Critical Thinking — Why it’s Important and 5 Steps to Increase Your Critical Thinking Skills
A person who is grounded in critical thinking is self-disciplined and is always in pursuit of excellence. Critical thinking uses intellect rather than ego or long-held beliefs to problem-solve and communicate more effectively with others. A critical thinker is usually a success in anything he or she pursues.
Critical thinking is closely associated with scientific thinking and reasoning, because it means you step back to think about a situation or a belief before making a judgment. You gather all the evidence so that you can fairly and accurately come to a conclusion rather than making a decision based on irrational thoughts and beliefs.
Some crucial benefits of critical thinking are:
· Making a decision based on rational rather than emotional thoughts.
· Helps you make a decision that’s more likely to benefit you because you’ve taken everything into consideration.
· Helps you to see the many sides of a situation or belief rather than a narrow spectrum.
· You’ll have more respect for others and their belief systems and decision making.
· Separates your opinion from the facts.
· Develop courage, empathy and become more fair-minded.
· Make better decisions to achieve the goals you desire.
Those are just a few of the ways that critical thinking can make you a better and better-rounded person. You’re bound to make the decisions that can help you be a happy and successful person in your life’s pursuits.
Making clear choices determines the impact that critical thinking will have in your life. You’ll be able to reach the heights you want because you’ll make decisions you’re happy with and that don’t have a negative impact on others.
A critical thinker is usually seen as a great problem solver and one that uses the tools of critical thinking to base his or her decisions on. Critical thinkers also tend to be respectful of others and therefore gain admiration from those around them.
Good listener is also a trait that critical thinkers tend to have. They seek to find answers based on reality and research rather than mindless obedience or acquiescence to another’s wishes or beliefs.
Find out more about how practicing the art of critical thinking can help you in your pursuit of success and personal happiness by searching online and reading books and articles about this popular and helpful subject.
5 Key Steps to Critical Thinking
If you’re on a quest to become a more critical thinker — that is, analyzing a situation before acting on it or forming an opinion based on things like religious beliefs, environment and other factors, there are five key steps that you should use to use critical thinking to your best advantage. They are:
1. Practice problem solving techniques — Begin by thinking about one particular problem you have. Do this when you have some spare time (such as driving in the car or walking on the treadmill).
First, make sure the problem is clear in your mind. Then, figure out what information you need to solve the problem. With all of the information clear in your mind, interpret it and begin to visualize ways to solve the problem.
You may need to revise your strategy several times before acting on the situation.
2. Stop wasting time — Although we all waste time, some of that time can be used to think through situations or problems and solve them rather than regret later on that we didn’t do enough.
Become more aware of your wasted time and begin to take advantage of the time by practicing critical thinking. For example, rather than playing a game on your IPhone for an hour, think back on the day you just had. How could it have been better?
3. Redefine situations — Rather than making up your mind immediately about a situation, use the opportunity to re-think your decision. This is especially helpful if you have a negative situation in your life.
For example, if you lose a job you didn’t particularly like, think about the opportunities you now have to make a better life for yourself. Turning a negative into a positive with critical thinking can help you think of strategies to solve a bad situation.
4. Develop a sense of awareness — Heightened awareness can make you more intellectually sound. Your thinking will become clearer and you’ll realize the significance of what’s happening around you.
For example, you may want to keep a journal of what you see, hear and read about during your waking moments. Attempt to explain it in the most clear, concise way you can. You can use analogies or pictures to illustrate what you observed.
5. Analyze the influences in your life — Whom and what are you most influenced by? Are you in some clubs or groups (or perhaps a church) that have requirements of your beliefs and attitudes?
Think about the pressures these influences are making in your life and if it could be better if you were away from those influences.
The more you practice, the more critical thinking will become natural to you. You’ll begin to be able to quickly think about and analyze a situation to see if it has real value in your life.