Human Guinea Pig

I listened to a podcast where author A.J. Jacobs described his experiences as a “human Guinea pig.”

Jacobs wrote a book about a time where he did experiments every single day in an effort to better himself.

Doing experiments regularly is one of the concepts which lean manufacturing is built upon. The idea is that if you routinely study the way things are done, you can find small ways in which you can improve them. Some may work. Others won’t. But, if you have the discipline to tweak daily, the cumulative effect of daily tweaks will result in significant change.

According to Jacobs, to adopt the mindset of an experimenter adds to your personal power.

It causes the discipline of focus. Looking for small ways to improve causes you to become a student of your process. You eliminate the bad habits.

It develops your confidence. You learn through tweaking that you can acquire skills and knowledge you didn’t have before.

It creates a risk taking attitude. You realize that some experiments fail but not all experiments fail. So, to not experiment because you might fail is foolish. Developing the habit of experimentation is empowering. It gives failure the appropriate status. You fail, you learn. You try again.

So, what have you tweaked lately?

Why not try new experiments for awhile? Try new methods. Pick up a new skill. Improve on a given routine. Try getting better on purpose.