SiS Quickie: Unexpected results do not equal failure

A good experiment starts with a hypothesis. It’s essentially a guess, a prediction- the data from your experiment will either confirm or refute your hypothesis.

If your results refute your hypothesis, it means your hypothesis was wrong. But have you failed?

There used to be a scientific concept called the ether. It was supposed to be a substance that was all around us that we couldn’t see or feel, but was necessary for the transmission of light. Michelson and Morley conducted an experimented that was intended to detect the ether.

They didn’t detect it. They didn’t detect it because it wasn’t there. This could’ve been viewed as a failure, but finding out that light didn’t need an ether to travel through is one of the greatest discoveries in all of science. The initial hypothesis was wrong, but the actual findings opened up entirely new branches of physics.

Life is an experiment. If you’re not where you thought you were going to be five years ago- and I’m certainly not- it doesn’t mean you failed. Your original hypothesis, your original plan- maybe that didn’t work out. But what you find instead could be much more incredible than you ever imagined.


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