“Your opportunity to design yourself a better future? Challenge your assumptions!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
Your blind belief in your certainty about how the world around you is going to unfold is what will often get you in trouble. Because, in a world of volatility, relentless & constant change, that will often be a fateful mistake!
Today, theme #14 of my series Insight 2020 : Leadership Insight for the Era of Acceleration: “Challenge Your Assumptions”
Why are assumptions so easy?
They provide us a pathway to certainty: they help us to build ourselves a story narrative that things tomorrow will be much the same as they are today, so we need not worry – they are a comfort food for the soul.
Assumptions smooth over our understanding of the future & make it easier to understand – there can’t be a lot of change, we say, because things will operate according to the old rules!
Assumptions help us to deal with our internal skepticism engine. We’ve been burned by the future in the past when it has not quite turned out the way we expected it to, so lets’ just presume that any forthcoming change won’t be terribly significant.
Assumptions let us create the future we want – but not necessarily the future we will have. In that way, they can be a very dangerous attitude to possess.
How do you change this blind belief as to what comes next? Challenge the assumptions by which you live your life!
- change your perspective Force yourself into new, fresh and different viewpoints. Don’t become trapped in the same mindset as everyone else.
- fill int the gaps: what are you missing in terms of information that will help you comprehend what might come next?
- ask better questions: often, the very information you might seek through those questions will be narrow and small
- talk to different people: the current ones are limiting your view
- get into a different comfort zone: because the current one is probably far too limiting!
- learn more! Fill in the gaps by remembering this maxim: learning is what most adults should do for a living in the 21st century
Assumptions are the rules you live by – when those rules no longer apply.