I am Vaishali. To 'Write' is to express and i believe writing is one of the rare few things that has wonderful impact on any person even on a minuscule.
1. “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is a delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley
Don’t be afraid to take a step because you might lose your heart when you fail. This quote is a powerful reminder for you. Failure is just a delay and not a dead-end.
2. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It’s the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill.
The fear of failure has stopped many wonderful minds from shining in this world. Don’t become one. Have the courage to try. Face your failures. The courage to continue is what matters for you to win.
3. “The bridge of success is built on the pillars of failure.” – Unknown
A perfect building comes from a firm base. It’s the same in life too. Challenges and difficulties in life become a solid base. Failures are the pillars with which you will build success.
4. “No Man fails who does his best.” – Orison Swett Marden
Do your best and leave the rest. No man fails when best efforts are given as inputs.
5. “I think you have to try and fail because failure gets you closer to what you’re good at.” – Unknown.
When you succeed after your failures, you will have the strongest grit and determination to pursue anything. You become closer to perfection every time you get up after a failure. You will know what you are good at.
6. “Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” – Henry Ford
Don’t worry if you fail. Next time, when you try, you become resilient and intelligent in handling things than before.
What are some of the best examples of Creative Thinking?
To understand creative thinking better, here are a few examples that will give you interesting ideas.
Example 1 Situation:
What is the social structure of the Mayan Civilization?
- You can create or express how the Mayans were the first to bring brew beverages out of cocoa.
- You can do role-play enacting Mayan Civilization
- You can make a model of the Mayan calendar
- Use Mayan words to write assignments
- You can use Mayan Numerical System etc.
Example 2: Situation:
Write an assignment about Recent Space Inventions?
- Include images of recent science trends and innovations
- Include top science minds speeches related to your assignments.
- You can make bookmarks/page separators as a ‘print and cut version of science people or science-project figures’.
- You can do presentations with more graphic elements and live clips of launching that space invention.
- Use reverse-thinking to write assignments differently than the usual format. But make it meaningful.
- Add artworks in your assignments
Example 3: Situation:
Creativity in the workplace
- Maintain a positive workspace.
- Add positive elements to your desk
- Note down meeting points diagrammatically
- Do artworks or drawings to represent your tasks to do.
- You can keep motivation flyers stuck in a pinboard.
Example 4: Situation:
To showcase your skills and talents
- Build a nice Portfolio
- Prepare a creative, crisp and minimalistic resume
- Develop a blog to showcase your work
- You can include testimonials of people whom you have worked
- You can develop a viewbook
Example 5 Situation:
How to analyze this problem?
- Draw doodles to represent problem factors
- Develop a mapping system to connect with the problems
- Use flowcharts, diagrams, analogies, etc. to represent a problem.
Today’s professional world is looking for people who are both critical thinkers and problem solvers. On the surface, they can look similar. But, critical thinking and problem-solving have their fair share of differences and thought processes.
The 5 Common Steps in Critical-Thinking and Problem-Solving are:
1. Identify the problem:
The first step in critical thinking and problem-solving is problem identification. For a critical thinker, the thought process will be:
- Is it a real problem
- Does the problem exists
With a problem-solving attitude, the thought process will be:
- This is a problem
- Here to start to analyze it
You analyze and interpret the problem.
Similar to evaluating step in critical thinking, this brainstorming session is about:
- Finding solutions
- Analyzing the pros and cons of the solution
- Justifying the solution
You come up with an agreeable solution here.
5. Take action:
You take actionable steps to put the solution into action.
To make things understandable further, here are
6 Main Difference between critical thinking and problem solving
Critical thinking is: Intentional, reflective way of looking at surroundings, things, or scenarios.
Problem-solving: Focuses on a specific situation
Critical thinking: It involves finding a workable solution and defending/justifying the solution.
Problem-solving: Forming a conclusion.
Critical thinking: Recognizing the problem scenarios
Problem-solving: Defining the problems
Critical thinking; Identifying, formulating and solving problems
Problem-solving: Recognizing a problem situation
Critical thinking: Encloses all thinking skills, decision-making abilities, and problem-solving factors.
Problem-solving: It is an outcome of critical thinking
Critical Thinking involves steps like: Analyzing, Reasoning, Evaluating, Synthesizing, and Take Action
Problem Solving involves steps like: Identifying the problem cause, brainstorming sessions, come up with multiple solutions. And, monitor the progress.
What are Cognitive Thinking Skills?
