Assume the opposite

Too easily and too often we assume our perspectives are the best, most logical, and perhaps only way to interpret the world. But this train of thought is not only fallacious, but perilous. We shut doors of opportunity and growth that we didn’t even know existed. The challenge we face is identifying our own bias views.

Perhaps our most common traps are assuming:

  • “The way I do things is the only way things can be done.”
  • “The way I do things is the best way things can be done.”

These are very easy and comfortable perspectives to adopt, but they are also worth avoiding. Why? Because assumptions preempt behavior. Our assumptions essentially become an operations manual that shapes our perception about what is and is not possible – and even, what is “right” and what is “wrong.”

Therefore, challenging our assumptions is both healthy and necessary for mental growth and all forms of innovation and progress.  The following is one of the most important questions I have asked myself in recent years:

“What would be the result if I assumed the opposite?”

You may find yourself laughing, as I often do, when you realize that many of the things we do — and have done for a very long time — make almost no sense at all.  Or better yet, that the opposite of your assumptions may also be true – a rather uncomfortable, but strangely liberating, feeling.  But one thing you will certainly discover is that there are many more ways to interpret the world than we previously thought.

What opportunities have you been overlooking?

Be a Maverick,

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