Amongst the various skills needed in life, critical thinking is one ability one needs to dissect information objectively and make judgments. Not just to excel professionally, this skill is required by an individual in their personal life as well. Simply put, an individual’s growth is apparent when critical thinking is used well.
While it can be a skill that is easy to acquire, most of us gain the skill unconsciously or without reflection. However, various examples in our day-to-day life can prove how we use critical thinking in our usual routines.
In this post, we will talk about the various instances where an individual uses critical thinking, and also share a handful of strategies that can help people upskill.
Critical Thinking Examples
Though the words “Critical Thinking” might sound overwhelming, the truth is that all of us humans use our critical thinking skills during the course of the day in some way or the other. The idea behind developing such skills is to make decision-making easier. Some of the examples that can make an individual think critically are:
1. Problem Solving
Problem-solving is the main ingredient of logical and analytical thinking that fruits critical thinking. When faced with a problem, the approach to problem-solving is the immediate sensory action that our brain takes to get out of a situation or potentially try to find a solution for it to meet the ends. This is the reason why critical thinking is crucial for individuals, especially for those who are at incharge positions at work. For example- A crucial order was to dispatch in the morning, but a technical fault arose at night, the steps the manager would take now to mend the situation display their critical thinking skills. From picking a party theme to deciding on suitable tiles for a kitchen, all the aforementioned situations speak of the problem-solving abilities on a larger spectrum.
The decisions you make while picking a particular stream to pursue a career in that domain are crucial to critical thinking. For instance, when a person wants to be a doctor, they need to decide which area of specialization to go for. Critically evaluating the factors involves aspects of critical thinking. Therefore, choosing a career starts with critical analysis and effective decision-making.
One may potentially start by weighing the positives and the negatives of an industry with possible career outcomes. This part of decision-making gets followed by judgments to be made in order to pursue excellence at work and likewise. Such matters show how long an individual may last in a company, a sector, or a job as per their critical thinking abilities.
They say, ‘Health is Wealth,’ and a lot of health decisions might involve a person’s ability to think critically. Choosing junk over healthy meals, and skipping meals over timely feeds, is also a part of critical thinking. As added above, the idea of making a (right) decision at a particular (right) time is again a part of this wholesome process.
However, in order to treat our body as a temple, we must get our acts together and follow a good diet and an exercise regime. This decision takes a lot of critical thinking about which diet to follow, keto or paleo. Likewise, the choice of exercise between cardio or strength-building is contemplated critically.
Education requires critical thinking in the learning process, but choosing subjects and picking the right institution(s) per your need also requires critical thinking. A lot of time, effort, and money is put into education, the choice of which involves the skill of critical thinking. The location, duration, cost, and return on investment through the degree/course and placement aspects need to be critically thought off and planned according to the requirements and aspirations of a student.
5. Professional Integrity
Professional integrity, in some cases, has been found to be an inherent quality in career and life. Still, it needs adept training to teach it in daily life. People and situations around us cater to such natural pieces of training every day. All we need to do is absorb the good and the right, use our motor senses well, and hold onto it regardless.
One’s ability to think critically is related proportionately to how effective professional integrity one has. If the person does not critically evaluate his or her situation and responsibility, it would be easy for them to be compromised when it comes to becoming an integral part of an organization.
Critical thinking regarding finances is an extremely important and perhaps the most advised thing on this list. Making these decisions involve considering more than one factor, which needs the ability to think critically. Which real estate to invest in, which stocks to buy, which bank gives out the most interest against their money, all these decisions need critical thinking, and people tend to lose out on money with today’s financial systems if important decisions turn out to be against their favor.
7. Quality of Life
The decisions we make regarding our life and how to live them also need critical thoughts to garner. To explain with an example, one needs to think critically about what appliances one needs to buy as per their need, budget, wants, and situation. The correct permutation, combination, and some sacrifice usually lead to an almost perfect life.
However, it is essential to know that the definition of a perfect life for everyone is different. Surround your life with what makes you happy, content, and least vexed about matters; that every part of living becomes the qualitative measure of your life.
8. Time Management
Critically thinking about managing your time and workload is a secret sauce of success. Time is limited and fixed for everyone, so how come some seem to use it much better than others? The secret is critically thinking, analyzing, and managing time efficiently. These skills are a must incur so that time works for you and not the other way around. Prioritizing which works to do when and for how long- helps people become their best version.
Micromanaging is known to be the enemy of productivity. But why? Because it is almost impossible to micromanage and get other things done when your head’s already occupied with the prior. Delegating your workload helps in achieving more quality in less time. But the process should be thought of critically, and the team should be chosen carefully.
The world’s economy is based on businesses and industries. To make a business boom, one needs the critical thinking skills of a number of people. Hiring the right talent for the right job and investing in the right sector at the right time is a part of critical and analytical thinking. This is how they manage to transcend the norms and be outstanding at their jobs.
Strategies for Critical Thinking
While critical thinking can be natural for a few individuals, it might be a skill that needs to be developed slowly yet steadily. A few strategies can help an individual inculcate these practices in their daily life. Some of these are:
Asking meaningful and necessary questions is an art in itself. This quality helps train the mind into an intelligent thought-making organ that can make critical decisiveness easy.
Discussions enhance our knowledge and add to our primary intelligence and enrich our critical thinking abilities. One-on-one or group discussions, both can help immensely in the process of personality building.
3. Active Learning
Active learning is the method where learning with the help of real-life examples, experiments, and case studies proves much more practical and effective than theoretical reading.
Collaborating with talented and experienced people can enrich our quality of life at home and work. It betters our thinking abilities and gives us a new and healthier perspective on matters.
These are some real-life examples where critical thinking plays a huge part; though critical thinking seems like an inherent component of human existence, we do it unknowingly all the time. The critical thinking process in our day-to-day lives sets the course of our daily activities. By following the strategies and implementing the example, one can get help leading a critically thought-out and sought-after life.
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,