Never assume, seldom deny, always distinguish. Author Unknown
It is always better to ask then to make an assumption. Don R Ruiz
Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won’t come in. Alan Alda
Making assumptions is something that works well much of the time, but every so often, does not and causes us significant problems. We all have this in common; made assumptions we should not have made. We assumed something that caused us great difficulty, misery, or at the very least embarrassment.
For the most part, assumptions are a time and effort saving process, a short cut for making decisions. They are often made when needing a quick decision but too often because of laziness in our decision making. We make assumptions every day. Before going to sleep at night we assume we will wake up the next morning to another day’s challenges; that we will live to see another day. Whenever the stock market drops, we assume it will find its way back to new highs as it has done before. Whenever we see a car’s turn signal flashing, we assume they are planning to make a turn; sometimes surprising us and not turning. Typically when someone tells us they are going to do something, we assume they will follow through and do as they have said.
We make many assumptions based on the knowledge and wisdom acquired during a lifetime of experiences. If we see something happening enough times we tend to assume that similar circumstances produce similar results. It is natural and logical to think this way. This works most of the time, not always. When in a big hurry; when impatient, lazy or any number of reasons we often assume too much. We let our guard down and make erroneous assumptions that should not have been made. The consequences of bad assumptions run from mild embarrassment to great pain and difficulty. It is good to be aware of the dangers and risks of bad assumptions.
Whether to assume or not should be based on the importance of the decision and potential consequences of a bad decision. The greater the consequences, the more we should avoid making bad assumptions. We should not assume but ask more questions and get more facts. How many times could we have prevented hurt feelings, avoided arguments and difficult moments had we not assumed and been more careful? Failure to communicate effectively is often caused by making bad assumptions. It is better to err on the safe side by careful questioning, even if annoying. Proceeding cautiously is better than regrettable and preventable mistakes.
Challenge: When you make too many assumptions eventually you get burned. They will come back to haunt and bite you on your rear end. Be wary from placing too much trust in those whom have proven themselves unreliable in the past. Be defensively minded when behind your steering wheel. Use your experience and wisdom to be more selective and careful of the assumptions you make. Ask more questions and get more facts.
Wisdom: We simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are or the way they should be. And our attitudes and behaviors grow out of these assumptions. Stephen R Covey
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9
His God instructs him and teaches him the right way. Isaiah 28:26
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5
The nature of our human condition carries a propensity for making lots of mistakes. We all make our share of poor decisions. Much of our knowledge and wisdom comes from doing things the wrong way. Making bad decisions and poor assumptions are painful thorns in our side. If we have a personal and interactive relationship with God, and listen to his guidance; he will help us make better decisions and we will make fewer mistakes.
Prayer: Help me to have more wisdom and to live righteously. Help me be the person you want me to be.