How to be a “Critical Thinker”…?

First of all, what exactly is “critical thinking”?  I suggest ‘critical thinking’ can be trying to understand or explain a challenging thought that the makes the thinker go beyond his/her comfort zone and dig as deep as he/she can.  Thinking critically is not simple or easy but takes a lot of concentration and energy.  Everybody “thinks” all the time; you’re thinking as you’re reading this and I’m thinking right now as I’m writing this.  Just thinking is easy and natural, but critically thinking is challenging yourself.

So how do I know if I’m critical thinker?  Is it if I’m good at answering questions and making up new ideas, or understanding theories?  Well to make it easy I’ll sum it up in a few characteristics of critical thinkers:

  • Use reason and logic
  • Ask questions
  • Use strageties and techniques to be as precise as possible
  • Acknowledge and avoids bias, prejudices and personal opinions
  • Approaches idea from all different perspectives
  • Are openminded
  • Have doubt (you can’t be too naive!)

If you do all this when you explore new thoughts, I declare you a critical thinker! Congratulations! 🙂

Now let me think; am I a critical thinker? Hmmmm…..I believe I am….well, most of the time.  People tell me I’m a logical person and I think so too.  But being reasonable is not easy all the time since we, as humans, many of the time let our emotions get the better of ourselves.  But I want to be rational and right.  I want to be known as a deep and wise critical thinker.  So what can I do for myself to become a better developed thinker?  I think the biggest issue for me is to try to look from different point of views and not just my own.  It will help me to understand whatever I am analyzing with more detail and interest.  Then it’ll be more fun for me too.

Sources: http://www.criticalreading.com/critical_thinking.htm

http://philosophy.hku.hk/think/critical/ct.php

Picture source: http://www.google.ca/imgres?um=1&hl=en&sa=N&biw=1280&bih=653&tbm=isch&tbnid=FRzZtEK7WzTUJM:&imgrefurl=http://cte.uwaterloo.ca/teaching_resources/tips/promoting_and_assessing_critical_thinking.html&docid=NcnfYKVpK_RlNM&imgurl=http://cte.uwaterloo.ca/media/images/generic/Promoting%252520and%252520Assessing%252520Critical%252520Thinking.jpg&w=299&h=311&ei=JpNSUI_2OOTbigKp4YDQBg&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=1&sig=102392505531657465269&page=1&tbnh=128&tbnw=127&start=0&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:4,s:0,i:138&tx=994&ty=275

A thought on History

Writing history is like trying to nail jelly to the wall.” -William Hesselline

What is the message?

I believe the author is trying to convey that like how nailing jelly to a wall will fail, trying to control what happens in your life and the world will not work either.  The world will not always listen to you and life will not go exactly as planned.  Therefore there is no point in trying; just accept it.

What does it mean to me?

To me this quote is a reminder of the undeniable reality of our lives and this world.  I agree with Hesselline because I acknowledge the fact that the world does not revolve around me and my life is not something I can fully control.  It gives me a kind of encouragement to try my best to adapt to my situations and be flexible about it.  It also reminds me of this famous line from the movie, Forrest Gump:

Why is it worth knowing?

It is a good quote to remember especially in a situation where things don’t go as planned and people feel discouraged.  It reminds people that most unpleasant surprises and changes are something beyond their control and happens to everyone.  Although William Hesselline sounds cynical, cynical people are needed in this world to keep everyone aware of reality.

This is a link to a blog post that I think can be of help to people who want to learn how to accept and adapt to the world:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-tsilimparis/extreme-acceptance-the-x-_b_1001708.html