Cognitive thinking skills are like the heart of all thinking skills. You read, learn, process, see, pay attention, remember, process new information, grasp, keep data, and process everything by cognitive thinking. Only with cognitive thinking skills, we see, understand, and look at the world as it is.
9 Characteristics of Cognitive Thinking Skills
It is the ability to pay sustained attention over for a consistent period.
The longer you can pay attention, the better you become in understanding and keeping it in memory.
It is your ability to stay focused and remain attentive despite what’s happening outside.
If you don’t respond to distractions often, it means, you have better ‘response inhibition’.
Information Processing Speed:
It is your ability to process additional information, existing information or incoming information quickly.
When you are in a place, you change your mind and become flexible about it.
For instance, you behave a certain way at interviews. You behave a certain way with friends. you switch mentally between these two scenarios. This is called cognitive flexibility.
It involves successful multitasking. It requires speedy processing of information, attention, and good planning.
It is not possible all the time for everyone.
You remember the instructions, procedures and the entire process long enough in your memory.
It should come to you even after a long time to perform the process correctly.
It comes under the higher order thinking levels.
Category formation says your ability to process information and categorize them accordingly.
It is your ability to understand pattern, logics and meaning behind things you see, things you hear and with the work you do.
It is your ability to grasp and interpret the audio, video elements around you.
Logical Thinking Skill:
Logical thinking looks for things that make “sense”. Logical thinking skills are reflected in the way you:
- Form opinions
You classify what is appropriate and judge what is right based on a given set of logic.
Characteristics of Logical Thinking Skill:
- Logical thinking skills are more of a sequential thought process.
- People are not born with logical thinking skills. People practice it and perfect it.
- Logical thinking skills pay close attention to details.
- Logical thinking skill considers facts, details, data, patterns, and perceptions.
- There is no place for emotional aspects or biases in logical thinking.
- An Important characteristic of logical thinking is, you will reject thoughts like “I don’t know” or “it is too difficult” or “I can’t do this”.
- If trained in logical thinking, people get smarter and sharper. Logical thinking can be perfected by constant practice.
- Logical Thinking helps you take better decisions, give productive results, and reduce complexities.
- Logical thinkers are good solution-givers.
- Logical thinking skills can be enhanced by playing puzzles, mental challenges, solving crosswords, math games, word games, etc.
You can understand what logical thinking is through different examples here.
Ex 1: What if someone says This Street brings Poor luck?
Logical Thinking would be:
· It is a much-generalized point.
· Does this street bring bad luck to you or everyone? If so, where is the proof?
· Has everyone gone through this street experienced bad luck?
· How many people can verify it?
Ex 2: I am living in Stockholm. I am living in a Nordic Country.
Facts are verifiable because Stockholm is in Sweden. The countries Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Norway are all referred to as Nordic Countries.
1. Remembering Skills:
Remembering skill is the brain’s ability to remember, identify, and interpret what it sees and what it hears.
Recalling, memorizing, retrieving and repeating information from your brain whenever needed is a unique aspect of this thinking skill.
Associating Words: Bookmark, Count, Describe, Enumerate, Identify, Label, List, Match, Recall, Sequence, Tell, Remind, Recite, Find out.
2. Interpreting Skills:
The second stage of thinking is interpreting. Your mind becomes curious and asks questions like “what is it”, “why is it like that”, “who put it here”, “where it came from” etc.
Associated Words: Conclude, Discuss, Describe, Explain, Illustrate, Predict, Reports, Tell, Express.
3. Application/Implementing Skills:
Implementing skill is about “what you have to do” and “what has to be done”. By the knowledge and resources you have, you solve a problem.
Associated Words: Implement, Imitate, Show, Reveal, Produce, Choose, Gather, Use.
4. Analyzing/Scrutinizing Skills:
Systematically and logically you break the problem elements at this level. You disengage irrelevancies. You differentiate, compare, examine, categorize and experiment your problem-scenarios.
Associated Words: Characterize, Categorize, Classify, Compare, Predict, Rank, Redefining, Outlining, Subdivide, Research, Represent, Map, Diagrammatic Representation.
5. Judgmental Skills:
You draw conclusions based on facts and data. You justify your standpoint in this stage. To justify, you assess, support, evaluate, find credibility to your solutions and communicate it to people. Evaluation and judging is a crucial thinking skill.
Associated Words: Test, Compare, Critique, Defend, Rank, Judge, Justify, Argue.
6. Creative Skills:
Creativity is a higher-order thinking skills different from others. We can combine it with other thinking skills. Or, we can use it independently.
