Sunday, April 01, 2012

Assuming ...

Assumptions and expectations are two of the biggest dangers to your emotional wellbeing.

Assumptions are beliefs that don't know they are beliefs. When one states a belief, that person understands that there are other possible beliefs - even if one is completely convinced that their belief is the "right" belief.

As an example, I believe that a progressive social agenda is best for the country, but I understand that other well-intentioned people believe that unfettered capitalism is best.

In contrast, an assumption is invisible. If someone says, "Los Angeles is a dangerous place to live," that might be shorthand for, "It is my personal belief that Los Angeles is a dangerous city," but it is more likely that, for that person, it is simply a fact that Los Angeles is dangerous. No other possibility has ever been considered.

Often people live with lifelong assumptions about what they are unable to do with their lives.

Could you run for public office? Could you write a book? Could you create an invention that made you an instant millionaire? Would you marry a person of a different race or religion? Would you leave your job and found your own company?

Consider your reactions to those questions. Do you thoughtfully consider questions of that sort? Or do you snap to judgement?

Assumptions are very limiting. You can live a more successful and joyful life if you are willing to question your assumptions, and to have an open mind toward all of life.

Understand that you can never be free of all assumptions - because they ARE invisible. But you can watch for them when they do show up, and stamp them out.