Your Windows On The World

Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.
– Alan Alda

ImageI have addressed the topic of assumptions before but it was a long time ago. The reason I want to write about assumptions once more is because they are recurrent in pretty much everyone’s lives. It’s astonishing how easily and subreptitiously assumptions can take hold of our perspective. When we act driven by what we assume, things can get rocky.
Why do we assume things? It’s often a combination of two or more of the following ingredients: unawareness, pride, embarrassment, insecurity, self-centeredness (I know – this one is a hard one to acknowledge!) and carelessness. I find that having an open mind and being willing to learn from everything and everyone we encounter is a rather effective way to avoid being affected negatively by my own assumptions and even other people’s.
How do we learn things? How do we see the truth? Simple: when it’s not made clear, we ask. Asking for clarification can open a whole new world of knowledge. You get to know other people much better because you give them the opportunity to explain their views and motivations. You also learn about yourself because you can pay attention to what you think and feel when confronted with other people’s ideas. The exchanges that take place when we decide to ask instead of just assuming what another person is thinking or feeling, are among some of the richest and most fulfilling you will be able to have. Don’t be surprised if, after deciding to ask instead of assume, you make several more long-lasting friendships and engage into more effective business transactions.
Asking – and listening – creates a bridge of understanding that allows us to connect to the world in a real way. Assumptions, while they tend to make us feel as though we know everything and everyone, will only end up isolating us from the world and its truths. If we cultivate the habit of asking instead of assuming, we embark into a journey of learning, growing and healing. Sounds much better, doesn’t it?
Today I invite you to examine your current life and see how many assumptions are currently dictating your actions. What would happen if you try to open a bridge of understanding and ask questions? If you do this, please let me know how it goes!

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