Thursday, September 2, 2010

Life Experiments 90 day update

In January I wrote about Adam Bacon’s idea of life experiments but I didn’t start working on this idea as my own process for moving into my life going forward until late in May. So this is roughly my 90 day update on my experiment with Life Experiments.

The most important thing about the experiment so far has been letting go of over-analysis and moving to do and ship (if you read Seth Godin he phrases it as “make art and ship”). Everything changes when the question moves from “what can I do?” to “what will I ship?” If you don’t believe it, try it for a week.

So far this summer I have shipped stuff as in cleared out stuff which I can’t use and can’t be sold; and sold stuff I have no storage space for. I have been shipping for my nonprofit group by taking over the formal publicity and building connections with various media outlets. I shipped myself by taking a workshop in writing and art. I shipped my car to a new owner and am currently experimenting with not owning a car in an area where there are very few transportation alternatives for those who either do not drive or do not own motor vehicles although I do have the advantage of owning a bike.

My objectives for all this experimenting are multifaceted. First, I am trying to find out who the real me is and what do I need to frame that definition. In other words, do I define my things or do they define me?

Second, I am trying to figure out what my working life looks like and how do I invest my available time in order to get my work done? This also includes experimenting with various times of day as well as tools and media to get work done as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Third, I am experimenting with relationships and human connections. One thing the past almost three years of disassembling my former life illuminated has been how weird I have approached just being friends with people. No doubt you have heard the term shrinking woman or shrinking American woman; well, my rendition went beyond taking up the smallest relational space possible to taking none as though I weren’t even in the room.

Actually I have discovered that in general I rarely mattered in the past, unless there was a problem needing to be assigned blame somewhere. So I am experimenting with not automatically assuming blame or guilt when something goes wrong, or not as planned or preferred. The weight that this alone lifts from my shoulders makes the whole experiments project worthwhile even if I never ship another thing in my life (but I have no plans to stop shipping).

If you have a personal story about a life experiment how is it coming along?


What Matters Now

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