Critical Thinking- Make an informed choice.

We all know the term Critical thinking but do we all apply and think in all different scenarios. Is it required to apply in all things? I used to apply and questions certain things only when it comes to certain important decisions like parenting, career or choosing a good college/university for my daughters or where money was concerned. When it comes to certain values, tradition or belief system we do not question much even though I do not agree with it sometimes. But is it always necessary to question even if it affects certain relationships.Is it wrong to follow certain traditions. Sometimes we just operate with our biases, without thinking. In this workshop I realised, you can still operate or take decisions based on your biases or relations but it important  to question or analyse your thoughts critically to make an informed decision.

Critical thinking needs high order thinking and that it is an important tool for our learning process.

Puppet of our emotions

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“Whether we like it or not, we are puppets of our emotions. We make complex decisions by consulting our feelings, not our thoughts. Against our best intentions, we substitute the question, “What do I think about this?” with “How do I feel about this?” So, smile! Your future depends on it.”

― Rolf Dobelli, The Art of Thinking Clearly

This is isn’t a surprise to all, but we fail to be objective while we are making choices, even the most basic ones, what to eat, how to eat, when to eat and how much to eat. Turn around and you could cite various incidences in Diwali vacation where your emotions  hijacked thinking skills, forget critical thinking skills and you blame vacation, friends, family for your weight gain or indigestion issues. 

So with me, I would get easily influenced by someone who is knowledgeable, highly qualified, or someone who is well read as an authority. When I tracked my beliefs behind my choices, I realised that my culture and my upbringing was the root cause to condition my behaviour which made me such a dependent person who would always look up to superiors for affirmation and suggestions. I did not learn how to fish, and hence was hungry everyday, the knowledgeable person fished for me and I enjoyed ready made fish. Completely lazy to evaluate information or thoughts, my thought process was on a vacation, as my expert had already done the detailed research, I was only required to follow the path laid  by the superior. Bhai! kyo itni hazamat karni? I had the option to cooly put all the responsibility on the shoulder of the expert if the outcome is not favourable. Why to employing critical thinking skills? “Taayar bhojan khaoo” 

 So I came to realise this flaw in my approach and my attitude when I took up financial investments as a Goal. There I bumped into another bias and a very common one, gender bias.. all male members of my family, Father, Father in law , husband and brother were financial experts and their decisions related to future planning, investments were well thought and unchallenged. 

Bugging colleagues, guest speakers, and snatching every possible opportunity to learn about finance and investments got the best over me. My questions were received with scepticism, at times. The struggle is still on as the ones involved are my close ones and where family and relationship are involved, being puppet of emotions is common.

Similarly, I would also take IB workshop leaders as intellectual entity, and what they shared was taken word to word (tathasthu) without giving much thought. For me it was, ” yeh karna, hai and yeh nahi karna hai. Bol diya toh baas bol diyya”.There was no grey area, everything was black and white.  Over a period of time, I realised the flaw, It did not happen overnight, not till I took responsibility for my thinking. However it is still WIP. (work in progress) 

“Patience is indeed a virtue.”

― Rolf Dobelli, The Art of Thinking Clearly


Critically to think

My prior knowledge of critically thinking was during any discussion or decision making first I looked things very deeply as I want nothing should go wrong. I take out points what if not, negative most of the time. This leads to multiple thoughts whether I should go ahead or not and some where emotional  aspects were also affecting. This affected my decision making. I cannot make decision.. I generally used to get affected by people. Generally I ask others to help out to make any small decision also. I was lacking in finding out or generating evidences why it makes me say that thing or feel that way. I was not able to give or put my logical arguments against it. With help of this critically thinking classes I started  slowly looking for  strong evidences, reasonable logical arguments and then try to make decision.


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