Critical thinkers are able to analyze issues from a wide variety of angles, resulting in more success in business and life. Discover your ability to think critically today with these ten signs you’re a critical thinker.
1. You get your news from a wide variety of sources.
Critical thinkers know that partisan politics come into play at any mainstream media outlet, so they strive to learn about the world from a variety of sources that offer different journalistic voices. They check out places like the Wall Street Journal for a conservative perspective, Salon for a liberal slant, First Look Media for a more aggressive approach to investigative journalism, and they might even follow the politics thread on Reddit for a smorgasbord that offers every taste imaginable.
2. You can have rational conversations with people you disagree with.
Critical thinkers are not afraid of a healthy debate. They believe that any opinion worth having should hold up to scrutiny, so they welcome conversations with people on the opposite side of the spectrum. While it is unlikely they will change their mind as a result of these discussions, they come away grateful for the opportunity to learn more about the thought process of their fellow man.
3. You are willing to change your mind when/if you discover you were wrong.
Critical thinkers know that it is impossible to be right about everything all the time. They’re open to the possibility that no, they don’t have it all figured it out; and when that happens, they are willing to admit it.
4. You get irritated with people who resort to personal insults on comment threads.
Critical thinkers are often frustrated at the total lack of rationality that surrounds them on the Internet. While they aim to keep any conversation centered on the issue at hand, others inevitably resort to ad hominem attacks and personal attacks, an insulting tactic that makes a critical thinker want to slam the laptop shut and walk away.
5. You evolve as a person every single day.
Critical thinkers wake up every day, excited to have another opportunity to sharpen their thinking ability. They case aside the shackles of their ego, and wear an outfit of modesty, because they know they still have a lot to learn.
6. You are fascinated by how things work.
Critical thinkers have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Their friends might accuse them of being bookworms, news junkies, or academic addicts; but they’re okay with that, because they wouldn’t trade their childlike curiosity for anything in the world.
7. You have creative, innovative, original ideas.
Critical thinkers would rather innovate than regurgitate. They make a point to learn from the successes of others, but they execute original ideas that are anything but “predictable” or “conventional.”
While being a critical thinker is typically a plus, there can always be too much of a good thing. These final three signs you’re a critical thinker are some common pitfalls you should look out for.
8. You over-analyze issues that only require a simple solution.
Critical thinkers are sometimes guilty of turning a small problem into a bigger one. Their brain processes on a high level, searching for complex solutions to life’s complicated problems. The best solutions, however, are often the simple ones.
9. You expect too much of yourself.
Critical thinkers are typically confident (and rightfully so), but sometimes they forget that they are human just like everyone else (and just in case you weren’t aware, being human means we are all inherently flawed). We all have those moments when we lose our senses or make a bad decision; being a critical thinker does not exempt you from this reality, but it does often amplify the stress that follows. Critical thinkers should cultivate an attitude of patience and let go of their need for perfection.
10. You do too much thinking, and not enough doing.
Critical thinkers would be wise to develop the action habit in order to counterbalance their tendency to over-think. No matter how powerful your brain might be, it won’t do you any good if you’re not actively pursuing your ambitions.
Did you see yourself in these signs you’re a critical thinker? Tell us in the comments.
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Featured photo credit: Rest in Peace/Randy Robertson via Flickr