How to become a remarkable objective critical thinker, part 3, the characteristics

Here’s the bad side; nobody can make you a critical thinker. There’s nobody else that can do it for you, you have to learn how to do it and do it. It’s as easy as that. Still, there are some guidelines that are very useful to an ascending analytic mind. First of all, here are the most important characteristics of the objective thinker.

Credits: elephants are wonderful creatures, and we can learn much from them

Their mind and process of thinking seems complex and very hard to understand at first, but it follows some very simple guidelines and expands them to a whole web of subtler ideas. It’s this massive web of information and the repeted exercise of thinking that makes it easier for him to get to the right conclusion; this also means of course that he has the ability to analyze information.

He has the ability to adapt to new situations and uses his flexible mind to sort out order into even the most complicated things. Using simple guidelines and principles should by no means discourage you to be creative, or even more dangerous, encourage you to have a fixed mind. A rigid mind is an enemy you have to avoid.

He identifies facts and figures that don’t come out at a first glance. The quantity of the information processed is really important too, but what really makes the difference is quality. Knowing how to interpret a smile, the voice behind a statement or even knowing how to read between the lines is the difference between the right price and a buck short. Also, the one who asks just the right question and underlines the single most important aspect of something, is the best critical thinker.

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He’s confident and has faith in succeeding by himself; you should really be careful here, because confidence comes as a result of critical thinking, not the other way around. Things won’t go your way just because you think they will go your way. But if you see them going right, your confidence will be given a significant boost and this will make things even better for the future.

He has a good memory and has knowledge on many issues; once you tap into your inner critical thinker, you’ll understand the importance of it and I pretty much doubt you’ll want to give it up. You’ll learn more and more things, and by exercising your memory you’ll make it better; once you have a better memory, you’ll have more information to filter and so on. If you want to achieve this, you have to tune into your past memories and find similar experiences to which you are living. Another good exercise is thinking what would you do in a certain situation if you had the chance to do it again. Has your opinion changed?? Do you feel that you have a better understanding of the situation you’re in?? Those are just two of the questions you should answer affirmative to.

Credits: savoir vivre

He’s calm, and thinks about the future; of course panic and anxiety are enemies of the mind, and you should eliminate them wherever you can, as they bring nothing good. They’re only distractions. He’s very calculated and thinks about things in the long run as well.

He pretty much succeeds in everything he wants; this is the main objective, this is why it’s worth to be an objective thinker. It’s hard to believe, but you have to try it to believe it; you’ll probably find it hard to believe just how much the quality of your life can improve.

This is part 3 of Becoming a remarkable thinker
Parts 1, 2, 3, 4

How to become a remarkable objective critical thinker, part 4, starting and improving

Now that you know why you should why it’s important to think clearly and what a critical thinker shows, it’s important to know how you can start to develop this ability and how you can improve it. No subtle and crowning exercises here, just some basic tips to get you started.

Credits: “A man is not an orange. You can’t eat the fruit and throw the peel away”

The first thing you should do is refrain from acting by your first impulse

  • Why?? It’s simple: you’ll do things you’ll probably come to regret later. How many times haven’t you said or done something than regretted it, just because you were nervous?? Probably many times. It’s the first step in overcoming your instinctive atavic reactions.
  • How?? This is where it gets a bit more complicated, because first you have to be sure you’ve fully released yourself from whatever emotions you may feel, and then start thinking about what you have to do. If you can’t do that at first, try counting in your mind (no limit), drink a glass of water, or just take a short walk.
  • After that, it’s really important to synthetize the facts, eliminate what’s irrelevant and keep only what is useful as information, so you can analyze it. You could find this difficult, because sometimes it’s hard to draw the line as to what’s useful and what should be neglected, so don’t be discouraged if you make some mistakes at first. You’ll improve in time.

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    After you’ve synthetized the facts, it’s time to analyze. It’s the step which will lead you towards the decision and definitely the most complex one, so in order to employ some help for yourself and ask some questions, such as:

  • Are there any more facts I can aknowledge before I start analyzing?
  • Is there something that I’m missing?
  • How is this related to that?
  • What are the causes that led to this situation?
  • What’s most possible of happening and how can I prepare myself for that?
  • What other ideas back that other idea up?
  • What would happen if I did that?
  • Suppose this happens, what would happen after that?
  • What’s the best possible solution for this problem?
  • How would I test the possible outcome and make it better?
  • Of course these are just small samples, and you could think of some questions yourself, that would perhaps apply better to your situation.

    Upon analyzing, you have to think about the short, medium and long term implications. There’s a big chance you will be put into a situation which has short term benefits, but affects the long term progress, or the other way around. You have to try to anticipate what will happen and again think realistically about what the situation is and how you can adapt to it. There’s no reason for being optimist here, because it’s hard to say what will happen and how things will evolve, so it can’t hurt to be prepared for something.

