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Dare to Experiment With Your Ideas...

By Ron Balagot

"Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun." --Mary Lou Cook
An excellent quality you'll want to develop in yourself, if you want to experience more fulfillment in life, is the willingness or courage to experiment. It is one of the key qualities of highly creative people. In fact, without this quality, many inventions, creative works, and more would have never materialized. They would have just stayed ideas in people's minds. And as a result, we would not have benefited from them.

I mean, think what would have happened if Thomas Edison (who has more than a thousand inventions to his name) had stopped experimenting after his 50th (or so) attempt at creating the light bulb? Or if he didn't experiment at all? Well, we wouldn't have the light bulb today, now, would we? And that goes for so many other things we now enjoy. Of course, besides the willingness to experiment, you need to be aware of other important factors that must come into play when experimenting. For example, it's also critical when experimenting that:

  • You avoid prejudging the outcome (or avoid entertaining all kinds of negative thoughts). And you avoid worrying about the things you cannot control. Instead, you do your part by experimenting and then leave the outcome completely to God.
  • You remain in a highly focused state (where nothing else matters except the task at hand).
  • You make it a goal to enjoy the process (deciding ahead of time that you'll do your best to enjoy, or have fun, experimenting--in other words, deciding not to take things too seriously--makes a big difference, because it puts you in an empowering state).
  • You be willing to make mistakes...even if it means you have to look awkward or foolish at times (Thomas Edison was said to have made thousands of attempts before finally inventing the light bulb...and he reached his goal despite the discouraging words of others).
  • You believe (without a shred of doubt) that you'll eventually get your desired result (belief is a very powerful force).
  • You persist in experimenting despite internal and external resistance.

Another good strategy you can use is to make it a habit of asking questions like the following, whenever you come up with an idea: "What if I did this?" Or, "What would happen if I did this?" Or, "What if I...(then simply finish the question based on your situation)?"

Questions that start with "What if...?" or "What would happen if...?" are powerful questions. (You see, those kinds of questions also motivate you to want to find out what will happen... in order to satisfy your curiosity.)

I can't stress enough the importance of developing this quality in yourself... the willingness -- the courage - to experiment. Looking back at my own life, had I not experimented as much as I did, many of the ideas I had in mind would have stayed that way... just ideas. That's why I strongly encourage experimentation. Not only do I know that it works, I also know that it's highly rewarding. (It's a wonderful feeling to see an idea--something that was once only in your head--turn into something that others can benefit from.)

Again, just remember, it's not enough to be willing to experiment. It's also important that you don't give up when there's resistance (resistance from within yourself or outside yourself... for example, the negative feedback of others). Because if you do, you'll never achieve your desired results. Persistence is a very important quality. In fact, so important that President Calvin Coolidge said the following:

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."
So, let me ask you: What's been playing around in your head for a long time? (Or lately?) What ideas have you written down? Or typed on your computer? What do you want to see materialize so that others could benefit?

If your inner critic is trying to hold you back, I suggest you completely ignore it. Then just go ahead and experiment, experiment, experiment. (In fact, be a person who constantly experiments. Be an "experimenter.") And see just how far you can go with your ideas. I can promise you that the emotional rewards will be great.

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