Do you think critically?

With all the uproar that is taking place due to the newly elected President taking office, I came across an infographic that reminded me to sharpen my critical thinking skills.  What exactly is critical thinking?  According to dictionary.com critical thinking is defined as “disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence.”  It is a skill that must be practiced daily.  The foundation of critical thinking is built upon six different components.

Who

Who will benefit?  Who will be harmed by it?  Who is making the decision?  Who will be directly affected?  Who could I ask for a further explanation?  Who may be trying to deceive me?  Who may be attempting to enlighten me?

What

What are the strengths and weaknesses?  What is the other side of the argument?  What is another view of the issue?  What is the best/worst case scenario?  What is getting in the way of action?  What is important?

Where

Where are their similar situations and concepts?  Where is the most need for this?  Where can I gather additional information?  Where will this idea take us?  Where are the areas for the greatest improvement?

When

When would this cause a problem? When is this a benefit?  When is the best time to take action?  When has this played a part in history? 

Why

Why is this a challenge?  Why is it relevant to me or others?  Why does this influence people?  Why should people be aware of this?  Why have we allowed this to happen?  Why is there a need for this?

How

How is this similar to other situations and circumstances?  How does this benefit myself or others?  How does this disrupt things? How do I know this is true?  Very relevant in today's culture of constant streaming information.  How will we view this in the future? 

This type of thinking requires much energy.  That is why it is important to shape it into a habit.  I am going to keep this list close by and review it daily.  I no longer wish to be a slave to old patterns of thinking.  Believe does not mean truth.  In other words, just because I may hold a belief doesn't mean that it is true. 

Until Next Week,

Rich Decker – Mindful Accord

Rich Decker