All life is an experiment.
The more experiments you make the better.
“Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Two years ago I deleted Instagram, soon I’ll reinstall it.
Paris. Beyonce & Jay-Z’s Stade de France performance, only to be followed by a live viewing of Les Bleus defeating Croatia for the World Cup. The city was electrified, intoxicated, and unabashed in its victory. To this day, the only sporting event I’ve experienced that was more exciting than a Bills home game. Go Bills!
So what does this have to do with Instagram?
Those were the final moments captured by my stories before thinking about what value was being created by this movement of bits and bytes and deciding to furlough my sharing while traveling back to the States.
Now, like other vices in which I temporarily abstain (namely sugar, alcohol, and deep-fried food), I can come back to the table with a fresh perspective and decide whether or not it’s worth consuming.
As the quote suggests, this past month I’ve been thinking a lot about experiments.
As we age, fewer surprises are welcomed, and less of life is unplanned. While there’s definitely some solace in that, there’s also the compacting of similar days which gives the illusion of time passing by too quickly.
Think about this moment of sheltering-in-place. How slow was March/April vs May/June? And like others, I’ve been asking myself how can I come out of this moment in time stronger, less ignorant, more prepared for the rest of my life.
The answer is scientific.
Specifically, the scientific method. You remember it, we learned about it in grade school…
The scientific method and idea of creating a life of miniature experiments can help us not only live a more reflective, measured, and thoughtful life but also turn otherwise mundane periods of time into delightful opportunities to learn something about ourselves and our loved ones.
So where do you start?
While that’s up to you, here are a few areas I’ve focused on:
Health & Wellness
If I sleep 8+ hours every night, how will I perform at work? At the gym?
If I give up alcohol/sugar/meat for the month/year how will I feel?
If I stack rank the aspects of my job that I like/dislike, where should I push my career towards?
If I rearrange my day to start with A/B/C vs X/Y/Z how will that impact my happiness and fulfillment at work?
If I give up Instagram/Snap/etc, what can I accomplish instead?
While it’s hard to say whether it was related or not, my giving up of Instagram coincided with renovating and renting my first and second investment properties, onboarding into my new role at Pinterest, playing brain games via Elevate daily, and so much more, but most importantly reminding myself that it’s okay to not be in the loop of a super-extended network of friends, instead you can always just call someone and catch up with them in a more meaningful way.
So why rejoin?
A few reasons, but I’ll speak to two of them:
A personal reason | COVID-19, perhaps not for the reason you would imagine of keeping up with friends, but instead to use IG to see how other cities around the world are recovering. One of my favorite features of IG has always been the ability to arm-chair travel through geo-tags and now that I’m craving travel the most, this will be entertaining and educational should I decide to get back on a plane anytime soon.
A professional reason | Real Estate, as I get further along with real estate investing, I’m already starting to take some things I’ve learned along the way for granted. In the span of two years, I’ve learned more about myself and how I learn than I did in all my years of traditional schooling. While my camera-roll is quickly becoming overwrought with photos and videos, IG can serve as a place to house and share what I’ve learned and hopefully make the idea of investing that much more palatable to my friends who are still on the sidelines.
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🤳 Personal Updates
We’re over halfway through the year, and despite it being a very weird year, wanted to remind everyone to check in on their annual goals. If you missed it in my first issue, the OPEN GOALS workbook is here. While that’s a blank version, here’s my progress to date:
In some capacities, I’m quite behind, in others, very much so ahead. All in all, I’m right where I need to be.
If you haven’t been tracking your progress for this year, I’d encourage you to start now. If life is best lived as a series of experiments, you’ll need the data to go along with them to ensure that you’re making progress.
This newsletter is my attempt at (a) sharing learnings with friends and family (b) becoming more vulnerable through transparency and (c) improving my writing. Thanks for reading, and be sure to reply with your thoughts.
📸 PS: Want to follow along with my IG adventures? I’m at @TheArmand