Why I Experiment Every Day

I forgot to tell you about something. I wrote a book as a joke.

I made a challenge to myself. I would write a book and publish it in the same weekend. And it would be fun.

So when Prince George (son of Prince William and Princess Kate) was born, I “ghost” wrote his autobiography.

I published it under a pseudonym (“John Kenneth Rowling”, get it?)

Two years later, I just re-read it. It wasn’t bad. It was kind of funny. One never knows on the day of.

It’s ok for experiments to go bad. It’s ok to not be perfect I tell myself. I have to give myself permission to accept my imperfections. Else life is too stressful.

So I wrote and published the “Autobiography of Prince George Alexander Louis Windsor” in a weekend.

Because he had just been born I ranked high on search results. I made a few thousand dollars.

I’m on a plane now and I read a few chapters. Not bad. Funny. Because I think of myself as “broken” I think “maybe one day I’ll write this well again.”

And I worry about the things that everyone worries about – are my decisions correct enough to survive me until my dealth.

After the book came out I showed a few people, including a publisher. They offered me a ten book deal. Autobiographies of babies. It would be my niche.

The next book in the series was supposed to be “North by North West” about Kanye and Kim’s baby. I didn’t do it. But maybe later. Who knows?

Don’t knock it. Talented parents like that – an excellent autobiography for a three day old was already forming in my head.

But I didn’t write it. It’s ok to experiment and move on. How many times can you experiment in this life before you die?

It is ONLY through experimenting that we start to carve out the parts of the world we don’t know about. We find out what we love and enjoy. There is no other way.

We find better and better ways to break out of the cage that constantly imprisons us.

Should I do X? Or Y? Find 50 ways to experiment answering this question.

Every day, I try to find at least ten experiments I can do. Should I write in morning? Or night? Should I eat bread today? Or fast? If I write, should I write in second person. Or should I watercolor.

Should I call someone I haven’t spoken to in years? Or not call them?

Each experiment allows me to play with my comfort zone. And to learn more about the world. And to learn more about myself. And to learn more about whatever it is I am specifically experimenting about.

Can I take up a camera today and take one good photograph. Can I interview one person and unlock a secret that will help the rest of humanity.

Can I meet someone and build a connection between him (or her) and me. One that lasts beyond the handshake.

Can I say hello to someone in such a way that they remember me.

Learning how to experiment with your life is a muscle. You have to practice it every day. But, for me, it makes my life better. Even the bad experiments.

I wrote a book. 12,578 people bought it, give or take. Some people read it. Some had fun with it. I got nothing but bad reviews.

But all of the reviewers will die one day. And so will I. And so will you. We’re all in a race to the finish line.

Life is measured not by our good deeds, or by who loved us, or by what charities we’ve done, but by the number of experiments we did.

Because some experiments fizzle out to nothing. And some experiments blow up. Blow up in our faces, Blow up and from a satellite in space looking down, created flash of light that can be seen by the entire universe.

But some experiments discover lightning. And light up the world. And some experiments make fun of the words of a little baby. Life is fun in the laboratory.

  • Tin

    That’s inspiring! I’ll try an experiment then: I’ll comment on that favorite writer after quietly reading hundreds of his posts. :)

  • Tyler W

    I can’t recall the article now, but you had mentioned before about life being one big experiment. This was a few years ago, but it has been the approach that I’ve taken since. It’s also something I reassure friends, family and lovers whenever they are feeling doubt about a job, a decision, or how they handled something. It’s all one big experiment. We need to learn from these experiments….so we can experience and experiment more.

  • Francisco Caselles

    LoL! “But all of the reviewers will die one day.” Poor reviewers; they should have union rights and make a three days strike. Well, but they don’t, because that will be too much… besides the review itself I mean. It’s one of the though jobs and it’s not well paid huh! Misery. Horrible. Just think what would be of Amazon WITHOUT them! Well… just imaging that you are in your non-digital, street normal grocery store of your neighborhood and before buying a package of pasta, you could have ‘access’ to somebody in-the-store that would make you a ‘review’ about of the product, the service, the owner, about you, etc. Free. I’m just missing the Future when ‘holograms’ of people will do that. I will choose a kind of ‘barbie’ to do mines, and I’m not gonna say that I’m sorry about it. You can pick whatever you want too. Jesus! And here we are complaining about ‘reviewers’ in a non-hologram-era yet!

  • kenneth kwan

    Thanks, James.

    Let’s see: anyone ever get annoyed when they’re at a restaurant, call a carbonated drink, receive it in a cup, rip the straw out of the wrapper, stick it in the drink, and watch the straw float out of the cup, again and again?

    If just one person says “yes”, I’ll do some experimenting on that.


  • Nurjean Chaneco

    True! Which is why one of my principles in life is to “experiment wisely”.

  • I love it too, there are too much the same idea here, that would help me explore more in life, we are live every day with many things new and old, we live and work to make the new things happen on earth, no matter it good or bad, because sometime we can’t predict or control it at all. But all things we do is have a vision on our life to action good as we can to experiment more and enjoy life more.

  • Pratik Pandey

    I just read Keith Ferrazzi’s “Never Eat Alone” and he’s mentioned you in there. I googled and read this post–it’s really interesting and useful. Just subscribed the newsletter. Thanks!

  • karthi reva

    thanks for giving an interesting blog,which is nice article with more eagerness to read.this type of inspiring articles are useful.