The Magic of Social Experiments
One of my biggest fears is blindly walking through life without being mindful, intentional and vulnerable. I refuse to believe I was put on this earth to wake up, work, eat and sleep. But the idea of creating huge magical shifts all the time is unrealistic and exhausting. That's why I created my personal mini social experiments. The kind of things I can weave into any day. A few of my favorites:
- Say "hello" to 3 strangers in a day (just watch what happens)
- Leave my house without my phone
- Compliment 3 strangers in a day (even better than saying hello)
I do these for a few reasons.
1) I like to be uncomfortable. I like the feeling of my heart racing. I like creating sparks and seeing how people respond to the unexpected.
2) I really love testing theories. If I smile at 10 people, how many will smile back? How many will start talking to me?
I'm not rocking your world here. This is pretty common sense stuff. You can imagine the good: A smile returned with a smile. A compliment returned with a fun and spontaneous conversation and connection. A few blissful hours without being tethered to my phone and really noticing the world around me. But then...
- I've smiled at people who gave me an uncomfortable look back and walked away.
- I once left my house without my phone and had to walk more than an hour to get home because I couldn't find the subway and couldn't call a Via.
- I once complimented a man on his shoes and he immediately looked at me and said "I have a girlfriend." I felt really cool after that.
But I still do them. Because the good FAR outweighs the awkward. I'd rather be the one who smiled first than the one who didn't smile back.
I don't do these every day at all. I tend to know when it's "time" - when I need a spark of inspiration or a reason to smile really big that day. Are you looking for a small dose of magic in your daily life? Do you feel like you sometimes go weeks or months going through the motions of daily life but aren't really connecting with others or even yourself? Try a mini social experiment. You have nothing to lose. Let me know how it goes.