I have a 5-year old daughter. All day she’s experimenting. Writing, reading, running, playing games, being silly. Always trying out new moves, new ways to interact with the world. She bangs her knees, her hips and ego. Just to start the cycle every day all over again. This is part of the process of figuring out the world. Finding her place in this world. I call this “playing with the flame”. Our natural curiosity demands our hand to touch the flame, see how far we can go. Sometimes we go too far and have to put ice packs on our hands for a while. Sometimes we don’t go far enough and just look at the flame from the distance.

The younger you are, the more likely you’re going to play with the flame. It might result in pain, blisters and mildly charred flesh. That’s the price you pay when you play with the flame. The older we get, the more vivid those pain memories become. (“I can’t I did THIS. I couldn’t do that again.”) The value proposition of discovering new things doesn’t match the possibility of more suffering and pain.

Don’t go there.

Those are the people that get comfortable in their lives and experience their world shrinking in front of their eyes. The people that continue to experiment get rewarded with more and richer experiences.

If you stop experimenting, if you stop playing with the flame: This is it. If that’s the reality you envision for the rest of your life: Fine. You will not grow. You will not evolve. You will stay the same.

For the rest of us: We owe it to ourselves to keep playing with the flame. The world is transforming in front of our eyes in a rapid pace. We need to play with the flame in our personal lives, at work, throughout enterprises and institutions. Never forget the wise words of Jeff Probst, host of Survivor: “Fire represents life.”

Keep playing.