Posts tagged ‘train our brain to think critically’

DO YOU WANT TO KNOW A SECRET?

Do you ever wonder what heights you could rise to in your personal and professional life if you put all of your thinking into focus? So much of our brain capacity is unused and lying dormant. In a world that centers on acting on impulse and making snap decisions, what we need to do is put on the brakes. Even more important, how can we teach our children to make their own decisions, form their own opinions, and learn to become the independent thinkers that leaders and inventors must develop? What if you knew the secret of thinking so that your life would improve tenfold and help you achieve all the goals you have in life? Then you could pass these skills on to your children and grandchildren.

Critical thinking is developed over time and is like learning any sport or art. You can’t just get up one morning and say, “I think I’ll become a critical thinker today.” No one can simply will it into happening. For many, it takes years to develop a critical thinking knack. In some older citizens, we call it, “wisdom.”

The only paths through which a person can develop insightful thinking are by knowing and accepting the truth that there are flaws in your thinking. You must also constantly practice becoming a thinker who can effectively solve problems through logical thinking rather than emotions.

Becoming a critical thinker can help you develop strategies where you overcome the obstacles that life presents. Here are some obstacles you may want to obliterate from your life – and that’s possible with critical thinking:

Analyze the influences in your life. Learn to make your own decisions rather than falling under those influences.


Get your ego under control. Your ego may be keeping you back from advancing at work and from developing better relationships. Critical thinking can help you think without the influence of an inflated ego.


• Solve problems. Being too scattered to solve problems and “thinking” with emotions usually doesn’t solve anything. Using critical thinking can help you get in touch with your emotions and solve problems through logical thinking.


• Stop wasting time. You may be wasting entire days of productivity by going in many directions at once. We pride ourselves on multi-tasking, but in doing more, are we accomplishing less? We may not actually be enjoying anything we do to waste time because we know we’re going to be behind on our work or frustrated about wasting the day. Critical thinking can teach you how to evaluate your time and spend it wisely.

We all have a great capacity to think critically and to improve our lives immensely, but most of the time, it’s dormant. That’s because it’s undeveloped. We can make it better with practice, just as we would when learning a musical instrument or sport.

Non-critical thinking is a habit that we’re not even mindful of most of the time. We sit, staring at a mindless program on television, playing mindless video games, or engaging in gossip or other pursuits that don’t require critical thinking. Deep down in our hearts, we know that we are spinning our wheels.

If you want to develop the traits of a critical thinker, know that you must study and research – then, put what you’ve learned into practice on a daily basis. It’s worth the effort. Your life and that of those you care about will be happier for it.

Remember, “If you don’t know your history, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

HOW TO CUT THROUGH THE NOISE – TEACHING OUR CHILDREN TO BE CRITICAL THINKERS

About 64 million Americans get their news from social media. The reliance on newspapers, radio, and television news segments has been diminished or disappeared. Even broadcasts advertised as the “breaking news” rely on panels of “experts” to relay information. The days of a journalist simply reporting the facts without attaching opinions are gone.

Our children probably rely on social media to an even greater degree. How can we teach them to cut through the noise, sift through the mire, and uncover the objective truth? I have a few suggestions.

VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE

Make it a point to watch and listen to many different stations and social media outlets. Show your children how different outlets and reporters present information. Do they show both sides of an issue? Are certain people and groups ignored? Tell children they need to hear and see both sides of an issue before judging it as authentic. Ask them if the information was reported fairly. Did they get the whole picture?

EVERY STORY HAS MANY ANGLES

Explain how different people look at the same situation differently. Use examples of how family members like different foods, play different sports and choose different friends. Even mom and dad sometimes argue about preferences. The same applies to news issues. Adults can choose different media outlets and reporters to illustrate how there can be a multitude of different views about the same topic in the news.

IS THAT A FACT?

Use everyday situations to illustrate the difference between a fact and an opinion. I am wearing a red shirt today. That is a fact. When you say, that red shirt is ugly, you are issuing your opinion. Facebook and Twitter are littered with opinions. What do people share or retweet? They share and comment on the opinions with which they strongly agree or disagree. Social media outlets do not report the news, they display the opinions of those followers who have decided to reject or endorse them. Children need to understand that reality does not coincide with the majority of social media opinions. Point of view on an issue does not necessarily make what is communicated true. In fact, the reality might be something completely different.

YOU BE THE JUDGE

Adults and children can have fun and learn a lot by analyzing the ads seen in print and on TV. Study that boring commercial and think deeply about the message that is being communicated. How are the actors dressed? What do their gestures tell you? What words do they use? Do they exaggerate the benefits of the product? How are they trying to manipulate you into buying something you don’t really need?

After doing this a few times, take what you learned and apply it to the commentators, reporters, and “expert panels” that you see reporting the news. You will learn a lot about how much opinion is introduced into what is being reported as factual news. This knowledge will go a long way in developing critical thinking skills that will benefit children as they mature and develop the life skills they will need in future careers.

SEEING IS NOT BELIEVING

It’s okay to be skeptical. In the world of modern technology in which we can press a button to order in minutes, see ourselves in virtual reality, and communicate with friends, family, and co-workers instantly, it has never been more important to be vigilant and careful. We worry about computer hackers but often neglect to train our own brains to filter out the noise and the mixed messages that seek to distract and deceive us.

BE SMART AND RESPONSIBLE

Watch this quick video to learn how.

Check out all my learning resources for the entire family at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

Subscribe to my YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVUU3m8cCeBUr2wxHAQi6Lw

%d bloggers like this: