Activating Your Mind And Thinking Critically

Critical thinking is one of those very important skills.  If you are not doing it at times, that is no good, because your mind is not being activated to a high enough level to tire it out a bit.  It’s like not working out a muscle in a long time, as it will start to be weak for regular activities.  Activating your mind at times will keep you “in the game” so to speak if you aren’t already.

Do You Push Yourself Mentally?

This type of effort-based thinking requires much more energy than simply responding to an issue or problem with quick words.  It is “level-2” thinking, so to speak.  I would start with some examples here, but my message is more about doing critical thinking every day or two if you are not already doing so.  How can you assess if you already are doing this?  Do you actually get mentally tired trying to figure out the ramifications of a deal, or the reasons behind both sides of a policy, or so on?  Do you do a little research on the side to find out information related to something, or just take words given to you as the main source?

Use Societal Or Personal Issues To Do This

My mind keeps wanting to stray off the main topic here, but what I want to convey is that doing heavy thinking is good for you at times.  You see an issue like a political one, and you can look at the “two sides” that are provided to you on each side of the political debate, or you can spend a bit longer to see whether those are really the only two options, or if you have any new ideas related to the concept, as well as if you can see the reason behind the whole conflict, and items of this nature.

Switch To Your Hard Mode Sometimes

It is like you are playing a chess game and analyzing other possible moves, and other ways you could have played the game before the point you are at.  When you set a computer to Easy level in chess, it does “simple thinking”, in comparison to us, as it only looks at the closest moves and the simplest attacks.  When you set the computer to Hard mode, it suddenly is analyzing multiple moves ahead, different variations of attacks, how to take a position, or so on.  The Hard setting certainly uses up more CPU clock cycles, but it gains a huge advantage by doing so.  We are different from computers in that if we don’t use Hard mode sometimes, our brain gets comfortable sticking to Easy mode, and then the Hard mode is a more difficult option later on.  You have to keep your Hard mode running smoothly.  It is like changing the oil in your car to keep it able to accelerate and switch gears smoothly.

Activating Your Brain Requires Conquering Friction Each Time

One item to add here is that doing critical thinking does not come naturally.  It takes effort every time.  It might get easier over time, but for the most part, it requires your diligence each time you make use of it.  It is like going to fourth gear in a car, which requires having been at first, and then switching to second, third, and then fourth.  This takes much more work than staying in first gear(from the transmission’s perspective).

There Are Many Items To Use For Critical Thinking

How can you work on this critical thinking if you are not doing it regularly?  There are multiple paths you can take.  You can take a political policy apart and analyze all the sides of the issue, and maybe come up with your own sides, or you can take a problem in your own life and create a whole page about reasons for why it occurred, different paths that could have been taken, different ways out of the issue, reasons for why you are or are not taking one path or another, and material of this type.  Another way is to do some type of logic puzzle that will get your brain working on possibilities and options, crossing out those that don’t work.  By searching, I just found a cool site that generates logic puzzles as you get there, so go here if you want to do one: Logic Puzzles

You Want To Feel Some Difficulty

I was going to include a sample logic puzzle at the end of this article, but after finding that site, there is no need for that.  I changed the title of this piece a couple of times, but it is mainly about activating your mind at times if you are not already doing so.  Some of you will think to yourself that you push your mind to the limit at times to solve issues, and some of you will be thinking that you barely use the high-level thinking that your mind can do.  I know I can tell when I have used my mind to high capacity because I can only do it for so long before it gets tough to continue.  This is one sign that you are doing it correctly.  I don’t know if I would recommend continuing at that point, but that is up to you.

Mind As A Muscle

Since the brain is like a muscle in how it builds neural connections, and in how connections are only made strong depending on how often they are used, this high-level thinking should be done regularly, somewhat like as if you were working out your abs.  “While the underlying mechanisms are different, neuroplasticity research suggests that challenging learning experiences can lead to the development of brain tissue analogous to the way physical exercise can lead to the development of muscle tissue.” (Research paper on neuroplasticity)

A Completed Logic Puzzle

I went ahead and did one of those logic puzzles so that I’m not just saying, but am doing/showing.  Solving one provides a good feeling.  Here is my solution grid for this randomly provided puzzle(I didn’t include the clues or description):

To those who decide to do a logic puzzle, feel free to report back on how you did.