Conducting an experiment to explore what works > Making a religion out of every newly discovered self-improvement technique.
In design thinking, there’s a process known as “Proof of Concept.”
This is when you create a pilot version of a project in order gauge your idea against the feedback of some real world experience.
This works not only for developing products, but also for developing your self.
If there’s new book you’re on the fence about buying, find a podcast interview or YouTube video of the author talking about the ideas. If that experience makes you want more, then you have your proof of concept. You now have a better indication that you’ll enjoy the book. If the experience makes you bored or irritated by the author’s communication style, that might be a good indicator that your time is better spent elsewhere.
If you’re considering a new approach to exercising, commit to trying it out for one week. That might be too soon to notice visible results, but it’s not too soon to notice how it makes you feel. Does it make you want more? If so, try two weeks. Does it make you feel less inclined to work out? If so, maybe it’s time to put something new to the test.
Marriage is a wonderful practice, but not everything in life needs to be approached as if it’s a marriage.
Instead of making a lifetime vow to eat a certain way, to get up a certain amount of time, to read a certain number of books, to work a specific set of hours, and so on, try the art of trying things out.
There’s no need to declare a dogmatic opinion about all your strategies and techniques. Being open-minded is good enough. You can get the rest of the information you need by taking a little action and measuring how that makes you feel.