Life’s an Experiment


It’s amazing how much the metaphors we use can be enabling or disabling.  For example, I used to think “in life there are no second chances” or “you never get a second chance at first impressions.”  Once I adopted, “life’s an experiment”, it was much more enabling.  It means, changing from getting everything right up front to boxing my risks, trying more, and learning and adapting as I go.


My manager is very much into experiments around impact and improvement.  He’s got a research background, but he’s into applied research.  That works great for me because I’m a fan of learning what works over theorizing endless possibilities.


For me, the keys to metaphors are knowing which ones I use, and which ones are limiting.  I always need to ask, what’s the most enabling metaphor for the situation I’m in.  What will make me more resourceful?  For example, in a group like patterns & practices, experimenting and continuous improvement come with the job.


I’ll have more to say on metaphors another day, but in the meantime, I’ll leave you with this … do you know your 3 most enabling metaphors? … do you know your 3 most limiting?  (hint – limits and opportunities are in the eye of the beholder … whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right)

Comments (3)

  1. Curphey says:

    I like "There is no rehersal for life"

  2. J.D. Meier says:

    Mark – that’s definitely a keeper!

  3. Do you have to be great at everything? If this stops you from doing things you want to try, then it’s