Assumptions are an inevitable necessity. We can never know everything that we need to know in order to do something. Most assumptions are useful , but there is one assumption that can destroy everything in an instant, and we are all guilty of making it, frequently.
It is the assumption that things won’t change.
“That is obvious” I hear you thinking. But without knowing anything about you I guarantee that you have many foundational aspects of your life pinned on this assumption.
How can you know?
Ask yourself this…
- Have you ever felt that in your career you have “arrived” at the job that you wanted, a satisfactory level of remuneration or recognition that you can can be reasonably content with? Or at the very least, it is ok?.
- Do you feel that you have found the right life companion and that you can feel settled in your relationships?
- Do you have a good circle of friends whom you feel a grounded connection with?
- Do you feel that you know “enough” to deal with most of what life is likely to put in front of you?
In corporate cultures that assumption is often whitewashed with strategic plans and grand projections, but in reality we all have a natural desire for continuity. We are biologically hard-wired for this. It is easy to spot (and see the consequences) when it happens at that large public scale: governments operating in complete disengagement from real shifts and changes that are selfevident to their constituents, or corporations that suddenly find themselves in rapid decline due to “unforeseen” events. The path of history -is and will continue to be- littered with both.
It is less evident on a personal level, as we are immersed in that assumption, and quite literally can’t often see it from where we are standing.
If you have answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then you too hare making decisions about your future on this assumption. Hold on to your hat, something is coming your way that you were not expecting. It’s bigger than you expect, sooner than you think.
If you answered “no” then you have opened another contentious door: the necessity for change. Again, most people are naturally averse to change – so it is not surprising that most people will seek refuge in the assumption that things won’t change.
How we engage with change is a complex subject, but in its simplest form, you can either actively ride along with it, or ignore it as it will happen anyway. If you assume its certainty, and plan with this recognition, you can ride along with change and make deliberate adjustments that put you in an advantage over those who choose to ignore it.