Think differently

How can we and why would we? 

For the most part, the same machine that spins out our thoughts is very comfortable spinning out the same thoughts over and over again. These thoughts result in how we view ourselves and life in general. This is an inquiry into introducing something new and the feeling of, “Why bother?”

Why do we bother or don’t bother with anything? One answer is that we do things to get a payoff. One payoff is being right. For example, we could either feel good about going to the gym or feel bad that we didn’t. We could feel good about eating the cookie, or righteous about resisting it. Either way, the payoff is we get to be right. 

Here’s a story about “a guy” who changed his thinking. Known as “the 20th century Leonardo da Vinci,” Buckminster Fuller was a true genius and visionary. In 1927, Bucky was in a downward spiral. Destitute, drinking heavily and mourning the death of his young daughter, he attempted suicide. Out of this darkness, he had an epiphany and decided to live the rest of his life as an experiment and see what difference one man could make. He went on to invent some pretty fantastic things including the geodesic dome. He was no longer interested in “payoff,” but living curiously.

What if we experimented with something we normally don’t do? What might different thinking produce? We could start with any number of things:

  • Take aside someone you don’t particularly like and tell them about the one thing you really admire about them. (Even if you have to dig deep and can only find their haircut or car to comment on, something powerful could shift.)
  • For one week, be impeccable with your word. Fulfill a promise to yourself or someone on something that matters and make it happen by a certain time and/or date. 
  • Do one thing a day that scares you, and do it before noon.
  • Give the guy holding the “help me” sign on the median some money. If you usually give him a buck or so, this time refrain. Just notice the experience in the experiment.
  • Is there something you have considered doing but are avoiding? What if you signed up for it this week? How would that impact your life?

What do you think it would be like to live your life as an experiment?