Monday night, I was privileged to attend a talk by astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson. He spoke for 2 ½ hours about the science he notices in movies. He is smart and funny – entirely entertaining. The theater was filled with about 2000 science geeks.

A science geek is someone who is curious about the universe and excited by the questions and answers posed by science. These are folks for whom facts matter. Don’t bother expressing an opinion unless you can back it up with some rigorously-obtained evidence.

Being a science geek is not always valued. I was pleased to see some kids in the audience and happy that Tyson noticed them too and directed some of his remarks to them. Tyson’s joy in being who he is and his delight in sharing what he knows made it clear that it can be great to be a scientist. We need more scientists; as a species; we are facing some length-or-death problems that cry out for science-driven solutions.

I am not a scientist in the strict sense of the word, but it’s helpful for me to borrow from the scientific method. The steps of the scientific method are:

  • Ask a Question
  • Do Background Research
  • Construct a Hypothesis
  • Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
  • Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
  • Communicate Your Results

My experiments aren’t valid because they have a sample size of one. Nevertheless, not taking my monster-mind thoughts as a description of what’s true is important to me.

Each month, as I consider a new kind promise, I’m really asking the question: “how can I…” I wonder if using the scientific method more consciously might energize me in the future. (Great experiment for next month!)

How can I share my strengths? Inspired by the example of Neil deGrasse Tyson. I can:

  • be myself out loud
  • share what I know
  • stay curious
  • have fun
  • spend time with people like me

That sounds like the recipe for a quality life!