When I was very young I wish I’d gotten the idea—because I wouldn’t have tolerated being told—that I might have an easier go at my life if I were to consider it an experiment…
Suppose knowledge of the scientific method existed within me strongly along with a curiosity so robust and so precocious as to compel me to note my every critical observation, to raise questions, formulate hypotheses, make predictions, and get immediately about the business of testing, accumulating data and arriving at conclusions. And perhaps, after many observations and experiments pursued earnestly and early enough in life, I would be so fortunate as to arrive at a theory about my life and self on which to base future discoveries and successes that could be applied assuredly in my prime and well beyond it.
Suppose my mentality had been utterly unburdened by rumors of the pomp and circumstance of life, and existed within me so free and easy and light that I zestfully and purposefully approached each worthy desire and well-thought-out plan as if it were an audition. Not something that was going to go big bad and down on my “permanent record” if I didn’t get it right this time or the next time, or strike out on the third time.
Instead, suppose my psyche was set to audition mode, where yes, I’d like to get the part, but I know that every day brings a new audition—a work assignment, a meeting with a colleague or potential employer or client or friend, a chance to make a good impression on those closest to me—and all I needed to concern myself with is doing the best I can. Suppose I know that eventually I’ll get a part, and even if it doesn’t seem like the best part, I still want to do my best at it because I never know who’s paying attention and where that attention might take me now or years down the road.
The audition concept came up on Earl Mardle’s blog. I loved it and commented that it relieves one of the spotlight pressure to get it perfect for posterity the first time and it mobilizes what’s missing from that kind of get-it-right-or-else thinking. It singles out the uncomplicated desire to do our best so that we can focus on that, and it opens us up to a level of excitement and a lightness and freedom of movement around hope and endless possibilities, some of the best stuff of life.
So suppose when I was very young, maybe approaching my teens, that I got the freeing concepts of life as an experiment, of happenings within my day as auditions. Suppose that edge allowed me to find out more quickly what I wanted to be and do, where I wanted to go and end up. Suppose it enabled me to fit more learning, more love, more fun, more meaningful and fulfilling things—activities, careers, causes, pursuits—into my life. Like the time travel concept, all that knowledge and miraculous fitting in of things would have altered everything and I wouldn’t be here writing this. Would I choose missing this precious moment to experience all that? Oh hell yes!
But that is how I answer without really knowing what that seemingly golden path of wisdom truly would have been like. Maybe I would be here writing this, only lamenting a whirlwind tour’s effects on me. So screech to a halt, knock off this nonsense, and pan back to here and now, where I’m fresh off what actually did go down, where I do now know all those things and can make the most of them going forward.
What do you remember thinking as a child or teen in relation to your future?
Would you have done anything differently?
What concept has helped you the most in life to date?
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Click here for more on Prompt #101 – The Experiment or Experimental from other Sunday Scribblings participants.