→    Better decisions   →   Better life   →   Happiness

Quick Definitions:

Effective thinking = Fact-based + Rational

Rational = Logical.  The opposite of irrational; irrational decisions, even with lots of information, leads to undesired effects (and harm)

You cannot get to a great life without effective, critical thinking!

Which of the following lists is more true of you?


Not verifying facts (and beliefs that are seen as           "truth" but unverified)

Jump to conclusions and stick to them

Selective evidence (not allowing new information)

Distorted thinking
   Emotional reasoning
        Make wrong, "moral" outrage

Fixed thinking - Stubbornly cling to old beliefs,
   especially if emotional reactivity

Irrational!  If one isn't rational, then one is irrational, which results in more upset, more harm, less good, being less loving.

"We have met the enemy.  And he is us."  Pogo

Irrationality is the enemy! 


Using logic and reasoning, not "emotional"
   (though it considers emotions)
   Objective analysis

Verified facts upon which or through one can make valid conclusions
   Sufficient detail (and precision)
   Relevant (vs irrelevant and "flak")

A structure of thinking to assure the above are done - Using The Scientific Method.  (Refer to this every time tempted to do non-critical thinking.

Accumulating wisdom - Knowing how things work and how to work them

Openness of mind (vs. closed, most often fear-based) - Openness to new facts and reasoning in order to upgrade one's conclusions.
    Growth Mindset Vs. Fixed Mindset 


Of course, the measure of effective thinking lies in the good results.  But we can also "inherit" some results of good thinking, and, without doing effective thinking ourselves, do that which gets good results.
If our religion and/or our parents (or other significant people in our lives from whom we learn) teach us something that works, we are then fortunate.  The problem is that it is pretty unlikely that we will get all good information, so we still need to use effective thinking to decide if what they taught us is functional or not.  (See also Your Path Is Your Only Path Attainable - Under The Circumstances.)

Sometimes "package" belief systems (religion, culture, tribe, parental) provide us with enough true, workable beliefs that we are better off than having to derive our own and then not thoughtfully proceeding to do just that (to derive and test our own). 

And, sometimes, it can do a disservice for a while, to dismantle something that was not actually true but which helped a person feel better or get a better result.  If we destroy an old belief that had benefit, we have to be sure that we, and the other person, put back in enough new, correct beliefs to provide more benefit than the benefit taken away.  If you or the other person are not willing to go far enough to arrive at a total greater benefit, then you and the other person are going to experience harm by the destruction (and lack of reconstruction).  Thus, if that is so, then you should not even start along that path. 

See BarksdaleAboutLife.Com for the logic about awareness and increasing it.  Study this until it makes sense:

No one can do better than the current limits of  his/her awareness.  (How could you do better than you actually know to do?  How could you know more than you know?  Impossible!).  Therefore, the problem is not the person.  The problem is the lack of "sufficient knowing".  Therefore, the solution is to cure the lack of knowing.  However, if you are to do that for yourself or for another, you have to decide if the cost in time and effort is worth the probable effect - which is dependent on the other person's willingness and capability to learn "sufficient knowledge". 

"We have met the enemy, and he is us."


How true! 

If we all cooperated in effective thinking we would not have wars and extended disputes.  We would instead have progress and lots of solutions and few problems.

It is the lack of rational thinking and our stubbornly clinging to being right that is the enemy of life and the very essence of the problem that causes all the other problems that persist in life and in the world.

Join me, and others, in promoting effective thinking, operating from facts and from rational objective thinking that will lead us to a new world.  We need to get to a "critical mass", to be big enough to have the effect of world peace.


"I do more than OK in life, so I don't need more effective thinking."

You may not need it, but any effort put toward improving it will pay off big time.  Every advance in effective thinking has dividends not only in terms of making better decisions but also in lowering stress and defensiveness, which take a great toll on one's physical and psychological lives. 

Emotional reasoning, for instance, is not called emotional for no reason.  We associate being wrong with great emotion.  We activate the fear mechanism when we are irrationally making up that we are threatened - when we aren't. 

As you get more effective in thinking, you become more loving and much more open and "spiritually fulfilled" and you are more and more capable of contributing to others (and yourself). 

Where are you on the spectrum of effective thinking?

At the end of this piece, mark where you are. 


Effective Thinking

The Pattern Behind Self-Deception - Michael Shermer (Video - 19:01)- Although he shows some extremes, self deception is a product of "not thinking" before making our conclusions.

Videos On Critical Thinking (free) 


                  Ignorance      non critical thinking                                                             wisdom
                                                                        happiness - not by accident

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

(If we start with unverified "facts" and assumptions and then do not apply logical, critical, effective reasoning to it, we are missing all that is essential to effective thinking.  And effective thinking is just what it implies: the ability to use thinking in order to get the desired "effects" in life!!!)