    Another thing that you can do is ask some other people who could give you a different perspective. But that doesn’t mean that they are right, you should still rely on yourself and your judgements, but it’s sometimes refreshing to hear things from a different perspective. It’s why brainstorming relies on too.

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    After you’ve made the decision, you’re still not done yet. You have to prepare in case things don’t go your way; prepare for the bad things, because there’s no need to prepare for the good ones, is it?? That way if things go wrong, at least you’ll be prepared. All you’ve got to lose is some times, and you’ve got a lot to win.

    This is part 4 of Becoming a Remarkable Thinker
    Parts 1, 2, 3, 4.

    Here we are! – how to live in a collectivity

    People, when things go wrong
    As they sometimes will
    And the road you travel
    It stays all uphill
    Let’s work together
    ~Canned heat~

    Spending six or seven hours five days a week in a group of 20 or even more people can prove to be a little tricky sometimes as conflicts become something regular. Especially as we grow up, they tend to become more complex and relations can be easily influenced in a negative way. Of course, sometimes you feel that you can’t take it any more. It’s normal, but remember that by having the right attitude from the beginning, you will find the hours you spend with the others pleasant and even relaxing.
    1. When you are new in a group the best thing you can do is to meet the others, begin a conversation and introduce yourself. Still, try not to exaggerate and try to spend the first days noticing what the others like end dislike before getting too personal. Try to learn something about them before offending anyone by mistake. Try to keep the conversation neutral!
    2. Everyone has their own role in a group. One can be the clown, another one the hard-worker and so on. Try to be as balanced as possible and to create an image of yourself. You mustn’t expose very much, but try not to create a fake image of yourself; it won’t work. If you are not the party starter don’t try to act like one, it’s ok. This is who you are and you should not try to change it or lie about it.
    Continue reading

    Fight Your Phobias!

    You’re so afraid of what people might say
    But that’s okay cuz you’re only human
    You’re so afraid of what people might say
    But that’s okay you’ll soon get strong enough
    ~Nelly Furtado~

    Many people complain about having a phobia, but in reality, what they experience is a simple fear caused by the preservation instinct. A phobia is much more than this, as it’s irrational and can affect one’s life completely. But no matter how severe a phobia is, it’s not impossible to cure. However, this is not a matter of medication, as their effect lasts only for a short period of time, it’s a matter of will and of knowing yourself.
    Although there are strange fears such as the fear of snow, clocks, numbers or sitting which are less frequent, other fears such as the fear of being ridiculed, social phobias or the fear of failure can be found in many individuals.

    The Fear of Crowds And Open Spaces (Agoraphobia)

    It is experienced by quite a lot of people and even more claim to feel bad physically in such situations. It manifests itself through nausea, sickness and trembling but also psychologically through an unexplainable and very strong fear of traveling alone in a plane or bus or even of crossing a street or a bridge. Does this situation sound familiar? Don’t be ashamed! Therapy is not for mad people so don’t be afraid to talk to a specialist as soon as you’ve acknowledged you have a problem. Moreover, don’t let the others pamper you, so try to travel alone, at first on small distances and then more and more. It’s not impossible to fight your own fears! This fear can also be caused by childhood experiences so finding the exact cause can also help! Continue reading

    Monday again? No problem!

    Every other day, every other day,
    Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
    But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
    You can find me cryin’ all of the time
    ~The Mamas and the Papas~

    We all hate Mondays, that’s a fact. Just thinking about this day can cause head aches to any student or to anyone having a job. Maybe this is why this day is the least productive of the whole week. So how about a little change of attitude in order to be more successful?

    1. Remember that it’s all in your mind and the way you see this situation affects all your behavior. So don’t spend your Sunday thinking about the fact that you will start work again, that you’ll have classes and that it will be hard to do everything! Be positive and optimistic about it as there is nothing particularly scary about a Monday.

    2. Get yourself a head start – knowing that the second part of any Friday isn’t too productive you could use it to make a plan for the following week so that your Monday morning will be less agitated. Then, by cleaning your desk and arranging your papers you will find your Monday start a lot easier and you will improve your work. Continue reading

    Smoke free! 10 ways of giving up smoking for good!

