As you build your business, your career, and your successful life it’s imperative to keep a sharp approach to your way of thinking. I want to share an excerpt from The Demon-Haunted World – Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan.
Science is far from a perfect instrument of knowledge. It’s just the best we have. In this respect, as in many others, it’s like a democracy. Science by itself cannot advocate courses of human action, but it can certainly illuminate the possible consequences of alternative courses of action.
The scientific way of thinking is at once imaginative and disciplined. This is central to its success. Science invites us to let the facts in, even when they don’t conform to our preconceptions. It counsels us to carry alternative hypotheses in our heads and see which best fit the fact. It urges us a delicate balance between no-holds-barred openness to new ideas, however heretical, and the most rigorous skeptical scrutiny of everything – new ideas and established wisdom. This kind of thinking is also an essential tool for a democracy in an age of change.
He goes on to explain that every scientific experiment that produces data is accompanied by an error bar which represents the error of uncertainty in a reported measurement. These error bars are a reminder that no knowledge is complete or perfect. They serve as a measure of how much we trust what we think we know. The smaller the error bars the higher our empirical knowledge. The larger the bars the larger the uncertainty of our knowledge. Therefore nothing is known for absolute certainty except pure math.
When we were young we often ran our own experiments by testing the laws of nature. We learned about the force of gravity every time we went out to play. We learned about electromagnetic force the first time we witnessed a lightning strike or played with a magnet. We are all naturally born scientists. It’s just that as we get older some of us stop experimenting and give too (insert error bar) much of our thought power over to pseudoscience, superstition, and dogma.
A More Scientific Approach
Thinking through your business and your career using the scientific method is the most accurate way to keep on an upward trajectory. You will keep building on your successes and analyzing your failures. Because scientific thought wants to show us how the world is, not what we want it to be. Its findings may not be immediately understood or gratifying but it will challenge us to look for the right answers, keep hypothesizing, and experimenting to find a new way. Some answers will be simple and obvious while others are complicated and messy. Unfortunately, things are often complicated and so are we but when we stick at something and when we persevere and find an answer or a little breakthrough then our confidence builds and our brighter future starts to unfold.
A completely satisfying and successful existence should undoubtedly be our just reward for using a scientific approach to build our businesses and create our lives.