More than just a concept, effective thinking is a real-life model upon which you can build a successful life. It is a complete system that focuses on the ability to follow logical steps for arriving at a decisive and appropriate conclusion. While growing up, people are seduced into the thinking that only brilliant thinkers can have an effective thinking ability. Well, there can be genetic exceptions but just as any skill, this can be learnt too.
If you want to become a more informed and a reasoned decision maker, you need to adopt seven of the learning habits:
Understand on a deeper level:
When you are faced with a complex issue, develop the habit of not touching the complicated parts first. Instead, first understand the simple ideas and reach it to a deeper level. Be honest about the information you get. Then find out what is missing, fill the gaps, and then look at the bigger picture. Do not just rely on accepting or rejecting a process, clear your mind from the clutter, let go of the prejudice, bias, and the preconceived notions.
Be open to mistakes:
You cannot reach success in the true sense if you do not embrace failures openly. Mistakes are a great way to learn and to stay more informed. You may consider your understanding as accurate but the mistakes will tell you where the gaps are and how you can cover them up before anything worse happens. Therefore, mistakes are important in your life as they guide you and show you the way forward.
Thinking becomes effective once you develop the habit of asking questions. When you are confronted with a problem, understand it from the basic level and ask appropriate questions to broaden your perspective. You will realize great ideas emerging in your mind as you ask more questions and understand better what you are up to.
Keep track of the ideas:
Ideas cannot be of any advantage unless you follow them through. You need to keep a track of the initial ideas and then following them through complicated ones. Once you start following each and every idea, they will lead you to a bigger picture. In this way your understanding of smaller things will get you to attain a better payoff.
Just like changing moods and behaviors, ideas also change. You need to learn to be able to understand these changes and extract more out of each one. As you will understand the changes, you will get a more refined thinking pattern. This will help you to reap the advantages of your education and the knowledge that you have gained so far.
Question the basic assumptions:
When you are thinking about a problem, it is easy to get involved in assumptions. If you consider it generally, assuming things make a situation more complicated. But in order to make your thinking more effective, you need to develop the habit of questioning the assumptions that arise in your mind. If you question your assumptions, critically evaluate the beliefs about what is appropriate, it will help you find a way out of the problem.
Try reversing things:
You might have come across the “chicken and egg problem”, it is a classic example on understanding how to reverse things and get an answer. With the example of chicken and egg, it is obvious that the chicken had to come first to lay the eggs but it makes you think where did the chicken come from. Consider reversing your problems and understanding their path, it will definitely give you a path to finding a solution.
Learning to think carefully will help you both in personal as well as professional life. If you develop the habit of thinking effectively, there will be always a lot to learn along the lifelong journey.