I’ve conducted many experiments in my adult life since learning from personal development blogger Steve Pavlina’s example. His blog is filled to the brim with all kinds of experiments – manifesting $1 million dollars, raw food diet, juice fasting, and more.
I think my first experiment was learning mandolin for 30 days. I’ve since done all kinds of things, whether it’s learning Joomla, walking 8,000 steps per day, writing 365 songs in a year, or otherwise.
The most significant experiment I recently completed was publishing daily for a full year. In a way, I’m still on that journey. It’s just that it’s taken a different form.
And you can bet that the results of these experiments factor into how I approach my work and life. I have actionable data and insights I can learn from to better my future endeavors.
You need to leave some time in you life for experimentation – in music, in business, and even in your personal life.
Ever notice how time seems to fly when you’re doing the same things day in day out without much change?
But how it seems to slow down when you’re constantly exposed to new things? And how much more exciting that experience is?
I’ve been living in Abbotsford, BC now for two years, and I love it here. Long-term, I could see myself moving to a nearby city, mind you (Abbotsford is fine, it’s just a little far from the action for my tastes – Langley or Coquitlam would be more to my liking).
I’ve explored quite a bit, but there is still a lot that’s new and novel about the area I’m living in. And it feels good.
My adventures have been a far cry from traveling the world, which is what I originally had in mind, but life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.
Establishing a framework for experimentation (novelty), can’t hurt. How much time will you spend trying something new? What rules will you put into place? What actions will you take?
Dedicating about 20% of your time to the new is a good place to start. You just never know what you might discover in the process.
In talking with creatives and musicians, I’ve found focus to be one of the greatest challenges.
We know what it’s like to have inspiration hit out of nowhere. With enough practice, following inspiration becomes an automatic.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with following inspiration. At the very least, you should write down your ideas before they are gone.
But following every whim is sure to leave you unfocused – a scattered mess, even.
On July 28, 2020, I made the commitment to start publishing daily. Today is day 235 on that journey.
And when I first got started, I was excited. I was so excited, in fact, that I started a day early.
Here we are, seven months in, and it’s finally beginning to feel like a grind. And it took this long to get there.
I still have ideas worth writing about and I don’t have writer’s block. But the itch to start something new has been overwhelming.
The artist in me cries a little when I restrain myself. But if I added anything new to my schedule now, I would only be sentencing myself to another trip down burnout lane.
And, while I got started on the premise that publishing daily would solve all my business problems… I’m starting to grow skeptical of that idea too.
I have experienced growth, to be sure. Just not to the degree that I thought I might by now.
Which is okay. That’s just the emotions talking, and logically, I know there are greater rewards waiting on the other end of this experiment. There is more to come.
And again, while I’m tempted to start new things (and I will leave some space in my schedule for experimentation), I find myself returning to this question often:
What is my one goal?
In coaching creatives and musicians, I also ask them what their one goal is. The answer I often get is “Well, I have X, and I’m also working on Y, and Z…”
But that’s not the answer I’m looking for. Because there can only be one answer.
You get to decide what the answer is. But there can’t be more than one. Until you’ve met that goal, there should be no other goal.
You should be spending all your time, energy, and resources on reaching that one goal. That’s how you know you’ve given it the attention it deserves.
Publishing daily is a goal. There are many other things I want to do, but until I’ve completed that goal, there are no others that should distract me from that goal. That’s how I know I’m giving it the attention it deserves.
What is your one goal?
If you need help, I’m here for you.
Sign up for my First-Time Coaching Special.