I’m currently in the middle of a spiritual book called Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change by Pema Chodron.  The premise is to show readers how to live in the present moment while not only coping with but embracing ambiguity and all the things that come with it.  It’s one of those books that you never want to end.

I’m about 1/4 ish of the way through but wanted to share something that really resonated with me as I was reading – the idea of living life as an experiment.

I think this particular line struck me because I don’t consciously live this way.  Generally speaking, I prefer to stay on the safe side and navigate situations in a way where the chance for success is greater than the chance for failure.  And when you live your life as an experiment, failure is a part of the puzzle and you have to accept that.  And not only do you have to accept it, you have to be willing to learn from it and try something else the next time around.

Adopt an attitude of “I’m not sure what will help in this situation, but I’m going to experiment and try this.”  Sometimes the result will be, “Wow did that ever not work!”  But if it is, “we’ve learned something.  And now we can try something else.

The author talks about this being “an assignment without borders” where we are “forever engaged in on-the-job training.”  Essentially, she’s describing a way of living and being. 

Even though this is waaaay easier said than done, I thought it was an interesting idea and worth sharing.

Would love to hear your thoughts.  Do you live your life as an experiment?  Any tips that you find helpful when the easier said than done kicks in?

More from Pema Chodron:

By Parita

4 thoughts on “Live Your Life as an Experiment”
  1. That’s a really interesting perspective. Like you, I like to play it safe so there’s definitely a lot to learn from this book. It’s definitely the ‘fear of the unknown’ which holds me back but I know the only way I can grow is to get out of my comfort zone, no matter how scary that is!

  2. I typically don’t live life as an experiment, but I still fail. But I’ve also learned that failures are just a part of life and not everything in life can be perfect. Change, growth, success, failure are all part of life. I love reading books like that.

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