Do you ever wish you could solve challenges and problems easily?
If so, you may want to improve your critical thinking patterns.
Recognition of irrational thoughts, engaging in mental exercises and keeping your brain sharp can certainly get you there.
1. Critical Thinking Definition
Critical thinking is thinking on purpose.
It’s clear, logical. rational, and independent thinking.
It’s about practicing mindful communication and problem-solving unattached from biases.
Another way to interpret is, the capacity to think out of the box,
to think critically, to create “good quality of thoughts”
in certain situations and to arrive at a rational decision.
Critical thinkers have reached a level of maturity in their development, a set of taught skills and a certain attitude as well
which we'll discuss later on.
The earliest documentation of critical thinking are the teachings of Socrates recorded by Plato.
Socrates established the fact that one cannot depend upon those in "authority" to have sound knowledge and insight.
He demonstrated that persons may have power and high position and yet be deeply confused and irrational.
He established the importance of seeking evidence, closely
examining reasoning, assumptions and analyzing basic concepts.
2. Why Critical Thinking Is Important?
Critical thinking is not a "technique". It's a state of mind.
"I don't want to believe, I want to know."
It's a way of thinking so you come to the best possible conclusion,
that you're aware of, and the more clearly we are aware of ourselves,
our strengths and weaknesses, the more likely our
critical thinking will be productive.
TIPS FOR HEALTHY MIND &
HIGHER SELF AWARENESS!
Your rational thinking begins with awareness in the way you process information and determination to know if you're operating and thinking from your "emotional mind" or "rational mind".
Emotional mind equals reactive thoughts, Illogical thinking, self-doubt, but it's already proven that emotions are not always truthful facts.
Rational mind equals logic and reasonable thinking, cognitive thoughts, facts & research before making a decision.
Great critical thinkers can draw reasonable conclusions from different pieces of information and distinguish between useful and
less useful aspects to solve a problem or make a decision.
Critical thinking is the opposite of usual, everyday thinking.
Moment to moment, most of our thinking happens automatically.
When you think critically, you consciously use your intellect to reach more precise conclusions than your brain automatically would.
Most people when they think and speak, are displaying their
immediate experience: what they are feeling, hearing, fearing,
seeing, hating or loving.
So, when confronted by something that raises a feeling of love in them, everything they say and think is colored by that experience of love; in the next moment, they see something or someone they hate, and everything they say and think is colored by that experience of hate.
That is why it's crucial to improve our critical thinking skills!
3. Critical Thinking Skills
To live a significant life and to structure our lives accordingly, we need to confirm and reflect on our values and decisions.
Pausing to reflect when you feel negative emotions.
Understand emotions are not necessarily positive or negative, they happen to everyone.
Ask yourself, "Which emotion am I feeling?" And,
"Which negative thoughts or activities have led me
to feel this way?
Recognize Flaws In Your Thinking
A rational human being is one who recognizes their flaws and tries to achieve balance in their thinking.
If you are on the road to becoming a rational thinker, get into the habit of checking your thoughts regularly for accuracy to make sure they are realistic.
The way I go about it is, I write my most disturbing thoughts in my notebook, and analyze them for
5-10 minutes every day.
Be mindful of emotions
The Key to mindfully dealing with your difficult emotions is to let go of your need to control them.
Instead, be open to the outcome and what unfolds.
Try to truly gain an in-depth understanding of your emotions and the message they're communicating.
Mindfully dealing with emotions is hard and it takes time.
Be kind, compassionate, and patient with yourself.
People tend to be cognitive misers, meaning they usually take the easy way out when trying to solve problems, often leading to wrong solutions.
As soon as a problem surfaces, we must trigger a spirit of optimism that fuels us along our path to solutions & discipline ourselves
to be hungry for solutions.
Solution-oriented individuals know the best ways to get through troubled waters are to first think
about the actions they’ll take.
They don’t just dive in and hope for the best.
They break problems down into steps, avoiding becoming overwhelmed by more difficult aspects of an obstacle.
Put aside any assumptions or judgments and solely analyze
the information you receive.
You need to be objective, humble, and evaluate ideas without bias.
Critical thinking challenges you to use your ability to reason.
It is about being an open-minded active student, rather than a passive receiver of information.
Often people complain about many different challenges in their lives.
Expressing frustration doesn't necessarily show a lack of rationality.
Excessively complaining about the same topics, however, does illustrate a lack of ability to rationally think through the situation and develop a plan or solution.
When a situation or a person irritates you, talk about it with a trusted person, but also take two deep breaths and begin to
develop a plan to change it.
24 hours without complaining to anybody is also a good start
you can try.
4. Questions For Critical Thinking
The best known critical thinking teaching method has
its origins from Socrates.
He frequently asked the "why" question.
In his mode of questioning, Socrates asked people questions
to reveal their irrational thinking or lack of knowledge.
Basic critical thinking questions you can ask when approaching challenges:
What are you trying to prove, disprove, critique, etc.?
Why is that?
How do you know that?
What are you overlooking?
Advanced critical thinking questions:
Do you try to understand how things really are?
Are you interested in finding out the truth?
Do you act impulsively or do you evaluate the pros and cons of
How confident are you in your judgment?
Do you jump to conclusions?
Do you try to see things from different perspectives?
Do you take other people's experiences into account?
Keep it simple, ask meaningful questions,
5. Critical Thinking Examples
I'm sure it happened to you as well, someone you know didn’t say hello back when you greeted them, and you immediately start making false assumptions & wrong conclusions(emotional mind),
she's mad at me, she is arrogant,
I don't like her anymore, etc.
The reality was that even tho she looked at you, she didn't saw you
at all, because her mind and thoughts were in the hospital
where her boy was waiting for an operation.
(see things from different perspectives)
You go to pay your groceries and the cashier is rude to you,
you may assume, "I bet she doesn't like me because of my appearance, weight, or 100 other things your mind can create in a minute.
So why even go there, when in reality you have no idea what another person is thinking.
So one idea is to try and get ourselves from an outside perspective.
You look at the situation and then you say to yourself,
"if this was about somebody else, somebody I love and care about,
what would I advise them"?
And you would realize that often your advice will be different and more rational, useful perspective.
In January 2016, the World Economic Forum issued a report "The Future of Jobs"
6. Importance of Critical Thinking
In a nutshell...
Critical thinking involves gathering relevant information, asking meaningful questions, considering alternative viewpoints, applying logic and reasoning skills, Considering possibilities,
observe our arguments & Making sound judgments.
Without these skills, arguments can often be one-sided.
Criticism can feel like a personal attack on your character rather than an opportunity to open up dialogue and communicate productively and learn something new.
7. Critical Thinking Quotes
Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken
and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is found
written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of
your teachers and elders.
Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.
if people cannot write well
they cannot think well.
If they cannot think well others will do their thinking for them.
The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we
recognize that we ought to control our thoughts.