How to Master Critical Thinking?

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Human can never do what he doesn’t think, The irony is that he never thinks about what he are not thinking of”

Creativity and thoughtfulness are the results of imagination or original ideas to create something. To learn about creativity we need to understand the process of thinking and other aspects around it. The process of thinking results in decision making. In order to be a better decision-maker, one needs to master the process of critical thinking.

Every single human action is a result of thinking (intentional or unintentional). Yet most of us or almost all of us are never trained to be a better thinker or better decision-maker, as it is never part of our formal education and is completely ignored.

Since everyone’s life is unique and they have unique priorities and different situations. It is very hard to find a clear path, however, our religious scriptures have given us enough guidance to be better decision-makers. Very few will use these scriptures as a guide book for us to enhance our process of thinking and make better decisions with respect to the situations that we are in, while the remaining many of us are in a dilution that God is up there to save us.

Becoming a thoughtful person is only possible for people who invest time in reading books and understanding more about the process of thinking and to become a better decision-maker by learning from their’s even other’s mistakes too. This is one of the key aspects of life which will help us to make a fortune or live a mediocre life.

We get trained on new technology, courses, certifications and graduations that can help get us jobs and we have very little or in fact none which is being touched upon about thinking and decision making in our education system or by the society around us, or even many online Ed-tech platforms. They focus training on concepts, tools and processes to achieve a particular expected result, basically to get the right answer. There are millions of institutions and online platforms which teach programming and many other skills, however, the scope of this learning is very limited as long as people are becoming better at creativity and critical thinking. When one is not a better thinker, he cannot make better decisions and come up with creative/innovative ideas.

Upskillshare.com is the only platform which only focuses on this specifically, apart from those technical qualifications you could take courses on self improvement in order to become a successful human being by reading or consuming quality content which will make you knowledgeable, a better thinker and a better decision maker.

There can be 4 kinds of people concerning creativity.

  1. For very little creativity, critical thinking, spontaneity, humor and few other skills are innate abilities that excel in their life and career by better decision making.
  2. For a few, out of necessity, the situations or people around them make them a better thinker resulting creativity.
  3. For a few, they spend time in learning the process of thinking and make efforts in becoming a creative and a better decision-maker.
  4. For others, they are not concerned about this factor. They just go with the flow by either something decided or suggested by others, spending very little time analysing and thinking about what are better possibilities available around them.

You will be a better person to classify yourself in which of these above 4 kinds you relate your self to and decide on if you think u belong to 4th kind, its good that you realized and you can start working on it to move to atleast 3rd kind and become a creative person.

Thinking (brain activity) is the process which only humans can do constantly apart from breathing when we are awake. Our brain is functional even when we are asleep which won’t directly show implications in our activities in the real world apart from a few exceptions. But the brain activity that happens when we are awake, this process of thinking will show implications on our real world around us. We do what we think. We think about what we are going to do.

Thinking is that powerful One Thing which can result in solving all problems in the world.

  1. If everyone’s thinking in the world is changed overnight, the entire world will be new by the next day.
  2. If one is changing his own thinking process, it changes the entire view of the world for him.

Since we only have control over the 2nd option since that is the only option we are left with, we are hardly focused on working to make it better. That is because we are constantly busy on fixing external things. The reason for that is we were never properly trained to make ourselves think better and a better decision-maker.

It cannot be stressed enough about the importance of efforts on training ourselves to be a better thinker and a better decision-maker. It has to be as deliberate as any other Training program or course to learn different theories, concepts, tools or skills that we try to learn and practice. This is one of the basic skills to become a thoughtful human being. Unfortunately, unless we choose to study Psychology, Neuroscience or Philosophy specialization basically a study related to the brain, none of the other specializations will have at least a basic understanding of these concepts.

Many great minds, like scientists and philosophers like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Schopenhauer, Kant, Sigmund Freud, Isaac Newton, Einestine and many others in the history and even in current times have explored different aspects of knowledge like logic and reasoning which are results of thinking and serious brainstorming process around a particular topic or great evolution in human advancements.

To improve the thinking process, we ask questions and it starts with What? Why? How? Where? When? and many other questioning forms. Out of which, in most cases, is the approach of “Why? methodology” of exploration of the root causes of the problem and deep analysis and coming up with reasoning has been very important. This has been very effective to solve a problem helping us to lead to the core of the problem to find solutions.

