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Become a Critic of Your Own Thinking

One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to begin the process of becoming a "critic" of your thinking. You do this not to negate or "dump on" yourself, but to improve yourself, to begin to practice the art of skilled thinking and lifelong learning. To do this you must "discover" your thinking, see its structure, observe its implications, and recognize its basis and vantage point. You must come to recognize that, through commitment and daily practice, you can make foundational changes in You need to learn about your "bad" habits of thought and about what you are striving for (habits of thought that routinely improve your thinking). At whatever level you think, you need to recognize that you can learn to think better (Figure 2.4)

Figure 2.4. Critical thinking adds a second level of thinking to ordinary thinking. The second level analyzes and assesses our ordinary thinking.

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Test the Idea
Critique Your Thinking

Consider your thinking in these domains of your life: at work, in personal relationships, in sports, in dealing with others of your gender, in dealing with the opposite sex, as a reader, as a writer, in planning your life, in dealing with your emotions, in figuring out complex situations. Complete these statements:

  1. Right now, I believe my thinking across all domains of my life is of ______________ quality. I based this judgment on _________________.

  2. In the following areas, I think very well:

    a)

    b)

    c)

  3. In the following areas, my thinking is OK, not great, but not terrible either:

    a)

    b)

    c)

  4. In the following areas, my thinking is probably pretty poor:

    a)

    b)

    c)

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