“Don’t build roadblocks out of assumptions.” ― Lorii Myers
It’s 12 pm and you have a flight to catch to New York in two hours. You are running behind schedule and haven’t finished packing, so you end up throwing your stuff in a suitcase and running out the door. On the way to the airport you succumb to the fact that you won’t be eating lunch and you will probably be sitting in an uncomfortable middle seat. Your phone rings and your boss calls to confirm that you’ve brought the printed reports. A pit immediately forms in your stomach. Reports? Printed? I’m doomed.
But are you really? Is it truly all over? Is there no alternate solutions here? If you haven’t brought the printed reports, are there no other ways of getting them. Can you email them to an office store in New York where they can have them printed and ready for you to pick up? Can a friend make the arrangements for you?
Often, in times of stress or crisis, we aren’t able to find reasonable solutions to challenges because we make assumptions. We presuppose that we’ve hit a roadblock and all possibilities are closed off. In order to overcome these assumptions, we need to ask ourselves if they are true or are they only assumptions.
-You wanted to ask for a raise but since your company is making budget cuts you know it’s out of the question.
-You wanted to send your daughter to an ivy league school, but you know it’s impossible given her grades.
-You wanted to go on a vacation but can’t, as you have used all your vacation days.
All of the these statements have one thing in common – on the surface they appear to be true, but upon deeper reflection, they just don’t hold up. There’s a contradiction at hand – that two opposite facts cannot b
oth be true – and it is up to us to determine whether or not the contradiction is false.
Is it impossible to receive a raise while your company is making budget cuts? Maybe you can receive additional benefits or perks that are not reflected in terms of dollars and cents?
Can your daughter get into an ivy league school despite her poor grades? Maybe she has been devoted to community service, or will excel on her SAT’s despite her poor test scores in school?
Is the only way to go on a vacation by taking off actual work days? Can you take mini vacations for a few weekends and receive a much needed break?
By asking yourself the following questions – Is what I’m saying actually true?, Are my beliefs contradictory?, Am I only thinking one dimensionally? – you can begin to recognize the false contradictions in your life, and the world of possibilities will truly begin to open.