Challenge Assumptions — Break Boundaries



Constraints are essential to Creativity. Creativity often flourishes at the face of limitations. But many constraints are the result of false assumptions and fake boundaries. Seeing them for what they really are can open new dimensions to play and create in.

Numerous creative breakthroughs in art, science, and technology wouldn’t have been possible without dissolving assumptions which were, until that moment, as definite as facts. The only way to break the boundaries of the opportunity space is to continually identify and challenge assumptions.

Challenging Assumptions is first an act of questioning — of feeling doubt. It continues as an imaginative act: imagining what could happen if you ignore an assumption and act as if it does not exist.

actionable steps

Think about the implicit and explicit assumptions and constraints that define your boundaries in any activity you are engaged with. Write them down.

Consider each of the assumptions and the boundaries they set. Is the assumption real? Where did it originate from? What will happen if you go against it or ignore it? What opportunities will evolve from breaking this boundary?

Don’t settle for theoretical analysis. Challenge at least some of the assumptions actively. Make sure you have safety nets that will allow you to backtrack if the assumption will prove to be correct, but be ready to engage with the opportunities that emerge if the boundary you broke was indeed a false-boundary.


Example 1

Albert Einstein wouldn’t have imagined the Theory of Relativity without challenging physics as known at the time. Challenging common wisdom takes courage, but it opens your mind to infinite new possibilities. This theoretical mind-exercise Einstein has conducted changed the face of science and was since then proven in experiments.

Example 2

Think of your activities for the upcoming week and the underlying assumptions that define their boundaries. Pick one and try to break it. Think of the potential of breaking the boundary and realize it.

further exploration

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