Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Challenging Assumptions

Our assumptions shape our beliefs, thinking and our actions.  Our underlying assumptions of our belief system are very rarely challenged everyday.  They need to be challenged every time for our belief system to be strong.

Our assumptions are challenged when we go to school, job or social setting.  How?  At school we get knowledge backed by research and we trust professors.  At job our bosses and colleagues even friends ask questions(the key) which forces us to think for logical answers.  It is only when we ask right questions continuously we can challenge our belief system and we acquire knowledge.

In our personal life, however this is different.  We form opinions and judgments about people without even realizing.  We start hating (even though we may never realize it) people, brands, things, weather, health and more.  The opposite is also true.  When we make important decisions in life we have to keep in mind about our underlying assumptions.  Critical thinking requires us to challenge our assumptions.  MBA schools require it.

I want to give you an exercise (I know you will hate me for this) about challenging your assumptions.  Write down in a piece of paper what your goal is five years from now.  And assume that you will definitely achieve it.  Now start challenging this basic assumption by asking yourself repeatedly "What makes you think that you will achieve?"  At the end, you will be more clearer about your vision and how to go for it.