Day 122: Assume Nothing

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Day 122:  Assume Nothing

Day 122.  The organization my documentary is about has many mantras.  The one that seemed to resonate with me the most today was, “Assume nothing.”  I got a big lesson in this earlier.   Even if you think you’re on the same page as someone else, you shouldn’t assume that you are if you haven’t clearly communicated what your assumptions are from the get go because the reality is you don’t know what they’re assuming unless they’ve told you.  You’re brain is busy making your own assumptions on the perceived information you’re receiving from them and the other person’s brain is busy making their own assumptions, which are based on their analysis of the information they think they’re receiving from you.

Science points out just how much the brain assumes through the example of illusions.  According to the article, It’s All in the Brain: Illusions Reveal the Brain’s Assumptions, “To resolve ambiguities and make sense of the world, the brain also creates shapes from incomplete data….We construct such images unconsciously and very rapidly. Our brains are just as fertile when we use our other senses.  In moments of anxiety, for instance, we sometimes “hear things” that are not really there.”  I personally know that I tend to hear what I want to hear.  It’s called selective perception.  Which according to Wikipedia “is a broad term to identify the behavior all people exhibit to tend to “see things” based on their particular frame of reference.”  According to Steven Lucas MBACP, MNCS (Acc.), “Selective perception describes how we categorize and interpret sensory information in a way that favors one category or interpretation over another. In other words selective perception is a form of bias because we interpret information in a way that is congruent with our existing values and beliefs.”

Big lesson!

Bottom line, I must assume nothing as I move forward in my yearlong experiment in prolific creativity and I have to communicate better with clear and focused language that the person I’m communicating with fully understands and says they agree to and said communication also fulfills my intention.  Big lesson.  Glad I’m getting it early on.  Wait, let me rephrase…I hope I’m getting it!  Please, let me get it.  Oh well, at least I’m working on it.  And, I’ve got to add these to my morning daily reminders list.  “Number 15:  Say what I need to say” is all I have on there about communication.  Apparently, it’s not enough.  Just added these to the list:

Number 41:  Communicate in clear, focused language. 
Number 42:  Assume nothing. 

Until tomorrow, create from what you have…and assume nothing.

Kelli Joan Bennett is a filmmaker, actress, writer, entrepreneur, advocate for creative thinking and Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Think Outside The Box Inside The Box Media.

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