Colin Wright’s advice for lifestyle experiments

Over the past few days, I’ve been giving more thought to the whole life experiment thing. And by that I mean I’ve been googling around and learning about what makes life experiments successful too.

What makes for an exciting experiment adventure, even if the results don’t turn out the way you want?

One post that I found included a video by Colin Wright of Exile Lifestyle. The video is of Colin’s TEDX presentation about life experiments. You can check it out here.

Here’s a summary of his main points:

  1. Identify the problem: Each experiment should attempt to solve a problem. The “problem” could just be your annoying curiosity to experience something new. Or it could be something a little more painful. Point is, you need to have a reason to do the experiment, even if that reason seems silly. Otherwise, you won’t follow through with it.
  2. Plan out where you want to be: Once your know what the problem is, you can work backward to figure out how to try to solve it. Of course, they’re experiments, so you won’t know for sure what will work. That’s okay. Guessing is okay.
  3. Establish rules and guidelines: Lifestyle experiments are measurable. That’s the difference between experiments and changes. You want to be able to repeat the process and learn from it, whether it works out the way you want or not. Also, these rules force you to be more creative within them.
  4. Jump: Finally, you have to commit to the experiment and take the plunge. I’m more a fan of short experiments without much planning than long experiments with lots of planning. Because you don’t really know what you’re getting into until you try it. So try it. Correct as you go.

Notice that none of this is revolutionary by itself. What makes life experiments interesting isn’t the method. Science has used the method for hundreds of years. What makes life experiments interesting is that someone, an actual person, is doing them, actually doing them.