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March 29, 2021

Question Your Assumptions

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Let’s think more about decision making, and one thing that informs the decisions you’re making that you might not be aware of - Your assumptions. Assumptions are things that you have concluded and believe to be true about a certain situation. You use assumptions when you might not have all the data you need and haven’t completely validated the concept. Assumptions help you move forward faster because it allows you to forecast how you expect things will go without committing too many resources to double checking your hunches. 

As humans we’re actually very good at making assumptions. This is because we have so much experience in similar areas and we rely on assumptions for efficiency, especially when it comes to introducing change or innovation Sometimes though, when we’re in new territory we rely on these assumptions so heavily that we actually move past really fundamental questions without giving them enough consideration. That’s why today, I’m asking you to question your assumptions. Identify what are the core factors of your understanding and think through how much you actually know about them. 

To give an example, let’s say that you’re thinking about starting a new job. You’re ready to take the risk. The assumptions built into that are: You’re quality of life will increase and it doesn’t negatively affect others. Well what does that mean? Quality of life is a complex arrangement of compensation, enjoying the work, how many hours you’re working. As for negatively affecting others, will you need to relocate, will you be more “on call” and less present? These are all factors that all contribute to the larger conclusion.

The bottom line is, you’re probably on the right track and your assumptions are good, but take an extra minute to question how you may be thinking a certain way without diving into the details that make up that thought.

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