We all make conclusions about many matters every day, if not every hour. We meet a new person, and within minutes or even seconds, we form an opinion and judgment about that person. If we want to grow in life‘s journey, becoming aware of our assumptions can help immensely.
Why locating our assumptions can help.
We form conclusions for various reasons, one of which is to feel better. When we do not know something, our minds tend to draw conclusions and inferences. That applies to everything from trivial matters like weather prediction to important issues such as the safety of a vaccine.
We can use logic or fill in missing information to form an assumption about a matter we do not know. Still, the fact is that we conclude something we do not initially know or still do not know. We all have such assumptions; in many cases, they are deeply rooted and taken for granted. For example, many assume and behave as if life is human-centric.
Knowing where we are now is of utmost importance if we want to grow in life. You may have a goal in your mind. However, if you do not know where you stand now, you have no idea which direction to move to come closer to that goal. That is why uncovering your conclusions can help you grow, especially in deep-rooted assumptions.
If one glorifies their conclusions and assumptions, this can hinder their growth. Once you have drawn a firm conclusion, your whole mind will try to protect this assumption. Besides, nobody wants to be wrong. Once you are in this state, you are not open to change and, by default, not available to growth. After all, you cannot grow unless you change.
The above also appears to be a predicament for the so-called ‘smart’ people. An idiot is incapable of drawing conclusions and therefore enjoys what little he knows. It often looks as if insane people enjoy life more than the so-called intellectuals. It is the “smart” people who constantly struggle as they are busy chasing something. A fool has no such struggles.
You cannot but wonder whether this is because of our non-stopping thoughts, beliefs, or conclusions. We usually assume that what we do is important. An idiot does not appear to have similar aspirations or assumptions. Still, he can enjoy his meal without any stress. That is not always the case for the “successful” and “smart” kind.
The three-year-old technique
Although essential to growth, locating deep beliefs and conclusions is no easy feat. It is also not a task that you can hope to complete in a sitting or even a day. It is an exploration that needs time. However, if you are conscious of this endeavor throughout the day, you can speed up the process. That means being constantly aware of the question: “What are my assumptions?”.
A technique that you can use throughout the day resembles what young children do all the time. It is the so-called “three-year-old” technique of surfacing deep assumptions. It entails asking what 3-year-olds ask all the time: “Mum, why do you do this?”. Okay, you can take out “Mum” if you want.
You can ask yourself, “Why do you do this?” and after each answer, you respond with another “Why?”, as a 3-year-old would. It may take seven or eight rounds of Whys before identifying the anchoring assumption. You can play this game whenever you have time, such as while commuting to work or waiting for a meeting or class to start. Just try and see.
- When we do not know something, we tend to draw conclusions to feel better.
- If one glorifies their conclusions and assumptions, this can hinder their growth.
- To help locate your assumptions, you can ask yourself, “Why do you do this?” and with each answer, you respond as a 3-year-old might with another “Why?”