Many resolutions have an underlying premise. A common one rests on the phrase; “I will be better if I…”. Another variation on this phrase; “Others will like (accept) me if I…”. As our resolutions begin to play out in the cold light of day, targeted advertising can be heard and seen across the media outlets, and visible behaviors shift. The local gym parking lot is full. There are more bicycle riders out in the morning and evenings. Even the shopping carts lots healthier.
While I believe in positive resolutions, I do think it is worth questioning the premises that we accept as fact. Are they? What does the latest research show? If I want to be healthier, what are the best ways given the knowledge we now have?
Asking the follow-up question is always worth the effort. Others before us have found this useful. On the verge of making a big mistake, new information came out. When it did, “the captain came back and took charge. ‘Is what I hear right? You’re a Roman citizen?’
Paul said, ‘I certainly am.’” (Acts 22.27)
By asking and verifying, a new course of action avoided a mistake. I can assume I know what the latest information on health is, or I can ask. I can use yesterday’s assumptions on what it takes to get in shape, or I can do some research. I can act on proven techniques, or I can see if there is something better.
Follow-up questions can seem to be a waste of time. History suggests that the time spent asking and listening with an open mind is time well invested. As I look today, I wonder how far I am willing to let my mind wonder. Will I question the assumptions that are the foundation for my choices? Am I willing to deconstruct my favorite pillars and see if they still hold up? Is anything off limits?
Each time I chose to put limits, I hear someone reminding me of an old cliché – “never assume”. Today will be a fresh day with examined assumptions.