7 Habits of Highly Effective Thinkers

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in my last essay we discussed the

importance of critical thinking now it's

time to answer the trillion dollar

question how do you become a critical

thinker I should reiterate that I am

talking about critical thinking in the

sense that it is a personality trait and

not a skill the tendency to think

critically about the world emerges from

having the proper character traits

I think the following traits serve as a

good starting point open and fair

mindedness inquisitiveness flexibility a

propensity to seek reason a desire to be

well-informed and a respect for and

willingness to entertain diverse


Emily Lai Pearson assessments there is

no quick hack to becoming a critical

thinker but there are some habits that

one can build to alter their character

in the right direction habit number one

read a lot and read widely exposing

yourself to unique points of view is a

good way to spark constant curiosity and

to stay open-minded well-read people

understand that there are multiple ways

to look at a problem and multiple lenses

with which to view the world habit

number two don't jump to conclusions a

good critical thinker has built up the

habit of not jumping to conclusions

especially in the absence of data they

only make a judgement once they have

studied a topic in some depth and can

justify their position with sound

reasoning habit number three create

systems not goals for example creating a

system habit or ritual that promotes

writing every day is more effective than

setting the goal of writing an essay a

week a system can be measured refined

and optimized a goal cannot I can work

on the inputs of my system to create

better quality and quantity of outputs a

goal only focuses on the outputs to

improve the quality of my writing I

created checklist that I can run through

after completing each essay every time I

use my system I create better essays

with every essay I finish I go back and

refine my system it's a feedback loop

that can be measured and improve

habit number four argue with yourself

great thinkers routinely and

intelligently try to counter their own

arguments they go back and forth until

only the most rational and strongest

argument exists based on the knowledge

they have this is also the mission of

any good scientists the scientist tries

to prove themselves wrong not right when

they continually fail to do so it's very

likely that only the truth remains habit

number five be willing to change your

opinion be unattached to information

have the willingness to change an

opinion in the face of better data habit

number six right writing is thinking the

better we get at writing the better we

get at thinking writing also helps us

separate what we actually know from what

we think we know habit number seven seek

adversity this one is controversial but

I believe it's the most powerful the

main reason schools fail to teach

critical thinking is because they don't

create the optimal environment to foster

the correct character trains schools are

overly standardized and structured the

rules are very rigid once students

understand the rules school becomes a

game once they've established a game

strategy that works they can play the

game very passively and get by most

students quickly learn the bare minimum

amount of effort required to get a job

and then they have no incentive to work

harder and to think actively but if you

take them out of that game if you break

the immersion they are now forced to

think critically in adversity they learn

to create new rules and break old ones

they have to because it's either do or


the shift from a passive thinker to an

active thinker is very subtle on the

surface because it happens internally it

requires internal conviction a strong

belief in oneself regardless of how many

tips I give someone to become a critical

thinker it ultimately has to come from a

deep desire within most great women and

men have gone through adversity

why because adversity generates a lot of

internal conviction this internal

conviction drives them and constantly

shifts them into active modes of

thinking instead of living defensively

they attack life with ferocity they know

they're gonna die one day time is

running out they don't know when that

day will come so they attack life they

race against death because they have a

purpose to fulfill I like to think of

critical thinking as a tendency and not

a skill great thinkers constantly tend

towards critical thinking in their daily

lives if school doesn't teach students

critical thinking where are

people learning it life adversity books

the Internet these people become

critical thinkers despite school not

because of it they learn it because they

have to I believe that one day schools

will catch up into a better job of

fostering this environment but

thankfully we always have the power to

put ourselves in a position to learn it

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