Associated Words: Invent, Modify, Reverse-Engineer, Rearrange, Networking, Revise, Remodel, Out of the Box, New Framework.
The above are 6 major categories of thinking skills we see. And are based on bloom’s taxonomy of critical thinking.
1. Analytical Thinking:
Analytical thinking skill is your ability to analyze a given the problem, or situation step by step. You perform a complete analysis of all possible ways to interpret the situation/problem before you.
2. Divergent Thinking:
In short, divergent thinking skill is “Go diverse. Conclude with one that works”. Divergent thinking involves exploring all possibilities and viewpoints to find an appropriate solution.
First, you begin gathering related facts, data, or references from all sources. You analyze and apply logic to find the relevant possibilities. Among them, you pick the one that stands out and seems to be precise to solve the problem.
3. Convergent Thinking :
Convergent thinking is about connecting all the dots. You connect scattered thoughts, data, standpoints, or related information and put together one big picture. Convergent thinking is a key thinking skill we need in life.
4. Critical Thinking:
It covers 7 steps like identifying, gathering, analyzing, interpreting, establishing, deciding and communicating the problem.
5. Creative Thinking:
Imagination and creativity proceed here instead of logic and reasoning.
6. Abstract Thinking:
Abstract thinking is like abstract art/painting. Change your normal perspective to see what is being portrayed. Find the hidden meaning. You see the 'actual' truth behind the 'false' truth.
7. Concrete thinking:
As the name suggests, concrete thinking is factual thinking. Only facts and nothing else. A concrete thinker will approach everything with facts, data, and solid knowledge. It is the opposite of abstract thinking.
8. Sequential Thinking:
You think and process in an orderly, sequential manner. You don’t deviate. You progress step-by-step i.e. you can go to the second step only after your first step is complete. Every step in interconnected sequentially here.
9. Holistic Thinking
You go straight for the big picture and then you connect everything.
Hypothetical questions kindle your brain to look for possibilities and fresh ideas. Hypothetical thinking enables an individual to anticipate, predict, and describe the pros and cons.
- What will happen if I remove this?
- What will you do if this happens?
Hypotheses are good for exploring prospects. It also helps you in preparing a contingency approach.
Reversal thinking makes an individual 'twist the problem in reverse or sideways' to understand it. It brings out alternate possibilities to deal with problems.
- In what ways we are complicating this problem?
- Why should we not include it?
- What happens when we don’t resolve it?
This type is about using multiple formats to understand a solution.
We can use a chemical equation structure to explain what is happening inside a tree.
It’s the most common type of questioning. We compare and correlate here.
- What is the physics behind birds flying?
- What is the connection between a chemical-reaction and cooking?
Point of View Questions:
Here, you put yourself in a different shoe and ask questions and answer them. This questioning skill is important in improving critical and higher-order thinking.
- How will my boss think?
- How will an experienced person handle this?
It is like “fill in the blanks”. The questions will end abruptly. We have to use our imagination to close it appropriately.
- What happens after this stage?
- How did it disappear?
It is like a spider spinning a web. You ask a web of questions instead of raising basic questions. You go deeper levels and look for patterns and ideas.
- What are the effects? Where it is extending?
- What happens there if I do this here?
Science and Psychology suggest that asking Higher Order Question promotes critical thinking levels in individuals.
What are Higher Order Questions (HOQ)?
High Order Questions are entirely different from normal questions. With normal questions, you recall and remember what you know, and answer. With HOQ, you apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information and conclude with a solid answer.
Based on three levels of Higher Order Thinking, here are some of the best higher-order questions that you can refer to or use to improve your critical thinking abilities.
Level 1: Analysis - Higher-Order Questions
- How does it (Problem/solution/inferences/idea) work?
- What causes it?
- Is there another cause?
- In what way it happened?
- What technique we can use?
- Is the data relevant?
- What kind of problem is this?
- What is the correlation between this problem and the present situation?
- Is there any pattern?
- What is irrelevant to this problem?
- What are the pros and cons?
Level 2: Synthesize - Higher Order Questions
- What is the value?
- How can you verify it?
- How do you support this response?
- What is the majority suggestion?
- What will you suggest?
- What choices We can make?
- How to prioritize the data?
Level 3: Evaluation - Higher Order Questions
- How to generate a plan?
- What happens if?
- What facts are verified? And, what facts are irrelevant?
- Where could you bring innovation?
- What are the alternatives?
- Is the answer convincing?
- Is it a well laid out plan?
- What to do when the solution fails?