A similar methodology was used by an industrialist in Japan called Sakichi Toyoda who is an inventor, and founder of Toyota Industries said to be developed or introduced to the organizational solutions with “The 5 Whys technique” in the 1930s. It became popular in 1970s. Now, most of the organizations you this is one of the main techniques including Toyota still uses it to solve problems today alongside the other techniques like fishbone analysis, root cause hypothesis etc.,

Basically, questioning will give opportunities to gather more information about the problem and expand our knowledge and with deeper analysis and reasoning we will be able to get to the root cause helping us make our conclusion and making our decisions about any situation. So the methodology of practising “Why?” or the “The 5 Whys technique” will make our thought process dig deep enough to find the most possible optimized solution.

It is a psychological fact that we think about what we want to believe by trying to find all the possible information that they can gather to prove their thoughts and ideas. This brings us to the point of cognitive biases which are very essential to consider and be aware of. Learn more about Cognitive Biases in Brain Reprogramming Compilation at Upskillshare.com

How to Improve Thinking Ability?

We already know, our thinking will affect our decision making, and we must put in efforts to make our thinking process better to make a better decision, now the question comes, how this process of thinking can be taught. Below are a few ways to learn to become a better thinker. Thinking starts with some basic information or assumptions which already exist. Expanding this source of thought will help us significantly in improving our thinking ability. Which means we need to become as informed as possible to be able to put our thoughts around the knowledge that is gathered and come up with our own analysis, reasoning and findings based on the situation. Below are a few ways you can expand your “Source of thought

  1. Being a “Good Listener” & “Learner” — Practicing Intellectual Humility
  2. Quality reading of books
  3. Networking with experienced people
  4. Taking notes of their thoughts and analysing them
  5. Constantly being in touch be interesting and intellectual content helping us to widen our perspective.
  6. Frequent assessments of where they stand in the journey of reaching their goal.

Critical Thinking

When we take our thinking process to the next level through deliberate practice with a deeper understanding of the concepts we can become better at Critical Thinking as well.

Critical thinking is a process that explores the reasons and logics to derive the most optimal and effective solution to a problem with no one clearly defined solution.

How to Improve Critical Thinking:

Dr. Gerald Nosich is a noted authority on critical thinking and the author of Reasons and Arguments. Learning to Think Things Through – A Guide to Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum is a great resource to learn more about Critical Thinking. According to him, critical thinking is something in which the thinking process which is evolved by intentional or unintentional efforts which are passing the standards which are defined as below. All of this process will start by using understanding “Why? Methodology” to acquire knowledge and understand the route cause before getting into analysis and arriving at a conclusion.

  1. Clarity: We need to be able to understand the issue, problem or a concept with the clearly defined purpose of what is being asked and acquire the knowledge and information around it as much as possible.
  2. Accuracy: Once we acquire the knowledge we need to look for the accuracy of the acquired information if it is trustworthy or it might include the factors of biases with a less or no neutral view on the topic or idea
  3. Relevance: After validating the accuracy of the information we measure the relevance of the information to the actual problem that we are trying to solve by which we will be able to filter out the unwanted information which might affect the final outcome.
  4. Sufficiency: By the process of measuring Relevance and filtering we will be able to gauge the sufficiency of the information which will help us to move to the further filtering process of the argument
  5. Depth/Breadth: Once we have the most Accurate most Relevant Sufficient Information, we start understanding and analysing by digging enough deeper with rigorous brainstorming and also we see how broad we need to be thinking in terms of even considering multiple possibilities about the issue with the available information.
  6. Precision: With this process, we will be able to arrive at a decision of which has the best possible solution to the problem which precisely addresses the issue.

These mentioned standards work as filters to make any argument effective in terms of critical thinking, which means if any argument which is flawed or unclear or not complete, we will be able to figure it out by putting these standards test to pass through. To learn more about you could read the books mentioned.

Critical thinking is about thinking within the box but much more based on the available information and analysis and evaluation process is done more objectively to make more reasonable judgement were there not much room for Imagination.

About the author: UpSkillShare Team

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