Saturday, August 13, 2005

Curious about Assumptions: What Do You Assume to Be the Truth?

Robert Ringer wrote in today’s e-zine, Early to Rise, “Now, here's the sticky part. The reality is that most of your life is based on information and assumptions you have never verified. For you control freaks out there, you may find that hard to accept. ... I'm much more rigid than most people when it comes to taking everything with a proverbial grain of salt. My motto is: Assume nothing. If your mother says she loves you, check it out! Even so, on occasion I still find myself assuming things that I have no sound reason for assuming.”

What I enjoy and look forward to in this daily e-zine is that it makes me think. The above statement from an article by Ringer stopped me in my tracks.

I have been working and writing diligently on my new e-book, How to Leave Your Audiences Begging for MORE!, and in several sections have repeated the phrase, “Always confirm. Never assume.” In this book that will help you to become an “Outrageously Powerful Presenter,” I am referring to all of the different details that accompany speaking.

But, after reading Ringer’s article, I suddenly realized that I have many assumptions on which I base my life, my actions and interactions, my goals and my beliefs. Some of these are time tested, but others aren’t at all - and horror of horrors, may be completely false.

So I am curious to know what others’ assumptions are, how you test your assumptions and how valuable testing and questioning may be.

As you have read in my past blogs, I usually assume that the majority of people are honest. This caused me grief when I was recently taken in by a con artist. I am surprised daily by the number of hackers and other schemers on the Internet, along with the fraud that seems to abound in corporate America.

And, yet on the other hand, as Ringer also mentioned, I have come to believe and trust in many of the mentors and gurus on the Internet, along with some fabulous authors. When I made the decision to cut back on the number of e-newsletters that I was receiving - I tended to read them all - I had to ask myself which ones were worthwhile enough for me to make an investment (of time and/or money). Which ones did I trust the most?

I think and feel that this takes time, because we tend to assume that the written word is true and holds weight. I like to make the assumption that someone is knowledgeable and telling the truth. Now, however, I take my time before believing everything I read. How about you? Do you jump right into buying all of the products that promise you success and fame? It is easy to do.

I am so interested in this topic that I am planning to use it as the theme in this upcoming week’s e-newsletter, Portfolio Potpourri. Therefore, I investigated for some interesting thoughts on “assumption.” As a teaser, you will find a few below:

On the never ending argument on the differences between men and women:

  • Richard Ford wrote, “My assumption as a person who writes about moral issues is that women and men are alike. And in terms of their consequential acts, they have to be responsible for what they do in pretty much the same way, and the differences that are perhaps inspired by gender are subterior to what is more important to me - how men and women treat other people, how they act in ways that bring about consequences in others' lives.”
  • And Barbara Ehrenreich stated, “The feminist anti-pornography movement, no less than the feminist movement of a century ago, encourages the assumption that male and female sexuality, and possibly morality, are as unlike as yin and yang.”

How fitting that Orville Wright wrote, “If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance.”

Lots to think about. How about you? Have you checked your assumptions lately? Leave a comment (hint, hint).