    Nightmares made of hash dreams, the devil in my shoes
    What have I done wrong?
    Yeah nothing can go right with me it must be that i’ve been smoking too
    Long
    ~Placebo~

    What makes you start smoking again? Anger? Stress? Boredom? Tiredness? The first two are universally known to make people return to this bad habit. Each of these make you want to kill for a smoke, but cigarettes do nothing but to increase stress and to affect your health and even social relations. Learn to handle these situations and not to turn to cigarettes!
    1. Take care of yourself! By depriving your body of smoking, assure that it won’t suffer because of this. Try to have a balanced diet and choose healthy, nutritious food. Ask a specialist about what you should eat and about what you should avoid. Fresh fruits and vegetables should help you the most! Give good quality “fuel” to your body and drink more water to be hidrated. Avoid drinks which have too many chemicals as you need to purify your organism. Take vitamins as nicotine has emptied your body of nutrients, in order to recover faster. Still, ask your doctor for a recommendation!
    2. Give up caffeine! Drinking coffee in a time like this might make you nervous even angry so try reducing the quantity of coffee you drink every day. Even a simple coke can have unsuspected effects so you may even give up on it totally for a while. These two habits are usually associated so you may gain a lot more by forgetting about both of them!
    3. Take a warm bath! It’s an excellent way to relax and to get rid of stress. Add just a little salt and it will be perfect! Relax and think about something pleasant. A little time spent like this everyday may bring even more benefits to both your body and mind.
    4. Have a massage! If you can’t go to a specialist or you don’t have the time for that ask a friend or your partner to help you with that. You will also have time for a little chat and you will forget about how much you need a cigarette. Keep this habit in the future too as it’s pleasant and useful. Remember: even 15 minutes can do miracles! Continue reading

    Different degrees of honesty and one exemple for each

    And the reason for my confession is that I learn my lesson
    And I really think you ought to know the truth
    Because I lied and I cheated and I lied a little more
    But after I did it I don’t know what I did it for
    I admit that I have been a little immature

    ~Black Eyed Peas – Don’t lie~

    I try to be as sincere as I can and I strongly believe that sincerity is the key for solving most of humanity’s problems. If only Adam hadn’t lied to God … or for the ones less religious, if only politicians wouldn’t lie so much!

    VIA

    But there are too many complicated situations to tell only the truth. You have to be diplomat, not to hurt the people you love or to get that raise that will allow you to buy a new shiny car. So we arrive to dr. House’s “Everybody lies” (you really should watch that show). Yes, but what’s the measure? When to tell the truth and when it’s safe to tell a lie? Another of my strong beliefs is that equilibrium brings us one step closer to happiness. In this case, it’s all about balance between truth and lie.

    But you can’t say there’s only truth; there are big lies, lies, little lies, joking, truth, the big truth. Continue reading

    8 DONT’s at a business party

    Whoa! I feel nice, like sugar and spice
    I feel nice, like sugar and spice
    So nice, so nice, I got you
    ~James Brown~

    A party at your working place might very well turn out to be really boring. However, it can also be a very good opportunity to have fun or it can be very useful – creating new relationships with coworkers is almost always a good thing. Still, be careful about having TOO much fun; you don’t want to be that drunk guy dancing on the table, nor the girl stripping by the boss! If you’re not sure what to do in order to avoid embarrassing situations, these following tips are definitely a good start:

    1. Don’t drink too much!

    Photo by steele_chas

    Alcohol will make you lose your inhibitions and will change your behavior. Even if you think it can’t affect you a glass of wine or a cocktail should be enough. Remember, perception is everything so you should not create a bad impression about yourself!

    2. Be careful about interactions!

    Even if a party might show you another side of your colleagues, try to ignore the new feelings as they can lead to disaster! Also try not to act provocative in order to be respected. If you’re in a … really good relationship with a coworker of the opposite sex, displaying yourself at your workplace is not something you’d want to do, especially at a party.

    3. Don’t wear provocative clothes!

    If you would not wear something on another occasion then don’t wear it now. Be elegant and try to attract attention only by your style and not by bad taste. Also, especially for women, provocative clothes at business parties always create an unwanted image for you. Continue reading

    What should I do to succeed, part 1: fixing goals

    Yo, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want,
    So tell me what you want, what you really really want

    ~Spice Girls – Wannabe ~

    Apart from tones of hours of work and a little bit of luck, one important ingredient in the success’ recipe is organization – fix your objectives, divide your project on steps and work hard. I’m the adept of planing stuff – how to spend my money, what to visit in holiday, how to get the job I want? I admit, I prefer to organize the most pleasant activities (but I’m working at that) and I’m working in the last minute for the assignments I don’t like, but if I want to change that I strongly believe that only a good schedule can save me.

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    But what’s a good schedule, what are its characteristics? Many projects, interesting in idea, fail in the end because of the organization. Maybe you think that an enterprise’s strategy is completely different from the home management, but both are governed by the same rules – only the context is different.

