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Critical Thinking

 

He, who thinks best, survives and thrives best.

C. W. Sooter

 

When people think differently, they automatically act differently.

Robert Hargrove, Mastering Art of Creative Collaboration-

 

Don't believe everything you think.

Wayne Dyer, Excused Begone by

 

As a man thinks in his heart, so he is.

King Solomon

             

Chapter 1 - Why is Thinking So Important?

 

The attribute that most distinguishes man from other living creatures is their ability to think.  To think means not only a higher order ability to reason but to be aware that one is thinking and its implication to future outcomes.

 

Background

 

Humans think because they can.   Humans are uniquely endowed with three brains.   The most basis part of the brain is the reptilian brain, which regulates life autonomously without a conscious thought.    The second more advance part of the brain puts us at par with the animals, which is the limbic part of the brain, which allows animal to be aware of their environment and to make choices regarding their survival.  The most advanced part of the brain, which separates us from the animals, is the neocortex.  The neocortex gives humans the cognitive thinking abilities such as 1) to perceive the future and link current behavior to future consequences, 2) to be aware of one’s awareness, and 3) to connect with the infinite possibilities that think permits.

 

Thinking has many definitions but here is one of them, “Thinking is any mental activity that helps formulate or solve a problem, make a decision, or fulfill a desire to understand.  It is searching for answers, a reaching for meaning.”[1]  This definition is focused on utilitarian considerations.         Other definition might emphasize that responsibility that comes with capability.

 

Thinking is a mental effort prone to frustration, disappointment, and regret.  The purpose of thinking is to find solutions to problems and opportunities for gain, both of which helps us to satisfy our human needs and a higher quality life.  Thinking leads us to conclusions that we are compelled to follow.  When we don’t use our thinking faculty sufficiently, our ability to think clearly declines.  Mental inactivity lessens the body's magnetism and causes sickness and premature death.

 

We use our mind to hold positive images of the life we dream of living.  By constantly holding positive mental pictures of what we want and what we want to be, we make our mind into a powerful magnet, which has the power to attract to us towards our desires. To be effective, our thinking must create new ideas that we ultimately projected by our mind to the outer world.  Until idea are forced into the real world, they never become real.                

 

Keep in your mind only the good things.  We may not be responsible for everything that enters our mind, but we are responsible for what we allow to remain there. “ Consciously register in your mind only those things that you want to register in your subconscious mind where the thoughts can work for your good in ways unknown.  You can reach your subconscious mind through autosuggestion and affirmations, which is best done before retiring for the night.  Your subconscious mind is influenced by personification wherein you begin to think and act like the person you want to become. What you put into your mind externalizes itself in the outer circumstances of your life.”[2]

 

Thinking Power

 

The human brain offers significant power to the person who utilizes it to its maximum potential.  The purpose of this handbook on thinking is to tap into the immense power inherent in our human brains.  If used properly, we can direct our brains to accomplish astounding achievement when it becomes magnetized by our dominant thoughts.[3]      

 

Thoughts are things, power, and potential.           

Napoleon Hill

 

One can tap this power of the human brain simply by developing the habit of “thinking about your thinking.”[4]   A man’s success life will be proportional to the extent that he taps his wealth of thinking power.   Success is a big as the measure of one’s thinking.         

 

Critical Thinking      

 

Humans are endowed with a highly advanced brain that allows them to handle some very complex issues and decisions.   One highly advanced application of brain power is called critical thinking that requires the consideration an interrelated set of issues, the precise articulate of those issues, combined with a high reward for getting useful answers for them.

 

To solve difficult issues or problems with multiple possible solutions, one must apply not only higher order thinking skills, but they must know their own values so as to arrive at answers that satisfy those values.     “Your critical thinking is always on display as you build a pathway from reasons (evidence), values, and assumptions to logical and supportable conclusions that are superior to any other possibilities.”[5]

 

One will get the most and best results from their thinking if they spend the most time answering critical questions whose consequences are of highest importance to their values.  Before attempting to answer any issue or solve any problem, always ask, “Who cares or why is this worth my time?”  

 

As long as one is going to attempt the difficult with their thinking, they should at least open the boundaries and limits of the possible answers so that they can reap the widest possible answer.  Unless one consciously overrides human tendencies for short-cuts and expediencies, one will place arbitrary and capricious limits to constrict the range of one's possible decisions and answers.  When in doubt, explore more alternatives.

 

One should always be in search of better answers.

Browne and Keeley, Asking the Right Questions

 

Survival

 

Man survives and dominates his environment by means of his intellect.

 

Life Enrichment

 

The more one uses their thinking ability, the better they are at adapting and thriving in their environment.

 

Choices

 

Better choices are made after careful deliberating.

 

Responses

 

People respond better to evolving situation if they but pause to think but a moment.

 

Conflicts

 

Whenever we are in contact with others, there is the potential for completion and conflict in self-interests.


 


[1] Vincent Ruggiero, The Art of Thinking

[2] Anthony Norvell, Dynamic Mental Laws for Successful Living

[3] Napoleon Hill, The Power of Positive Thinking

[4] Vincent Ruggiero, The Art of Thinking

[5] Browne and Keeley, Asking the Right Questions


 

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