with life is critical. Those who are willing to experiment the most will learn the most.

We’re told to live life to the fullest. What that really means is we should be experimenting with life to the fullest. You don’t know what works until you try it.

If you’re afraid of failure, do not fear. When it comes to experiments, there are no failures. You’re simply testing your theories (taking action) and learning from your results (analyzing data).

Ralph Waldo Emerson put it best:

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”

To live is to experiment. And to experiment with life is to experience life.

The world is not your oyster, but rather your lab. You’re the tester and the test subject.

Have fun with it all; it’s how to live life to the fullest.



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