How to explore your interests with Deliberate Experimentation - Deepstash
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What is Deliberate Experimentation?

It's exploring your interests intentionally, with a map, and with minimal fear.


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Why use Deliberate Experimentation?

  1. Reduce the fear of failure because you’re framing it as an “experiment”. There are no right or wrong outcomes in scientific experiments, only data that supports or disagrees with the hypothesis.
  2. Reduce risk and gain clarity through your deliberate planning and research.
  3. Because of #1 and #2, you gain the confidence to take action, which is crucial for collecting the data you need about your interests.


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How to deliberately experiment

  1. Start with one interest to learn more about
  2. Structure your information input
  3. Structure your information output
  4. Tie it all together with a map
  5. Take action and collect data


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1. Start with one interest to learn more about

You can explore more interests simultaneously, but limit yourself to 2 - 3 interests so that you can focus on them without neglecting your responsibilities.


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2. Structure your information input

Select 1 - 3 resources as your “primary curriculum” for learning more about your interests.

These resources can include online courses, YouTube playlists, or studying a mentor’s social media posts.


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3. Structure your information output

Completing a project as you learn is the fastest way to consolidate your knowledge and skills. You’ll also learn what you like and don’t like about the interest.

At minimum:

  • Decide on a project topic
  • Define 1 - 3 scopes/outcomes of the project (you can add more later) and prioritize them
  • Work out the first two steps needed to start on one of the defined scopes


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4. Tie it all together with a map

A map is an effective type of “plan of action” that helped me accelerate my Zero-to-Noob journey.

A map has four components:

  • a starting point (where you are now)
  • an end point (where you want to be)
  • At least one immediate action to kickstart your journey. This can be finishing the first lesson in your curriculum, or completing Step #1 of your project.
  • At least one checkpoint (intermediary goals/milestones). This can be finishing the Xth scope of your project, or achieving a desired level of consistency.


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Schedule at least 1h/day to explore your interest

In your map, you should also try to schedule at least 1h/day for both information input and output (i.e., at least 30 min each).


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5. Take action and collect data

While going through Steps #2 - #4, you might find some aspects of your plan unappealing.

That feeling is a data point, indicating that you may still like your interest overall, but there are some parts of it you’d find boring.

However: it’s not a valid data point until you take action on your plan. Any feelings you experience before that are merely expectations, which are often influenced by biases and social interactions.

Collect data about your feelings as you go through the process of planning and executing. They’ll help you figure out your likes and dislikes.


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If you liked what you've read...

I find life-tweaking ideas for designing and living an intentional life.

For every concept I discover, I strive to find examples and stories from my own life. This newsletter issue was inspired by my goals for Summer 2023!

I also brew these ideas into Tea For Thought, my weekly newsletter. Come learn with me :)


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Developer of solutions, people, and self / Living in 7 countries in 4 years of CS undergrad at Minerva University / Intentional living newsletter 👇🏼


This is a useful technique I've used in the past to explore my curiosities and interests.


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