Understanding critical thinking and why it is important for success and fame
Nia Bennett | Feb, 19 2020
In simple terms, critical thinking is when you make up your own mind, rationally evaluate a situation and come to a logical, well-informed conclusion. Sounds easy, but a lot of us actually fail to do this on a day to day basis.
In a technology-obsessed world, information of all kinds is fed to us on an everyday basis. The minute we wake up, we are drowning in information on social media channel, Facebook alerts, Instagram posts, news feeds, Twitter messages etc. Our brain is loaded with all kinds of information we do not need and we subconsciously feed everything being delivered to our brain both offline and online.
How problem-solving has changed since social media
Before the internet and search engines became mainstream, one had to find ways to solve problems on their own. We would have either resorted to actual research, reading a book or going to a library to find information. Our natural instinct would be to rack our brains to solve any sort of problems, whether they were life problems or any other kinds of difficulty or trouble. Since Google, the solution to almost every problem is at the edge of our finger types. Anything can be “looked up” or “searched” to get an instant answer thus reducing our cognitive ability.
Do you think some of the greatest thinkers, scientists, writers, philosophers, surgeons, historians, musicians, artists or anyone renowned in their field became iconic by looking up things on the internet?
They thought they mulled, they analysed, problem solved and found solutions which led them to their eureka moment. If you need, crave, desire success or fame, you need to rely on your brain, learn, think, deduce and use critical thinking to make them happen.
How can I use critical thinking and become better at problem-solving
To train your brain to make critical thinking a natural process, you have to learn to absorb information and then give yourself enough time to understand how that information is relevant to you.
As we mentioned before, we are surrounded by the information we do not need. To train your mind to become a better problem solver and to be a success, only take information that is necessary, useful or beneficial for your individual growth.
When you access the information on the internet, you are only seeing, you are not soaking it in.
The first step to enable critical thinking is to soak relevant information. Pay attention to details and ask yourself how relevant is that news to you personally.
Ask yourself is learning about particular news/story adding to your growth, your skills, your knowledge in a way that it will add to your success? If not, immediately dissociate with it and move on to something that is useful.
How to identify information and decode what is useful to me
Every message, either on social media, news or printed in magazines has an agenda. It is to sell you something. Even if they are not selling an actual consumer durable, it is still a product or a service. Everything around us is trying to sell us something, tv channels want you to stay tuned in so their network makes money, stores want you to buy things you don’t need to ensure they are in business, people sell you services so they can make money off you. There is no hiding from this, we all need something. We are not telling you to avoid shopping, we are asking you to actively think before buying or participating in something.
Find out what the real motive of the person trying to sell you something. It is something you like, engage in it or buy it. But if it luring you to do something that you otherwise wouldn’t do or need - then walk away.
The key to critical thinking is to analyse. Your needs are very different from your friends, your neighbours, your partner, your parents. We are all unique individuals with unique minds, desires and passions - try to question things, take paths that others wouldn’t take. Don’t do it to rebel, do it because taking the offbeat path is what’s perfect for you.
All the great leaders, philosophers, writer or people with extraordinary talent only got there because of their ability to question, deduce and act based on what they thought was perfect for them. Being brave, following your heart, putting the effort, challenging things and finding unique solutions is what will help you be successful and unique, just the way you are.