Do what you've always done, get what you've always got. Most of us know that self improvement involves change. You can't expect to lose weight through wishful thinking. Nor can you continue consuming the same calories. Or stick to the same old exercise routine. Results happen with real change.
But sometimes the path to positive change is not so obvious. Whether you're trying to build a successful business or reach a breakthrough in your artwork, the route to success can be elusive. Folks who confront such crossroads often turn to research. They scour the Internet in search of tips, tricks and wisdom from others. Sometimes this works. Other times, people come away even more confused. Which leads us to the Inventor's Secret.
Thomas Alva Edison was born February 11, 1847 and left this earth on October 18, 1931. In his lifetime he was a prolific inventor. Among the many devices he created were the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and perhaps his best known creation, the long-lasting lightbulb. According to Wikipedia, Edison held some 1,093 patents in the United States as well as numerous patents overseas.
Many argue that Thomas Edison was not the inventor of the lightbulb. There were others who created earlier lightbulbs, but Edison perfected the durable incandescent lightbulb. He experimented with a variety of different metal filaments before finding his carbonized bamboo filament. Why was he so successful? Because he demonstrated the power of the Inventor's Secret. And the inventor's secret is experimentation.
People are fearful to try new things. They play it safe. They don't want to risk. But you don't have to bet the whole farm to experiment a little. Experimentation allows us to explore a bit of trial and error, which can accelerate success and personal growth.
I exchanged emails recently with Brian Gardner. He's the Chief Product Officer at Copyblogger Media, as well as a talented designer and writer. I like his minimalistic approach to website design. Particularly, I asked him if placing email sign up forms at the bottom of a website's home page is a bad idea. Usually, bloggers place their email sign ups near the top of the page for maximum exposure. But some argue that if people like your content, they'll sign up anyway. In Brian's response, he suggested I simply try the bottom of the page. In other words, experiment. If it doesn't work out, change it back.
That got me thinking about a lot of things we do in life. We tend to fall into routines. Preferred methods and practices. As long as our routines work reasonably well, we seldom deviate. However, entrepreneurs and successful people keep tweaking and experimenting. They don't settle for the status quo. Modest experimentation carries minimal risk but a potentially increased return on investment.
It's too early to say whether moving my email sign up form to the bottom of my website's home page will work out. I definitely like the simpler, cleaner look. I don't care for busy websites with sidebars and popups. Minimalism and simplicity are just easier on the brain, in my opinion.
So, I'm experimenting. I've adopted the Inventor's Secret. If something doesn't work, I'll modify it. The principle can work in other areas of our lives, too. Tweak your diet and see how it goes. If you gain weight, modify it. Try to increase productivity by rising earlier. If you see improvements, terrific. If you can't stay awake, switch back to later evenings.
What works for one person may not work for another. As much as we search for advice and direction, we can't forget our uniqueness. To that end, remember the Inventor's Secret. Don't just stand there and do nothing. Embrace a little experimentation in your life. You might be happy with the results.