It's Not Rocket Science
In my quest to obtaining my BSN (Bachelors of Science and Nursing), I have, and will continue, to spend a lot of my time researching, experimenting and observing different things in a clinical setting. In one of my many random thoughts through out my day of attempting to gather my materials to start this next week, and contemplating how after 4 days of nothing I go back to school and actually give a rats ass about anything being taught to me, I began to have a random set of thoughts. These thoughts led to the conclusion that if everyone used the principal of the scientific method in life, a great deal of our personal problems could vanish. Consider it self-experimenting. This self-experimenting stuff boils down to a few simple steps:
- Think of a way in which you might live a better, happier life
- Do that thing — at least for a short time
- Reflect on what you learned and change your behavior accordingly
It’s not rocket science. In fact, it would be a stretch to call it science at all — but it’s based on the same basic principles: curiosity, a desire for improvement, and a humility towards finding the truth, wherever the search might lead. And it utilizes the same steps of the scientific method as well:
- Ask a question
- Do background research
- Construct a hypothesis
- Test your hypothesis by doing an experiment
- Analyze your data and draw a conclusion
- Communicate your results
In a way, though, this do-it-yourself experimentation has a leg up on labs and research papers. We live in a time where you can find studies to back up anything. Coffee is great for you. Coffee is awful for you. Fat is bad. Nope, it’s saturated fat. Just kidding, it’s carbs. Actually, meat is bad for you. Nope, you’re bad for meat.
In the noisy commotion of the science-media complex, sometimes the clearest voice is a simple one-man experiment. ”I tried two things. I found one was better. I’m going to do that thing until I find something even better.” Those with a more apt background in science and engineering might balk: a sample size of one isn’t valid! Where are your trials?!
My answer is simple: I’m not trying to test cures for cancer here. Treating life like an experiment is about curiosity and attempting to live better, not “proving” beyond any shadow of a doubt the merits or demerits of any way of life. When I quit my last job, I realized it drastically increased the chances of me not having a shitty day. When I stopped caring as much about makeup and hair in the morning and it caused a more "refreshed Liz" feeling throughout the day, I understood that to experiment with even the most mundane things could turn out great. The point is to figure out how to get one step closer to better, what ever that may be for you. The experimental life is one of boundary-pushing and agency over one’s environment. To those ends, you can test almost anything.