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Rediscover Excitement: Live Life Like a Great Experiment

The following post is from Jeff of My Super-Charged Life:

source: akunamatata

Do you need to rediscover excitement?

Experimentation in life leads to great discovery.  Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”

The world can become dull and boring pretty quickly if you aren’t open to trying new things.  Fear, failure and self-doubt make us shy away from experimenting in life.  Of course, they also leave us feeling trapped in a prison of monotony and discontent.

Living life like it is a great experiment will create adventure and excitement in your life.  It will open your eyes to new possibilities.  We need to break free and open ourselves up to investigating new and more creative ways to work, play and express ourselves.

How To Open Yourself Up to More Experimentation

It begins with attitude.  You’ve got to open yourself up to a new way of thinking.  Actually, it isn’t really new.  You’ve just got to return to an old way of thinking.

As children, we feel free to try things we’ve never experienced before.  The world is our oyster.  We are out to discover and collect all the beautiful pearls life offers.  However, as we grow older, we usually become more conservative.

We let fear and pressure drive us into conformity which leaves our lives gray and colorless.

You have to become very intentional to defeat this.  You have to relearn how to take risks and to accept a negative result.  You have to be willing to experiment.

By definition, an experiment is a test, trial, or tentative procedure; an act or operation for the purpose of discovering something unknown or of testing a principle or theory.

If your experiment reveals your theory was wrong, then so what?  You’ve learned something.  You’ve satisfied your curiosity; nothing more, nothing less.

This is not a failure.  It is a successful experiment that disproved your theory!

For some reason, as adults, we have lost our willingness to try new things so we can rationally decide whether or not we like them.  Our default position is to remain safe and boring.  Blah!

If you can grasp this and fully get your mind around it, then you will reopen your life to excitement.

3 Steps to Rediscovering Excitement in Life

Let’s break this down and make it easy.  Here are three brief steps that you can use to start experimenting more so you can rediscover excitement in your life.

1.  Imagine the Possibilities

You need to let your imagination run wild.  We have stifled ourselves to the point where this might be difficult at first, but it will get easier with time.  You can think of it like trying to start a fire.  The hardest part is getting that first flame going.

I recommend you use as many different techniques as possible to generate those first sparks of experimentation and creativity.  Read, daydream, journal, paint, draw, play music, hike, dive, socialize, debate, research, relax, meditate, exercise or do whatever else sets your soul aflame.

What are you passionate about?  Invest some time in the activity that gets your juices flowing and makes your heart quicken.  Surely, you remember one such pursuit that fits this description.

As you engage in this stirring activity, force yourself to let go.  Start by experimenting in small ways.  Improvise.  Let go of your inhibitions.  Splatter the paint.  Go on a rant.  Let your creativity be free of all bounds and don’t judge or stifle it.

This will produce that small, hot spark that will reignite the fire of ideas in your mind.  Go with this!

You may have to set some time aside for several days to get your mind loosened up enough for things to really start to happen.  Be patient with yourself.  You can’t rush the fire.

Eventually, if you stick with it without pressuring yourself, you will get a hypothesis.  You will start to think, “Hey, I wonder what would happen if I…” This is the thing you are after.  This is the spark that will burn down a forest.  This is the flame of discovery and excitement.

2.  Step Off the Cliff

Once you have an idea, a theory to test, then it is time to start your experiment.  Remember, it is just an experiment.  You cannot endear yourself too much to one outcome over another.

The goal is simply to try something new to discover whether or not it will work for you.  If it does, then great you’ve broadened your horizons.  If not, then you can check it off your list and move on.

Of course, it is when you shuffle up to the edge that old fears and anxieties will try to hold you back.  It is at this point, that you have to learn to overcome your lizard brain and step off the cliff despite the fact that it is scary.  I’ll admit that once you look over that edge, stepping off can be pretty uncomfortable.

You just have to ask yourself, “Which is worse?”

Are you going to stay stuck where you are or are you going to push aside your fear and lean into what lies just beyond that next step?

3.  Draw Your Conclusion

Finally, after you’ve conducted the experiment, you have to gather the results and come to a conclusion regarding your original hypothesis.  It is important that you don’t rush to judgment.  Be thorough in your analysis of the outcome.

Fear, anxiety and resistance to change will often cloud your thinking and confuse you when you are trying to draw your conclusion.

I recommend writing down your thoughts about what happened.  Record the facts and your feelings about the experience you just had.  Do this as soon as possible after the experiment.  This forces you to organize your thinking and it gives your mind some structure to help quiet your lizard brain.

Now take a little time to digest your thoughts and come to a logical and rational conclusion.  If your experiment was relatively small, then sleeping on it overnight might be enough time.  If your experiment involved a larger life change, then you may need to ponder the results for a few weeks or months.

Eventually, you’ll likely come to a clear and honest conclusion about your experiment.  Do not be afraid to call it like you see it.  Again, it was just a test of a theory.  You were not married to one outcome over another (right?).

Experimentation Can Help You Rediscover Excitement

Trying new things in life is exciting.  Whether you are just visiting a new restaurant or moving to another country, experimentation can revive a dull and boring life.  The key is to be intentional about it.  It is very easy to fall into ruts that seem safe, but ultimately drain our lives of all adventure.  Make it a point to experiment often and you’ll keep your life stimulating and engaging.

When was the last time you experimented in your life? What new or different thing did you try?

Jeff Nickles writes My Super-Charged Life to help people find success and meaning in their life. He has spent many hours researching these topics and loves making it easy for others to use the wisdom he discovers. Jeff is a corporate IT Director, but also has experience as an entrepreneur, consultant, training instructor, and military officer.