“Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Does everything happen exactly as you want it? If it doesn’t, do you give up or try again?Is there any value in experimenting with your life even if you fail to reach your goal?
If I made a list of all the things I’ve tried to do, but failed, I think it might be a long list. Despite that, I’m very happy I attempted most of those things because at least I can say I tried. That makes me feel good. My mother would be proud too because, despite her failed attempt to make me into a Southern Lady (of the 50’s variety), she always taught me to do the best I could, and I did.
Failures Are Just Steps To Success
One of the things I heard as a young person that motivated me to work at the things I loved was that Edison had 10,000 failed experiments before he created a workable light bulb. He didn’t think they were failures; they were simply steps he had to take to succeed. I didn’t feel so bad after that and I got the message: if you give up too soon you may never reach your goal.
If I’d given up too soon and not kept experimenting, I would never have become a dancer, danced with a company, published a book, or married again. If I had given up, it would have been a tragedy because I would have missed the joy of accomplishing what I wasn’t quite sure I could do.
You Have To Experiment To Succeed
Each success required experimentation. I had to stretch, bend, jump, and learn to lie still, not only physically, but emotionally and mentally as well. I like what Robert Frost said, “In three words I can sum up everything I learned about life: it goes on.” It went on despite the pulled muscles, torn up chapters, and a divorce.
But if we are willing to experiment as we live life, we may find the answers to remove the road- blocks that stand in our way. For example, in dance, we perform the same movements over and over. Through time, we learn just where our weight has to be placed in order to perform a pirouette or to leap and land in perfect balance.
A chef experiments with preparing Chicken Marsala until his creation fits his idea of perfection. A teacher uses different methods for teaching writing until she finds the one that helps students succeed with the assignment. A salesperson creates different pitches to sell his product to a variety of people. Each successful accomplishment is preceded by experimentation.
Experimenting Teaches Us How To Find What Is Best
Every writer knows that the first draft isn’t the one that will be published. It’s just the beginning and will be followed by editing and rewriting on every level. We shift words around and rearrange the structure of sentences as well as the order of events. The pattern we follow is the one that emerges as we begin to tell the story and often takes us to a place we never anticipated would be the ending.
Relationships are the same, although after my first marriage, I wondered how my life could go on. I felt ill-equipped to take care of myself, especially when I quit my teaching job because I thought my husband would support me while I developed dance classes. That was when he left. I had never lived by myself or been on my own. But had I not lost that relationship, I wouldn’t have been available for my current husband who is everything I ever wanted in a man.
Experimenting Reveals New Viewpoints
In a relationship, even with friends, we often experiment in order to find the right words to discuss a delicate subject. We have to find the best way to handle conflict. We have to learn that the timing of a discussion is important. We have to learn to express empathy and be open to shift our own thinking to solve problems and grow together. We have to be willing to let go of the way we thought things would be to accept the way things are.
When something in life isn’t working, we can run, hide, or experiment with new possibilities. There are no guarantees that we will make the right decision, but we’ll never know if we don’t try to find a solution to the problem or a way to adapt.
Like the plants in our gardens, we may not be planted in the perfect soil or get the right amount of rain, but as a part of nature, we are capable of adapting. Like the plants, it’s in our nature to do the best we can.
© 2014 Georganne Spruce ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5