Critical Thinking – Making Critical Thinking Work For You

At university, you will often be taught how to think critically, apply logic, demonstrate, rationalize, argue, identify or analyze. Such lessons give you the opportunity to practice your critical thinking skills and engage your ‘creative spirit.’

In fact, many of the greatest leaders in history were considered by some to be critical thinkers, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Einstein and Mother Teresa. This ability to critically think and apply logic to situations is a vital tool for success in this day and age. Unfortunately, there are many who would argue that the ability to do these things is a sign of a weakness of character, lack of ambition or lack of intelligence. Those individuals who argue such a view fail to realize that a strong critical thinker can be both highly intelligent and very motivated.

Critical thinking is about discovering truth. This means that when you engage in critical thinking, you will often be looking for information and evidence that support your own view of what is true. If you are unable to clearly identify and support a view you hold, then you have failed at your objective and are not a logical or analytical thinker. You have merely been exposed to biased information.

Critical thinking is about being able to apply logic to different situations, in order to make a proper analysis of the facts, circumstances and/or individuals who are the subject of your questioning. In this regard, a critical thinker will often be required to think about many different angles of a situation before arriving at an answer. For example, a salesperson may be asked, “How much should I charge for my product?” The salesperson may want to fully understand the customer’s needs and wants, but is at risk of not coming up with a firm answer.

Another important consideration in this regard is how to assess a situation. Many people have difficulty answering questions like this because they are unsure of the answer they need to provide. However, if you are willing to take time and work on it, you will find that this type of question can help you come up with an answer that you know is right for the situation.

There is no better way to test your ability to think critically than to try it yourself. You may even find that you enjoy doing this because it helps to hone your thinking ability, as well as it challenges your assumptions and allows you to think in new ways.

As you can see, being a critical thinker requires a lot of effort and determination. It takes the kind of self-reflection that is necessary to help develop your ‘creative spirit.’ This can be very rewarding. Just remember, however, that the results you achieve will likely be highly critical.

So what can you do to further cultivate your creative spirit? Take a course, or enroll in a class or workshop that introduces you to critical thinking. Learn how to work within a group and practice your critical thinking skills to see if it works for you. You may also find that you are challenged to become more aware of situations where you might not necessarily agree with what you are being presented with.

Finally, be aware that even those with the best critical thinking skills are not immune to getting in the way of others in the process of doing their jobs. Remember, they are people who must communicate and they have to think of solutions in order to do their jobs.

While being a critical thinker is definitely a part of being a great human being, don’t expect to solve all of the problems or even most of them. Of course, there are many cases when you will be able to get the answer that you are seeking without having to use your analytical skills. But, if you are truly serious about honing your critical thinking abilities, you can’t forget to practice them in other areas as well.

Challenging things like this and learning how to identify good and bad solutions can certainly help you. Even if you never solve all of your problems, you will become better at knowing how to look at situations and problems in a fresh and different way.