Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Readers are Plentiful...Thinkers are Rare


Not too long ago, while going through my Book of Life, I realized that our culture embraces gaining knowledge, reading, researching, accumulating and applying facts, etc. All of that is great and, for many of us, it has meant being able to create great masterworks of literature, poetry, art, hip-hop music, fashion design, etc. We raise and teach our children, follow dietary laws, and live our daily lives based on our knowledge. What it lead me to wonder is, how efficiently are we producing and processing our thoughts to reach these levels?? Are there ways that we can be "better thinkers?"

Let's be honest - our thoughts can make or break our life. Use it well, and we will prosper. Use it badly, and we will suffer. Frank Crane once said "Our best friends and our worst enemies are our thoughts. A thought can do us more good than a doctor or a banker or a faithful friend. It can also do us more harm than a brick." Being so, I thought it would be important for me, at least, to have some guidance or tools, to being a more effective and productive "thinker."

With thinking - what are some of the things we process? Willpower, deduction, decision-making, induce creativity... and so much more!

Tap into your multi-levels of consciousness - Conscious thoughts that we have are only a mere fraction of all of the thoughts that we are absorbing at any given time. Our subconscious absorbs vast amounts of information that we aren't even aware of. This is where our intuition comes in - and we shouldn't ignore, but better yet, tap into it.

Don't think under pressure - I have horrible stage fright. Anytime I have to perform in front of an audience, or have a solo, I get extremely nervous and my mind begins to work overtime. I found that by practicing and studying my part until I could play it in my sleep, still allowed me to perform without the threat of my over-thinking getting the best of me.

Explore alternatives - Many times when we suspect something based on behavior we would see if we suspected the opposite, we conclude what we suspect to be true based on that behavior. Although many times, you may be right, this type of thinking can be very limiting and sometimes you can perpetuate misunderstanding based on what you thought you knew. So, also look at alternatives and different angles before coming to a conclusion (do the knowledge)

Take a Long Shower or Walk - Studies show that moments of insight often arrive when you're not aware that you're thinking of the problem, such as during a warm shower or a long stroll. This is because insights are typically generated by a rush of high-frequency gamma-band neural activity in the brain's right hemisphere, and a mind is better able to tune in to that hemisphere when it is stress-free.

Be skeptical of your memories - In recent years, scientists have demonstrated that many of our memories are surprisingly dishonest. The act of recalling an event changes the structure of that memory in the brain. Details are tweaked; the narrative is altered. The more you think about it, the less accurate your recollection becomes, and the less reliable it is as a basis for making any kind of conclusion.

Study your Mistakes - One common trait of successful people is their willingness to focus on their fumbles. Even when they do well, they insist on looking at what they could have done better. Such perfectionism might not be a recipe for happiness, but it's a vital component of learning, since brain cells figure out how to get things right by analyzing what they got wrong.

Practice Metacognition - Metacognition, is basically thinking about thinking, a crucial skill. Many scientists argue that the best predictor of good judgment isn't intelligence or experience; it's the willingness to engage in introspection.

Add on, if you would like. Peace

Victorious Lanasia Earth


Olu Graphic Designs said...

the idea of Metacognition sparked my curiosity so I will look into that more


The 14th Degree and Beyond said...

Peace Olu -

Metacognition is the foundation of this blog. Basically it just scratches the surface of what you can look into more. It is the awareness and the understanding of the cognitive process we use to process our thoughts. Developing this awareness can really help us in terms of our learning styles, developing and nurturing our talent or craft, and also how we can comprehend other realms such as comprehension, psychology, meta-emotions, etc. There is a great book that I read earlier this year called "How We Decide" by Jonah Lehrer that speaks to this and lots of techniques, and tips we can practice. Enjoy the learning! Peace


Emblem said...

Easily the best blog in the history of the 14th degree. Why? The fact that your dealing with a topic such as 'Metacognition' is high mathematics indeed. To 'think about' what you 'think about' is truly what knowledge of self is about. What is his/her ownself in the knowledge understanding leads into the realm of metacognition. Keep up with the heavyweight builds.

Misrak Aja said...

Peace Queen. quite insighful blog. Peace