I’ve noticed something strange in myself, and after talking with a few friends, it seems I’m not the only one. When I take up something as an experiment, I’m open to failure. I’m like a scientist – focused only on learning and finding the truth. But when in living my usual, day-to-day life, it isn’t so easy. I try to be open. But failure hurts, ya know?
I’m experimenting with fasting right now. I won’t get into the reasons here (I’ll be writing about it for my newsletter subscribers on Sunday), but I haven’t eaten in over 50 hours. It’s surprisingly easy and there’s some interesting science behind it.
But, over the past hour or two, I’ve started to feel lazy and lethargic. And you know what? It doesn’t bother me at all. It’s interesting. I’m learning about how my mind reacts to lack of nutrition. I wonder curiously (but unemotionally) if the feeling will last, or if it’ll dissipate.
There’s something magical about an experiment. We disassociate from the results. We don’t identify our feelings and successes and failures as our own.
Identifying with the results of our actions holds us back from taking risks. It stops us from learning new things. We’d be embarrassed if they failed. What if we look stupid!?
I’m trying to break down that divide between experimentation and normal life. Framing things as experiments helps, but it’s cheating. Life is an experiment. And we shouldn’t be embarrassed to mess around a little bit.