How does one think with a critical mind and how does one problem solve?
When we are looking from the perspective of cognitive psychology, it has been said that “what you think is what you feel.” This makes sense doesn’t it? If I am thinking an angry thought, I will in turn feel angry…Let us read on…
Some often think that what you feel is what you think, the complete opposite of the statement above, in actuality the truth is that your feelings are the direct results of your thoughts. It may be hard to differentiate between these two once the process has begun, but persevere…It will prove to be beneficial.
This statement, once you have actualized it and incorporated this into your consciousness can be frightening and also freeing. It is frightening because is demands that we are personally responsible for our actions and thoughts and feelings, and also can be freeing because it gives us the chance to realize we have a choice in what we choose to think, how we choose to feel and what we choose to do in our actions.
When we realize that we have the choice of what we think, feel and do, we can then have more control about our experiences in our lives. Often we don’t think we have control over certain aspects of our lives and this is what limits us. If we can open to the idea that this isn’t true, this will in turn advance our decisions and how we make them. The result will be that we will lead lives that produce great results!
There is no need to insult or analyze our current feelings, it just gives us a chance to make decisions in a different manner. We have the chance to use our right brain and left brain in the decision making process. When we respond with a critical mind, our outcomes will be different than if, let’s say I make a rash decision to move out of the country without appropriate funding. Obviously, I may suffer due to the fact that I didn’t use critical thinking and think out the issue from the beginning to the end… It is known when we make decisions based on rash emotions, it can often backfire.. Unless, we are talking about the topic of love. Which for all important issues, we are not! Love can be a sticky issue. Let us focus on problem solving.
What does it look like to think with a critical mind and in a manner that one uses problem solving methods? Let me stake out a few steps for you to go over:
- Choose to use reason instead of feelings. Reason will benefit you, emotions will have the chance to inhibit your success only because there is little movement in the feeling process. Actions will tell a great deal
- Use a wide range of viewpoints in your evaluation; With every issue there will always be many viewpoints from which place you can see many outcomes
- Be open to new viewpoints, and findings around every corner there are always new answers
- Be accepting and review your findings: Don’t shy away from possible solutions and assess them
- Push aside your viewpoints and biases: it is not helpful to be closed minded or biased when using critical thinking and problem solving methods
- Be open to all possibilities with reason involved: that’s all possibilities within good reason!
- Do not make rash decisions: Slow and steady wins the race……and a good thought out answer often produces a great result! If you approach an issue from beginning to end incorporating many possible outcomes, you will be well prepared for the situation at hand.
Problem Solving in a Critical Thinking manner:
- Define the issue: Does a problem truly exist? It is a misunderstanding? Clearly define the issue. State both pros and cons
- Use different perspectives to assess the problem: can this issue be solved? Is this a real issue or fabricated? Do you need assistance in solving the issue? Often, if you approach an issue from different perspectives, you can often solve it. One might also find an answer when doing this process
- List many different potential answers: You can brainstorm to come up with many options to your issue at hand. Write it all out, and then fine tune the options to pin point the best options. When you have many choices for a possible outcome, it will make it easier to accomplish the problem.
- Match the best answer to the issue: All sorts of issues require different answers. What might work for one many not work for the other issues. Find the most suitable answer to your current issue. Find the time to match the best answer to the problem.
- Make it happen! Take the necessary steps to achieve your goal. Put your chosen answer in to affect! There is an answer for every issue, even if the answer is to accept that there is a problem that can not be solved and move forward….
- If you move toward the issue as an opportunity, instead of seeing it as an unsolvable problem, you can use your critical thinking and you can solve the issue.
When you conquer your problem, it is widely known that this action in itself will aid in increasing your self esteem, worth and confidence. Try it today.
With all these ideas mentioned, it only seems rational to implement them into our daily lives. In order to accomplish a task, first define the issue at hand, is it solvable? If so, go through the different steps listed above and incorporate them into your decision making process as you move forward towards accomplishing your goal that’s on the table. Then implement your skills and get ready for success!
We hope we have been helpful for you here. Here’s to your success! Just remember, a thought and feeling are really two different things and they sure can effect each other without us realizing it. Just make sure to use rational, critical thinking and you will be fine!