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Always experiment

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A common saying is that the world is always changing. We must change to keep up and be successful in our life’s endeavours. I believe to be successful one must experiment. Experimenting is to try new things, to make mistakes, to analyse data and to review and action on feedback. Furthermore, experimenting in multiple ways is crucial. Here are two examples …..

I have tied my shoe laces a certain way since I was taught at a young age. I typically have to re-tie my shoe laces once or twice a day; especially when exercising. I mentioned this in front of a friend and he asked me how I tied my laces. After explaining how he does it and why, I realised he was doing one thing I wasn’t doing. When tying your shoe laces you typically follow a two-step process. The first knot, known as the starting knot, and the second knot which is the finishing knot (varies for most people). The way I tied the first knot (left over right) had to be reversed when I did the second knot (looping right over left). This process ties a stronger knot that will not loosen. For more detail check out Tom’s Shoelace site.

Over the past week I used this shoe lace technique. The knot did not come undone on any of my shoes; whether I was at the gym, running or general walking. It just worked! All it took was an experiment with one simple change. This a game changer, and I learned this after how many years of tying shoe laces.

I am in the middle of another experiment; a sabbatical. This experiment is much larger with greater impacts on my life. The goal of this experiment is to reflect on my life and career without the typical life constraints (i.e. a job, work travel, debt etc.). I am at month four and have learned a lot about myself and the direction I want to take in my career and life. Furthermore, I have met many people along the way, travelled to many countries and have had multiple job offers. Without this experiment, none of this would have happened.

Change is constant these days. To keep up with our fast paced world one must experiment to learn new approaches, make mistakes, grow and exploit opportunities. You only get out what you put in. Try experimenting more and testing new hypotheses and see what you learn. And for those that care, the best type of shoe lace you can tie is the Surgeon Knot.

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