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How to Develop Critical Thinking Skills
In most places, it is a common notion that one of the attributes of an intelligent person is the ability to think critically. However, some people may react and would not consider themselves intelligent; thus, they think they cannot develop critical thinking skills. The good news is anybody can develop his or her critical thinking skills because everyone is gifted with different kinds of intelligences.
According to scholars, the different intelligences are: multiple intelligences; logical-mathematical; spatial; linguistic; bodily-kinesthetic; musical; interpersonal; intrapersonal; naturalistic; and existential. It is believed that a person may have one or more of these intelligences. Consequently, every person is considered intelligent and therefore can develop his or her own critical thinking skills in any or all of the following ways: study or read a lot; hone the intellect by solving puzzles and quizzes; analyze, don’t just accept ideas; and think and practice meditation.
Study or Read a Lot
The ability to determine in one’s mind what is best from the good and the capacity to test every input of information before accepting or believing them are the obvious results of critical thinking. The best way known to humans for developing critical thinking is by studying or reading a lot. Finishing a college degree is not enough. As much as possible, be sure to make everyday a learning experience. By exercising your mind through reading and studying new concepts and ideas, you can develop critical thinking. There are actually a number of materials that you can choose from such as pursuing other fields of interest aside from your own profession.
Hone the Intellect by Solving Puzzles & Quizzes
Exercise your mind by solving problems, not only the real life problems. According to studies, there is a tendency for the brain to deteriorate when it is not used regularly in deep thinking and analysis. Therefore, when one solves puzzles and logical or abstract reasoning quizzes, the mind is put to action. In doing so, one becomes active mentally and is also able to learn more ideas as he or she becomes an active thinker. Some studies also show that people who often use their minds for mental activities are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Analyze, Don’t Just Accept Ideas
Now that ideas are easily accessed and are widespread through the internet and mass media, so much can be learned and acquired in so short a time. However, it is not wise to just accept anything that you hear or see; you have to examine them to see if they are valid, legal and true. Learn to analyze which things to accept and which are to be ignored. Remember, too much information can be overwhelming and confusing. There is therefore a need for your mind to screen and sift all information that you encounter everyday. In this way, you become wiser and more productive mentally as well as emotionally and physically.
Think & Practice Meditation
The most active form of developing critical thinking is through meditation. Meditation makes you exercise control of mind over matter. Your mind becomes an active place for several activities such as: cleansing of mind from rubbish which may lead to wrong actions and decisions; accepting healthy thoughts into the cleansed mind; and letting the good ideas come to work and change the way you think. A clear and healthy mind is only achieved through frequent meditation. Make it a regular part of your daily or weekly regimen and you will surely be surprised at the results.
Finally, although no two individuals are exactly the same, the ways of developing one’s critical thinking skills are all applicable to all types of people and personalities.
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