- Why this method is suggested?
By answering these HOQ, you improve your cognitive, logical, critical and strategic skills.
Lower Order Thinking Skills are basic qualities we need to develop to become good at critical thinking. Lower-order thinking improves problem-solving and decision-making abilities in us.
6 Techniques to Improve your Lower Order Thinking Skills:
1. Be Willing to Hear:
Lower Order Thinking skills are about grasping the basics. You can grasp the basics of anything by
- Listen to what other people have to say.
- Refer to multiple resources.
- Gather opinions.
- Cross-check and validate facts.
- Look for real-time experiences.
Develop your mind to grasp the basic things around you easily. Avoiding complications is one way of improving LOTS.
2. Be aware of what’s going on:
How will you understand the problem if you don’t know what is going on? So, be aware of what’s happening around you. Mindfulness is a basic quality you need for boosting Lower Order Thinking.
3. Describe the problem in your way:
By understanding problems your way, you become closer to interpreting it and finding a solution. Ask Questions to understand the problem even closer.
You can write, doodle, mind-map the problems in your way. It improves your understanding and logical thinking.
4. Make Inferences:
Write what comes to your mind about the problem. Refer to previous sources related to the problem. Do groundwork. Gather necessary data.
Come up with clear and crisp inferences of:
- What is this concept?
- What does it say?
- Where can it be applied?
- Why it is applied? Etc.
Getting logical inferences is a simple way to boost your Lower Order Thinking.
5. Improve Memory:
Remembering and recalling is key to Lower Order Thinking. To improve your memory power. Play brain games and memory exercises in your free time.
6. Bring Interest:
Interest and self-motivation are important to boost thinking skills in individuals. Without self-interest, even a critical thinking mind becomes lethargic.
Lower Order Thinking Skills (LOTS) are the foundational skills and practices you need to have to move to Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS).
Lower order thinking skills are basic qualities a person develops as they grow like:
We develop them through our basic educational levels.
A scientifically proven fact is “The more skillful you are at Lower Order thinking, the more capable you become at Higher Order Thinking”.
3 Levels of Lower Order Thinking Skills
Based on Bloom’s taxonomy of critical thinking, The Lower Order Thinking Skills have three levels. They are:
Level 1: Remembering - How good you are at recalling and remembering data form your brain?
Qualities like, an individual's ability to:
- Become selective in approaches are basic qualities of this LOTS level.
- You should be able to identify a problem when you see it.
- Your recalling ability and finding patterns or similarities that you experienced before.
Level 2: Understanding - How well can you explain what you perceived from Level1?
The understanding level is about your capability of
- Comparing data.
Understanding levels is critical in Lower Order Thinking because you summarize the actual problem scenario.
Level 3: Applying – How to Use the Inference from L1 and L2?
Applying level is about
- Demonstrating your ideas inferred from previous levels.
You come up with a solid idea to proceed to further levels of higher critical thinking.
To climb a mountain, start from the mountain’s foothills first. Same way, if you like to build good critical thinking skills, you need to improve your Lower Order Thinking Skills. And then move on to HOTS.
People with higher-order, thinking skills can redefine the entire problem in a completely fresh angle. We wouldn’t have seen it before.
- Adapting to new situations
- Shifting strategies
- Welcoming fresh perspectives to meet any challenges.
When you adopt higher-order thinking, you improve your flexibility levels. The more flexible you become, the more thoughts and viewpoints you perceive. In turn, it improves your critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.
3. Ability to create original Ideas:
When you adopt higher-order thinking, it improves your originality. It kindles your creativity.
Want to know how?
Higher-order thinking abilities will stimulate the brain to look for wider possibilities to resolve the problems.
You observe, question, listen, analyze, process, and validate everything around you. This critical thinking stimulates you to find what is needed. And, see what new changes can be made.
You will think about new frameworks/strategies to use. You become curious. It all leads to drawing original ideas.
4. Always Looking Forward:
Critical minds are curious minds.
That too, people who adopt higher-order thinking in their approaches are
- Always curious, analytical, and logical.
- They look forward to anything and everything in their life.
- They are never afraid of changes and challenges.
- They keep looking forward to facing new things and meet new people.
- They gain more knowledge.
- They widen their mental abilities.
If you want to be a better critical thinker and bring high order thinking skills, keep looking forward and challenge yourself.
5. Tolerating Ambiguities:
The key quality of higher-order thinking skills is, people will tolerate uncertainties, and ambiguities irrespective of any situation in life. It makes them highly resilient than the rest.