By Far the Best Proof is Experience: Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was an English scientist who believed that science could be used to improve the quality of people’s lives.

He believed that all knowledge should come from sensory experience, not just theoretical judgements.

He stressed the transforming role of experimentation; a scientist must challenge and constantly be testing to ensure that we gain complete knowledge and the best way to do something.

“By far the best proof is experience

Francis Bacon

Be Your Own Scientist

Just like Francis Bacon believed that science could be used to improve the quality of people’s lives, we too must become our own ‘mad scientist’ in the way we live our own lives.

The best way to truly understand something is to experience it.

When I first became vegan lots of people told me that I wouldn’t be able to get enough protein and I would develop all sorts of health problems. But there was also research that said you could be healthy and fit as a vegan.

So, I tested it out and it was fine – no health problems, or supplements needed. I ended up training and running marathon distances comfortably on a plant based diet.

Then, lots of people told me that I couldn’t build muscle on a plant based diet. However, there was also some research that said it was possible. So again I tested it out and found that it was possible.

It’s not to say that these people were wrong or mean spirited, but they may just be equipped with the wrong knowledge and no experience themselves. The best way for me to know was to test it out myself.

Instead of just relying on other people’s ‘proof’, gain your own proof by experiencing something yourself.

Understanding something, and physically feeling the experience of it are two very different things.

Try being like Tim Ferris who considers himself a “human guinea-pig”. Find and test many different ways of doing things, then pick the one which works best for you. After a certain amount of time though, test it again to check that that is still the optimum way for you.

Learn from Doing

A book can point you in a the right direction by making you aware of ideas. A course can make you aware of what you are doing right or wrong, therefore helping you to learn.

No one however can make you skilful except yourself, and often the best way to learn something is to experience it. Researching the best exercises for building muscle, will not get you fit. Looking at the best meal plans or latest fad diets will not make you healthy. Studying books on tennis, golf, or negotiation will not make you an expert.

You have to actually do the thing and put it into practice. Experience is a better teacher than just learning about something.

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