Experiential assumptions

We all operate from assumptions, to some degree.

We assume the world will keep spinning, the sun will rise, and our boss will expect us to show up at work as usual.

So we set the alarm, get up, get dressed, and go to work.

What’s the problem with assumptions like that? Nothing, really. Those type of assumptions are experiential; they are based on our actual experiences and validated every time the experience is repeated, which is usually often.

Many experiential assumptions are accurate most of the time, perhaps even all of the time. They’re helpful. They save us energy. They keep us from having to think about every single decision, every single day.

Experiential assumptions are good when
– they have been proven accurate by an experience that has been repeated multiple times, and
– the experience that proved them is repeatable now, so the validity of the assumption can be tested at any time.

Experiential assumptions are not good when
– they have been based on a singular experience (you’ve only had the experience once), or
– they have been based on contradictory experiences (you’ve had multiple experiences and some of them support the assumption and some of them don’t), or
– they have been based on someone else’s experiences that can’t be repeated, tested, or objectively analyzed, and
– the experience(s) that proved the assumption is no longer repeatable, so the validity of the assumption can no longer be tested.

Test your assumptions. Often.

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