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Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Benefits of Critical Thinking and Self-Awareness

Naturally each of us holds bias in the way we think about and understand the world around us. Critical thinking is a process of thinking about thinking using our meta-cognitive abilities in ways that ensure we understand how our thinking impacts our conclusions. Being self-aware of our own thoughts and needs creates higher order thinking that leads to better final conclusions.

Almost all human beings have blind spots in their thinking that damages their ability to think critically about issues. Many of these blind spots come from memories, feelings and identity that lead to a particular way we view the world and formulate an understanding of our being. For the vast  majority of the world, we are stuck in a vicious cycle of bias where we self-confirm our being in nearly all of our conclusions.

That makes us poor critical thinkers seemingly doomed to always push our personal beliefs and fallacies onto each situation. Only when we are able to used critical thinking to weigh and explore alternative explanations can we uncover all the possible solutions and make the best possible decision. Without critically evaluating all alternatives we can make no worthwhile judgement.

To see all the alternatives for each situation means we must be aware of ourselves so that we do not discard those explanations we hold personal and emotional judgement over. Wise decision makers have knowledge of themselves and knowledge of the possibilities in any problem to make proper evaluations. They can use their meta-cognitive abilities to manage their thought processes.

Critical thinking can help us in many ways in our lives. Whether we are deciding to buy an expensive product, pondering an important family affair, or settling on a belief critical thinking can help us make the right choices for us. When each decision leads to a beneficial outcome our entire lives can become defined by our many choices. Success is created by those who are self-aware enough to use critical thinking skills to their maximum benefit.

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