Our perception of a situation may be accurate, but sometimes we allow either our emotions or personal bias to cloud an issue. Sometimes we jump to conclusions, act unreasonably harsh or make totally wrong decisions. The way we tackle questions, problems and and decisions may determine the rest of our lives and we owe it to ourselves to think rationally and free of bias.
How to become a Rational Thinker #1: Honesty
Be honest with yourself. We are not always aware of our own biases. Your history, including your background and things that happened to you shape your views about the world. Your views and biases may influence your response to any given situation. Overcome your bias by assessing the bare facts and be objective, putting your subjective views away when making decisions or finding solutions to problems.
How to become a Rational Thinker #2: Assessing the Evidence
Approach any problem or decision with a critical mind. List the pros and cons, then apply that to the context and make up your own mind about the issue. Conflicting opinions of others may be incomplete and steer you in the wrong direction. First gather all the facts, sort through them and then form your own opinion.
How to become a Rational Thinker #3: Details
Attention to details is good, but be careful not to get lost in the details when assessing a situation or problem. It’s very easy to become bogged down in the minutiae and to lose sight of the bigger picture. Focusing on small details may cause you to miss a bigger, more important facet of a problem.
How to become a Rational Thinker #4: Assumptions
Assumptions are not based on fact and by making an assumption about something or someone, you may be making a huge mistake. In making an assumption, you are not thinking rationally, but rather in a lazy, way. There is no logic in assumptions, just bias and half truths.
How to become a Rational Thinker #5: Stay Calm
When faced with a problem or having to make an important decision, we tend to get stressed or anxious. Anxiety may clutter your decision making process, because your focus is not fully on the problem at hand. Stay calm, focus, take the context into consideration and make an informed, rational decision.
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