    And so I arrive at the first point in setting goals – evaluate your situation. In order to obtain something in future it’s very important to know exactly your position. What are your advantages and what are your disadvantages? What can you use? There are people you can count on? What kind of resources you have and how many? Be honest when you answer at all these questions, if you don’t evaluate right the context you have less chances in achieving your goals. This and knowing as accurate as you can what do you want are the main two qualities of purposes.

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    So the next step after you know your situation is to question yourself about what do you really want? What’s really important for you and what you can give up to? Set your priorities! The science of economy considers that the needs of humanity are unlimited whereas the resources are limited. You know your resources, how will you spend them? What are you willing to renounce to in order to get what you want? Don’t forget to answer sincere to not be disappointed afterwards. Here is good to fix some limits too. Don’t renounce at all your free time for your job, don’t sacrifice all your economies for a trip, even if it’s around the world, don’t forget about your friends for a girl/boy you’ve just met!

    Now you know what you want and what’s your situation. How should you get where you want? There is short term and long term and you have already an image of your long term. Divide your idea on steps. Fix an amount of time and money for each step. Leave yourself the possibility of error but try to do a realistic estimation. Work a lot if you want to make your dreams come true. Motivate yourself from once in a while – take short breaks (1-2 days) from your activity or relax a bit and admire your realizations. Your goals must be reachable. Everyone wants to fly but they don’t make a goal out of this simply because … it’s not possible. Concentrate on realistic purposes.

    Credits photo

    Another think I should talk about is the schedule’s trap – if it’s written down it doesn’t mean it has to be that way. You have set your goals and you can reset them. Leave some space for innovation and for improvisation. Enjoy the moment and … good luck in living your dreams!

    Taking chances vs not taking chances

    Photo by Giorgio Tomassetti

    He deals the cards to find the answer
    The sacred geometry of chance
    The hidden law of probable outcome
    The numbers lead a dance
    ~Sting – Shape of My Heart~

    Whether you believe in fate or that you totally make your life, you have to agree that what decisions you make decide who you are. It’s paradoxical in a way, but sometimes your decisions decide for you. There’s no magic recipe for making the right decisions or something like that; the huge (or not so huge) amount of things you have to take into consideration when making a decision has to be analyzed, and most of the time there’s no right decision, and usually two appear: one that’s more daring, and the other one that’s more conservative.

    Photo by Eduardo Cavasotti

    Making the right call every time is not possible; making the right call as most of the times as possible… that’s the point. Have you ever watched House MD ? If not, you really should. A significant part of the show is aimed at finding the right diagnosis of a certain patient, through more or less orthodox means. House (the main character) almost always takes chances; but the chances he takes are always (or almost always) less riskier than not taking a chance would be.

    House MD. Photo by mabe85

    These days you see a lot of people who haven’t become as good as they could have, simply because they were afraid to follow their dream. On the other hand, you see a lot of waitresses who wanted to be actresses. So where do you stand? Myself, I’m a believer in taking chances. But not crazy 1 in a million chances – I’m talking about calculated, logical risks where the positive outcome has realistic chances of happening. Taking a chance just for the sake of it… may make you feel good for a while, but it won’t last and the odds are you’ll regret it. If you really believe you can win based on logical arguments, then you should go for it. There are some things that could help you remove obstacles from achieving that:

  • Don’t think about what others think. It’s always good to listen to other opinions, but if they come from strangers you can’t trust them, and if they come from people you trust they’re biased, which makes them useless. So listen carefully whenever somebody tells you something that could influence your decision – rely on somebody other than yourself only when you’re 100% sure it’s the right thing to do.
  • Put the good and the bad in balance. Even when you’re sure you’re going to make the right call and things will come out your way, think about something to do even if it doesn’t go how you estimated.
  • Have a backup plan. This is extremely useful when you’re going to take risks. The more risks you fail, the more you will win; or lose. Or both ! When you lose, it’s better to have a backup plan so you can rebound and take a risk another day.
  • Nobody wants mediocrity; if you don’t live your life to the fullest, you’ve practically wasted it. So get your priorities straight and whatever it is you want to get… go get it! There’s no tomorrow, there’s no next time.
  • Photo by AksZindagi

    Still… the coin has two sides. For example, for every aspiring actor that actually got to the carreer he wanted, there’s 19 others that didn’t. Number don’t lie. Also, even when you’re sure you can achieve your goal, your senses could be deceived and the fall from a dream is really painful. Also, when in pursuit of a dream, breaking away from reality is quite possible, and it should be avoided… because most of the times it will only mean a harder fall.

    Whenever you choose to take or not to take a risk, you define yourself, because you’re not making a singulary decision, but you’re going towards the same decision you’re always going to make in this sort of situation.This depends on your personality and your case, but you shouldn’t be influenced by something else other than that. Again, a calculated risk is definitely the way to go, at least that’s how it seems for me. What about you?