by: Staci Stallings
Years ago a new-at-the-time-to-me friend was flabbergasted that everywhere I went, I found lessons from God. She got so exasperated that one day she said, “I thought we just lived. I didn’t know there were lessons!” I still tease her about that. 😉
One of the things I have learned about life’s lessons is that unless you realized you’re experimenting, you won’t gather the necessary data to make accurate corrections to your experiment.
Let’s say we’re talking about weight for example. Now you are just going along not really paying any attention to your body. Then one day you step on the scales and Gad-zooks! You’ve gained 25 pounds! So you start dieting and exercising (eating and moving), but unless it’s Jan. 1, you don’t really remember when you started. And yeah, you went to the gym one day this week, or was that last week? You’ve eaten pretty good. Okay, there was that trip to get ice cream, and oh, yeah, your brother’s party, and then there was football on Sunday…
You get the idea.
We live such a fast life and our memories are so short that we often lose valuable data from our experiments. Data are the markers that tell us how our experiment is going. Are we moving closer to our goal or further away? Is this experiment destined for success, or are we even paying attention?
In school, data would be grades. You aced this paper but flunked that one. That’s data. It tells us what we need to work on and correct.
Without it, we are “flying blind” and “blind” is how many of us prefer to live. After all, if we just don’t look, maybe the bills will go away. If we just don’t pay attention, maybe our house will clean itself, our kids will get A’s in school, our marriage will hit 50 years with no effort at all.
Here’s the problem with that thinking.
If you are going to New York, it really helps to know where you are now and if you are moving in the right direction! Think about how many ways you could end up in “not New York” if you just set out on the highway and drove. Yet that’s what we do. We get out on the highway of life and drive, with no plan and no data to tell us if our non-plan is working.
This is NOT the way to get an experiment to work out successfully!
Instead, we need to decide what we are experimenting on, see where we are, gather data as we go, and make adjustments. Otherwise, we “just live” and get wherever life takes us (which oftentimes has nothing to do with where we wanted to be!).
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