Don’t Make Assumptions
Today I want to share with you a part from the book “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. In it he shares the wisdom of the Toltec, an ancient wisdom that is most accurately described as a way of life, distinguished by the ready accessibility of happiness and love.
We all want happiness and love. When asking any parent, what they most want for their children, happiness is at or near the top of the list.
The concept of “Don’t make assumptions” helps us see the world in a different light. The author shows us just how pervasive our assumptions are by giving us an example. If we were transported 700 years into the past, with all our knowledge that we have today, it wouldn’t be long until we would be seen as someone to fear who needed to be eliminated. The same way we can imagine that a person from 700 years into the future would see our current distortions and find us backwards and our world full of lies that we are assuming is the truth.
The concept of “Don’t Make Assumptions” is particularly powerful in human interactions. We assume that others think the way we do. We assume that our spouse knows us so well that we don’t have to ask for what we want. We assume that our spouse wants to do what we want them to do for us.
None of us reads minds. It is best when we explicitly ask for what we want. The other person has the right to say yes or no, but we have the right to be heard. Open and frequent communication clears the air of misunderstandings, helps us understand where the other person is coming from, and endears us to one another. We have the opportunity to genuinely appreciate the other person or share how much something they did meant to us. It is said that what we praise we get more of.
So, have the courage to ask questions, get clarification rather than assuming what something meant and ask for what you want.