How To Improve Your Critical Thinking

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Sometimes we become irritated about matters beyond our control. So why not take advantage of the time you normally waste by practicing your critical thinking during that otherwise wasted time? Did I allow any negative thinking to frustrate me unnecessarily?

Sometimes we jump from one diversion to another, without enjoying any of them. The key is that the time is “gone” even though, if we had thought about it and considered our options, we would never have deliberately spent our time in the way we did.

This fact carries with it tremendous opportunities.

In principle, it lies within your power and mine to make our lives more happy and fulfilling than they are.

In doing this, of course, focus on four techniques of clarification : 1) Stating what you are saying explicitly and precisely (with careful consideration given to your choice of words), 2) Elaborating on your meaning in other words, 3) Giving examples of what you mean from experiences you have had, and 4) Using analogies, metaphors, pictures, or diagrams to illustrate what you mean. How a situation is defined determines not only how we feel about it, but also how we act in it, and what implications it has for us.

In other words, you will frequently STATE, ELABORATE, ILLUSTRATE, AND EXEMPLIFY your points. However, virtually every situation can be defined in more than one way.

We can be fulfilled when otherwise we would have been frustrated.

In this strategy, we practice redefining the way we see things, turning negatives into positives, dead-ends into new beginnings, mistakes into opportunities to learn.

It is not possible to become an excellent thinker simply because one wills it. Distinguish Problems over which you have some control from problems over which you have no control.

Changing one’s habits of thought is a long-range project, happening over years, not weeks or months. Set aside the problems over which you have no control, concentrating your efforts on those problems you can potentially solve. Distinguish problems under your control from problems beyond your control.


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