Our assumptions in a creative endeavor 

Understanding the existence of embedded assumptions

A Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity discussion topic

Copyright 2008 by K. Ferlic, † All Rights Reserved

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Assumptions are things that are taken for granted and suppose to be a fact. An assumption is anything we assume is correct or works a certain way without having examined the truth of what we believe or think. Whether we realize it or not we all have a tremendous number of assumptions we make very day about the life we live and what we experience in life.

Whether we realize it or not, each of us, as any organization, contains embedded assumptions about the nature of the problem we face in how we go about responding to whatever we face. To be a human being is to live and make our decisions based on embedded assumptions. Embedded assumptions are just assumptions that lie below the surface and are not obvious.

Embedded assumptions are a little more difficult to both see and understand. For example, an assumption would be that we assume the organization for whom we work care about us as individuals because they give us motivational classes so that we enjoy our job. However, their reason is because they know a happy employee increases productivity. The reason is not what we assume. They do not really care about us. Rather they just care about how product we are to the organization.

An embedded assumption is an assumption that lies a little deeper. Here the company provides motivation classes to improve productivity. We know and understand the motivation is not because they care about us as individuals but they are interested in increased productivity to make the company more profitable and viable long term. We assume it is because they want to keep the company and make it viable commercial entity in the future. However, that assumption would be an embedded assumption because the organization has an ulterior motive. That is, the owner only wants to make the company look as profitable as they can so they can sell it at a higher price.

The point here is we often have embedded assumptions in what we believe about the situation we face and how Creation works. Obviously we caní t go back to see if what we are assuming about every situation we face is correct. However, when it comes to a creative endeavor we need to start looking for it makes a big impact on how easy it is to find a creative solution to what we face. Most of our assumptions are unexamined. It is why it is said the mind which created the problem we face is not the mind which will solve the problem. Most often the embedded assumptions that cause us the greater problems are the assumption we make related to who and what we think we are, the nature of Creation and how creation works, the accuracy of our mind in understanding what we experience, and how and why we have the experiences we have.

Relative to our creative endeavors, we need to understand, a creative endeavor takes us into the unknown beyond where mind has been. However, even if we understand this about a creative endeavor, we have two types of assumptions that influence how we respond to what the creative endeavor requires of us.

One type of assumption we carry is that we have are assumptions about how Creation works and what we are observing based on the past experiences we have had. However, the mind which created the problem will not be the mind which solved the problem. So whatever we think and believe about what we are observing something is in error or at least not totally correct. The impact of our assumption about what we observe is discussed in the authors experience being the Company Commander of an Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Band Company. Most observed the Band and assumed the musicians were poor musicians. The author observed the band as saw Band was being asked to perform poorly because of the musical arrangements they were being ask to perform did not fit the composition of the Band.

The second type of assumption is that we have assumption about how our creative endeavor will unfold or manifest our desired creation. These assumptions too arise from the past experiences we have had and what we have come to think and believe. We think we know what we need to do but we donít. We have to be willing to step out of mind and surrender to go with the flow of energy giving rise to what we desire.

Although these two kind of assumptions may appear the same, they are different and cause different problems to arise. In not looking at the assumptions we are making about what we observe, we are biasing ourselves as to what possible solutions exist to what we face. As in the Band Company experience referenced above, most of the time poor performance is because the musicians canít play the music that is provided to them. Rarely are they given an arrangement that does not fit the composition of the band. Yet, unless we look at what we are assuming even though most of the time our assumption may be appropriate, we will miss the solution we seek.

We need to realize that of our assumptions about anything are most often unexamined then we become disappointed and frustrated when things do not work out as we plan or hope. It we look carefully we will find that more often than not, it is in our assumptions that we find our problems.

Related topics
Mistakes and the creativity perspective

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