Tag Archives: Assumptions


This morning I was out on my normal walk. The weather was a little hotter, and a little drier than normal, and there had been a bit of a wind last night, so the visibility was extraordinary. You could see details on the mountains that you normally could only guess at. And they looked a lot differently than I usually imagine. Not that I spend a lot of time contemplating what the mountains appear through the normal haze that surrounds my small town in the mornings, but nonetheless it was interesting to see the detail and outlines that you don’t normally see.

Once I was supposed to meet a regional supervisor at this company where I used to work. Nobody that I’d spoken to had met her before, although they all had an idea of the kind of person that she was. Most had heard stories from other people who knew somebody that talked to somebody that had met her, and had the real inside scoop, if you know what I mean. One of the more interesting things about getting the inside scoop is you are never really sure if the scoop is actual information, or somebody’s secret interpretation of someone else’s imagination.

Like sometimes when you read a movie review in the newspaper, and it somehow colors your perception of the movie that you want to see. Maybe you only kind of wanted to see this movie, and the reviewer said it was the best thing to come out since “The Sound of Music,” and of course because you love musicals, you really got excited. Then when you saw the movie you were a little bit let down because the singing and the cinematography wasn’t exactly up to your standards. Or maybe you have the pleasurable experience of having a so-so expectation of a movie, and then a review you happen to accidentally glance over describes the movie as only slightly more entertaining that having a root canal by a monkey without any anesthesia for you, or the monkey. Then when you see the actual movie, it is not so bad. Of course, in light of the horrible review you read, perhaps because the reviewer wrote it after having said root canal, you are completely blown away as the movie in question beats all your expectations.

Sometimes when a company will release its earnings report, at first it seems like they are doing pretty good. Like they may say they earned fourteen dollars per share, which is pretty fantastic in today’s market. But when you realize that they were expected to earn fourteen dollars and three cents per share, and only earned fourteen, you can understand why their stock dropped seventy five percent in the first twelve minutes of trading.

I don’t know if you’ve ever met somebody before without any notice whatsoever, but it is kind of an unnerving experience. It’s like you are sitting there minding your own business, and then this person walks into your office and says “Hi I’m your new boss,” or something like that. After you spend a few seconds searching through your brain on how you are supposed to respond to this person, and you come up completely blank, sometimes the best thing to do is just simply pretend they are an old friend. Because more than likely, the other person is going through the same transderivational search in their own brain, so when you act like you are best friends, instead of imposing your reality on them, you are actually doing them a favor by filling in the blanks. And since they are your new boss, it can’t help to have been best friends with them before you’ve even met them. It can be tricky of course, but the benefits are fabulous.

So when I finally met my boss, she turned out to be pretty nice. It seems that everybody I talked to had her confused with somebody else. Maybe a character from mythology or from TV, I’m not sure. And I don’t know how long the mountains will stay as clear as they are, but I kind of like looking at them through the fog of vagueness, as it seems more romantic that way to imagine some mystical mountain creatures living there, even though nobody has ever seen them before.

Always Assume The Best

I had to visit a friend in the hospital this past weekend. Nothing serious, but where I live people get put into the hospital for the strangest things. He was suffering from what the doctors said might be an ulcer, or just might be gastritis, but to be on the safe side, they want to keep him overnight for observation. I guess different countries  have different rules about how to act based on what is going on inside somebody. Even when they are fairly sure it’s nothing serious, the usually put you into the hospital at least overnight, just to be sure. I don’t particularly like hospitals, so whenever I have to go visit them, I have to make sure to up a big defense so I don’t’ let the sadness creep inside. I was in the elevator on the way down, happy to be leaving, when I saw somebody staring at me. He wasn’t a patient, or a doctor. I didn’t think I recognized him, but he kept staring at me.

Like this one time I was at the library in town. I had only moved here a few days ago at the time. I really like to read so I decided to go and check out the local library to see if they had any books I’d read before. And I was sitting there,and this guy kept looking at me from across the room. And had a really angry expression on his face, like I’d done something to offend him or something. I was starting to get kind of nervous, but seeing how I was in a public place, I didn’t really think he would do anything. But he just kept staring. Maybe he thought I looked like somebody that stole his milk money when he was a kid or something. Maybe he didn’t like the shirt I was wearing.

I usually don’t think such mean things about people. One of my relatives once told me that giving the other person the benefit of the doubt has two sides of the same coin. One side is to always assume that others are acting on some kind of good intentions, no matter how deep. And they are always trying their best, based on their experiences, to act on those intentions in the best way they know how. And the other side of that is that you must always assume that they have are also assuming that you are somehow acting on your best intentions. That way you’ve not only got a precedent to live up to, but when you live up to that precedent, even if it’s imaginary, you can show them a good example. So it will always work out in the end.

And it turns out the guy wasn’t even looking at me. He was looking at he guy sitting behind me. They had come together, the guy sitting behind me wanting to study, and his friend staring at him wanting to play baseball. Since they played baseball last Saturday, today was study day.

And the guy in the elevator had just heard some bad news about his cousin, so he wouldn’t’ have stared at anybody the way he was staring at me. I hope his cousin recovers.


I’d Like to Change My Order

I was having dinner with a friend the other night. I was in a pretty good mood (as I usually am,) but he seemed to be out of sorts. I could tell because he usually orders a mixed cocktail (he has a really strange system based on the day of the week and the general weather pattern to choose his drink. Either that or he’s been pulling my leg all this time,) but that night, he ordered a beer. Not just any beer, well actually, yea, he just told the waitress “whatever’s on tap is ok.”

I asked him what was wrong. He said that he was having second thoughts about going forward with his business that he’s been planning on starting. “What changed?” I asked.

He said that he’d been talking with another guy that his advisor had put him in touch with, that had successfully started a business in the same general line of work. He said that he had worked 7 days a week, about 12 hours a day for the first two years. He had a supportive family, and finally after two years, his business was successful enough that he could hire other people to manage it for him.

“So what’s the problem?” I asked. He said he wasn’t really prepared to put in 12  hours a day for a year before he saw a profit. He seemed to think that all businesses need that level of commitment to get off the ground and become profitable.

I told him about this book I read (I forgot the title) about a kind of study they did on successful entrepreneurs. Now that I think of it, I think it might have been a tape program, and I’m pretty sure I got it from Nightingale Conant. If you’ve never had a look, I recommend it. They got some good stuff there. If you find something you like, you might check ebay first, because lots of times people buy stuff, listen and get great benefit, and then sell it at a pretty cheap price.

So what this program said was that there was a huge range of variables that went into successful business creation. Some people were successful right from the start, some had to work at it over several years, others had all kinds of loans and help from family. It really didn’t matter. The term ‘work’ is really a relative concept. What might seem like ‘work’ to some, may be totally enjoyable to somebody else. Some people might consider putting two weeks of effort to get a ton of money a huge burden, but others might consider three or four years total enjoyment, even if you don’t make a lot. So long as you enjoy what you do.

I asked my friend if he enjoyed doing what he thought he was getting himself into. He thought about, an decided that he really did enjoy it. Then I asked him if he would enjoy doing what the other guy did for two years, 12 hours a day for, and he said no way. Then he confessed that the other guy said the only reason he quit after two years, well not really quit but hired other people to take over, was because his wife had their second baby and really needed his help around the house. So it turned out my friend was imagining himself doing what the other guy was doing and imagining not enjoying it, while in reality the other guy was enjoying it so much it took a second baby and his wife’s demands that he ease off a bit.

When he put it into that perspective, it made total sense to him. Although the waitress was pretty confused when he sent back his beer and asked for a Vernal Equinox.