Learning How to Think

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There are valuable things you won’t learn in school. Learning how to think is one of them. Unfortunately, it’s a necessary life skill. Good decision-makers understand that there is no good decision without good thinking. And good thinking is rarely ever something random.

We are not taught how to think because people assume it should be innate. Perhaps it is because though thinking can be learned, it cannot be taught. Perhaps it is because though thinking is something we all do, thinking well is not as common.

Whatever the case, if you want to learn how to think, here’s what you must do;

#1  – Avoid multitasking

This one is quite obvious. Thinking means concentrating on one thing long enough to develop an idea about the subject area. Certainly, this is not something a lot of us do. Not when your attention is spread thinly between 20 seconds of browsing Instagram stories, 1 minute of TikTok videos and just fiddling with your phone. However, if you do not learn good multitasking, then, by all means, avoid it entirely if you want to learn to think well

#2 – Give yourself time to think.

There’s no good thinker that doesn’t spend time thinking. Imitation can only get you so far. Regarding this, American author, William Deresiewicz said,

“It’s only by concentrating, sticking to the question, being patient, letting all parts of my mind come into play, that I arrive at an original idea. By giving my brain a chance to make associations, draw connections, take me by surprise.”

#3 – Question the thoughts of others

Good thinkers know how to question the thinking of others. The questions are primarily to help you make sense of their thoughts. If you’re lucky, you will get a chance to ask them. If not, you’ll simply have the added advantage of understanding their thought processes. So instead of just accepting everything at face value, learn to ask questions.

#4 – Condition your environment to stimulate thought

You should know in what kind of environment you’re most able to produce your best thoughts. Personally, a brightly lit room with some low-playing classical music helps me think best. A similar effect occurs if I sit in a quiet park staring at nature. Find what works for you and stick to it.

#5 – Think with others

The good thing is that you do not have to think alone. This key is what organizations want to tap into by organizing employee brainstorming sessions. Having someone hear your ideas and thoughts can help you see loopholes in your thought processes and conclusions.

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