What your brain craves

In this episode Tom explains how our brains are designed to make assumptions and jump to conclusions, and how we can battle that so we live a Cultivated Life.



3 Must-Hear Takeaways from this episode

Our brain is wired to fill in missing information and jump to a conclusion.
We need to recognize our nature to form conclusions prematurely and battle our assumptions.
You can battle assumptions by asking probing questions and seeking a different perspective.

Show Notes:

Have you ever had an imaginary conversation with someone you’re having conflict with and you are coming up with all these things to say and then when you confront them, you find out your assumptions were all wrong and these zingers were all for naught?


We all jump to conclusions and make assumptions because our brains are made for efficiency, speed, and protection. It automates many of the decisions we make such as blinking, breathing or many of the other things our body does automatically.


That even extends to our thoughts, and that is where our brain can hurt or help us by forming assumptions. Our brain will fill in the blanks because we don’t have all the information or facts.

Our brain is really good at forming assumptions. Even if you are right, it’s still an assumption. Take a breath, pause, and find out more of the facts.


Seize those attitudes when our brain jumps to conclusion and battle those assumptions.

You can do this with two key strategies:


1. Ask more questions — Know that you jump to conclusions because your brain is made this way and just keep digging deeper by asking questions.


Tip: Ask probing questions and avoid interrogation questions. Interrogation questions are used to confirm assumptions and include “What were you thinking?” or “Where were you?” while probing questions battle assumptions and include “Why was that important to you?” and “How were you feeling?”


2. Don’t believe yourself — Get another perspective and opinion. When we make conclusions in isolation, we only have ourselves and sometimes we even need a perspective of ourselves. That can include letting things lie for the moment and following the classic adage of “Sleeping on it.”