Friday, 2 December 2016

December 2, 2016 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings

   The problem with trial and error - especially in terms of my current health journey - is that it is a frustrating trial filled with seemingly endless error.

   Just when I think I might be making some headway and moving forward, something happens, and I feel like I’m back at square one.  It doesn’t help that my biggest challenge is food, which has so many variables and variety, and isn’t straightforward at all, especially since I can’t just quit eating! 

   I recently read that there are no failures in science, only assumptions that may or may not give you the results you expect, and if the results aren't what was expected, then the assumptions merely need adjusted.

   That is a nicer perspective to view my journey specifically, and our lives generally.  

   Saying “I failed again” or “I was wrong again” isn’t as helpful to the situation as saying “hmmmm, okay, that wasn’t the result I expected.”  The first two comments tend to create a dead end, whereas the third comment provides an opportunity to try another option, and another option, and so on.

   And we all make assumptions about everything, not just scientists.  Because we humans want to know how our future will turn out, we assume that we know exactly what will happen, before it happens, because the previous nine times we did a particular task, the result was the same, so we assume that this tenth time will also be the same.

   But, it might not be, and in all probability won’t be.  We don’t know ahead of time, because we can’t know all the variables that are in play at that particular moment - variables both in and out of our control.  One tiny tweak from the time before can give us a vastly different result.

   In fact, all ten times we do something might give us ten totally different results as we don’t live in sterile vacuums where nothing changes and everything is always constant.  

   So, instead of “trial and error” maybe we should start calling it “assumptions and options?”  After all, at it's heart, life is just one giant experiment as we learn and grow each day.


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