As a motivational speaker I fly a lot. And there is no better place to study human nature than in the friendly (or not so friendly) skies. Such was the case yesterday.
I boarded the plane, stored my bag in the overhead and sat down. I hesitated to put my computer bag under the seat in front of me since, because I was in the aisle seat, there was an obstructed amount of space there. I decided to wait until the passenger claimed the window seat next to me to see how much of the remaining space she would need.
She arrived a few minutes later and, as it turns out, didn't put anything in the space under the seats in front of us. I turned to her, smiled and said, "Hi. It appears you aren't going to use any of the space underneath the seats so I think I'll grab my computer bag and put it there. If it in anyway encroaches into your space, just let me know and I'll move it." Again, I'm smiling.
She (not smiling) looked at me and paused. I could see that she was trying to figure out what I was up to. Finally she said, "Whatever," and looked away.
The first thing that occured to me was that she assumed that I was saying or doing something negative – or something that she shouldn't like. And because that was what she assumed – it colored her response to me accordingly.
Once again, those damned assumptions.
I read somewhere once that around 80 to 90 percent of all our thoughts are negative. I don't know if that's true, but I do know this. WHATEVER thought first occurs to me – there is a little space that follows it wherein I can decide if I want to go with that thought or not. That is MY little space! It's where I give meaning to everything I perceive. It's where my personal power lives and breathes.
And yes, I forget about that space sometimes – but I always come back to the realization that it is there and that…
I HAVE THE ABILITY TO ASSUME WHATEVER I WANT TO ASSUME
Have erroneous assumptions ever tripped you up?