Something which I have neglected in the past year or so is reading. Even though I love reading, it’s just one of the things that slipped between the cracks as I was busy living life and wasting time. With the Robin Sharma tactics in mind, I’ve zoned in on a couple of books I want to read or re-read this year. A friend suggested Kindle. Oooo, that thing might be my downfall yet.
Yes, it’s not a nice as reading a real book. It does not have the feel of paper between your fingers as you turn the page. Nor does it have the smell, especially the kind of smell you get from old books purchased in bargain book stores. You don’t get that sense of history, knowing that the author paged through the first copy when he received it from the publisher; or your mind does not wander to that point where you try to image the other person/s who has read the book before you. You don’t get any of the nostalgia that goes with ink on paper. You do however get the biggest possible library. You do get them at ridiculously low prices and you do get them at the click of a button…. Hence my impending financial downfall. I’ll have to use some serious self-control with this little App.
I went in with a mission to find the books on my list. The one that grabbed my attention – and eventually found its way to my cart – wasn’t one of them though. Lessons from critical thinkers by Albert Rutherford won the race and is the first of many books in my Kindle library.
Why did I pick this one?
Well, the title has the word “thinking” in it. Yes, it’s that simple. I, always thinking about thinking, thought it was quite appropriate. Add the word “critical” to the title and my bugs all came to attention. What if I, instead of trying to quiet my mind, retrained it to think better. To not go on an emotional roller coaster, but rather analyze and decipher and then conclude. my Love is probably rolling his eyes as he reads this – it’s something he’s been trying to get me do for the longest possible time. About time I give it a shot then.
It took all of 30 seconds to get the book. It’s both amazing and scary at the same time. Amazing because it just takes one click (literally, it’s called “buy now with one click”) and scary because, well, how do I control myself hahaha
The first chapter explores thinking according to Socrates and Aristotle. Socratic questioning really spoke to me and right of the bat I can tell that I don’t like Aristotle. I’m confident that a lot of people will not agree with me on this, but what was he (Aristotle) thinking?
Socratic questioning seeks to find and change spontaneous habitual thinking patterns linked to a specific situation. This passage on Wikipedia describes it best:
Socratic questioning has also been used in psychotherapy, most notably as a cognitive restructuring technique in classical Adlerian psychotherapy, logotherapy, rational emotive behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, and logic-based therapy. The purpose is to help uncover the assumptions and evidence that underpin people’s thoughts in respect of problems. A set of Socratic questions in cognitive therapy aim to deal with automatic thoughts that distress the patient:
- Revealing the issue: ‘What evidence supports this idea? And what evidence is against its being true?’
- Conceiving reasonable alternatives: ‘What might be another explanation or viewpoint of the situation? Why else did it happen?’
- Examining various potential consequences: ‘What are worst, best, bearable and most realistic outcomes?’
- Evaluate those consequences: ‘What’s the effect of thinking or believing this? What could be the effect of thinking differently and no longer holding onto this belief?’
- Distancing: ‘Imagine a specific friend/family member in the same situation or if they viewed the situation this way, what would I tell them?’
Careful use of Socratic questioning enables a therapist to challenge recurring or isolated instances of a person’s illogical thinking while maintaining an open position that respects the internal logic to even the most seemingly illogical thoughts
This really appeals to me and might just be the key to my mind that’s been evading me for so long. We all have spontaneous habitual responses and thoughts. The key here is to pinpoint those thoughts and change them
Aristotle on the other hand – I am not sure about him. It’s going to take a lot of digging to find out why he was so big. Maybe someone need to explain to me. His work is based on logic. For example:
All cars with excellent mileage per gallon are good cars
My car gives excellent mileage per gallon
Therefore, I have a good car
Now, the potential buyer of my rusty old beetle with a cracked windscreen and banged up shocks will not agree that it is a good car just because he will good mileage per gallon. See why Aristotle is flawed in my mind?
Keep an eye out for my feedback on the rest of the “critical thinkers” and please, feel free to explain Aristotle if you have a better understanding of him and his work