October 28, 2014

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right."

October 21, 2014

Becoming a Critic of Your Thinking by Dr. Linda Elder & Dr. Richard Paul

A nice article, posted at the Critical Thinking Society, gives hints on how to examine your thinking critically. Here is my summary:

Poor thinking inevitably causes problems, wastes time and energy, and engenders frustration and pain.

Critical thinking is the disciplined art of ensuring that you use the best thinking you are capable of in any set of circumstances. To maximize the quality of your thinking, you must learn how to become an effective critic of your thinking. Consider the following ideas which, when applied, result in a mind practicing skilled thinking:
  1. Clarify your Thinking - Be on the lookout for vague, fuzzy, formless, blurred thinking. Try to figure out the real meaning of what people are saying. Explain your understanding of an issue to someone else to help clarify it in your own mind.
  2. Stick to the Point - Be on the lookout for fragmented thinking, thinking that leaps about with no logical connections. Don't allow your mind to wander to unrelated matters. Don't allow others to stray from the main issue.
  3. Question Questions - Be on the lookout for questions. Listen to how people question, when they question, and why they fail to question. Look closely at the questions asked. Routinely ask questions in order to deal with the world around you. Question the status quo.
  4. Be Reasonable - Be on the lookout for reasonable and unreasonable behaviors. Listen to what people say and look closely at what they do. Notice when you are unwilling to listen to other's views, when you simply see yourself as right and them as wrong. Identify times when people use language that makes them appear reasonable, though their behavior proves otherwise.
One of the hallmarks of a critical thinker is the disposition to change one's mind when given good reason to change. Good thinkers can be moved by reason- they want to change their thinking when they discover better thinking.

October 14, 2014

"I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions."

"Either you run the day, or the day runs you."

October 7, 2014

Thinking in New Boxes by Alan Iny

Here I quickly summarize a great little 5-point strategy for solving any issue, as presented by Alan Iny in his book, "Thinking in New Boxes: A New Paradigm for Business Creativity":
  1. Doubt Everything. Question all aspects of the problem.
  2. Research. Gather any relevant data and use it to refine the problem.
  3. Generate Ideas. Spend a day doing exercises such as imagining joint ventures and coming up with specific words to describe your company. Use those new perspectives to brainstorm for solutions.
  4. Introduce Reality. Take the best solutions and apply constraints. Choose the best idea.
  5. Implement, and Re-evaluate Relentlessly. Ideas are time-stamped. Foster and environment of healthy doubt. Return to Step 1 as needed.