Funny motivational speaker
When I married my ex-husband Kurt in 1990, thirteen of his family and friends came from Norway for our wedding celebration in the United States. Within this group of Norwegian guests were Kurt’s brother’s seventy-year-old in-laws, Ingrid and Rolf.
Ingrid wanted to bring a bit of Norwegian tradition to our wedding feast, so she made flour lefse to serve with coffee when she visited us in the United States.
Flour lefse is prepared by soaking the round lefse crisps in water to soften, and each softened piece is spread with butter and topped with sugar. The two pieces are sandwiched together and cut into pie-like pieces to be served a sweet treat, like cake or cookies.
Ingrid carefully rolled, baked, cooled the dinner-plate-sized wafer-thin slices of lefse, wrapped each delicate crisp in paper towels, and placed them into a tin for safe transportation.
Determined to keep the lefse unbroken, Ingrid held the tin of lefse on her lap during the 18-hour train ride from Northern Norway to Oslo.
She tucked the tin between her feet during the twenty-hour flight from Oslo to Minneapolis.
She held the precious cargo in her arms during the six-hour car ride from Minneapolis to Mitchell SD, where she handed the homemade gift to Mom for safekeeping.
Before dinner, Mom motioned Ingrid over to the table piled high with appetizers. Despite the language barrier, Mom wanted Ingrid to know how much she appreciated the tin of homemade crisps and pointed to the silver tray ladened with assorted cheese, herring, and crackers.
Imagine Ingrid’s surprise when she saw the lefse she carefully carried all the way from Northern Norway, broken into bite-sized pieces, tucked between the ritz and wheat thins to be served as crackers.
Ingrid spoke no English, but she assumed that Mom knew how to prepare flour lefse. Mom spoke no Norwegian but assumed Ingrid had given her homemade crackers.
We make assumptions when we have incomplete information, and instead of asking questions to complete the data, we use experiences and seemingly similar situations to fill in the blanks.
The problem with assuming is that we often connect dots that aren’t there. Making assumptions can cause us to miss essential pieces of information that could lead us to the correct answer.
Our brain seeks out quick and easy answers, but incorrect assumptions can lead to wrong, often negative, conclusions.
This week, take time to challenge your negative assumptions.
Have you asked open-ended questions to ensure you have enough information?
Remember that asking questions will not only clarify a situation, but can also help you move from stalled negative thinking to a positive solution.