People make unreasonable decisions, as they do not think from cause and effect perspective. They fail to give their decisions a second thought, and so they end up regretting. Because of their unwise decision-making, they face very harmful and expensive consequences. However, one can avoid making such mistakes by calculated and critical thinking.
Critical thinking is taking control of one’s brain, or challenging one’s own judgment. Critical thinking does not just come; it needs cultivation, nurturing, and exercising. Only when people learn to challenge their intelligence and think critically, will they avoid many of the fatal mistakes they make, and in return save much time and resources.
A sample situation of ‘mindlessness’ acting
Oftentimes, people fall victims of acting without prior thinking. For instance, a very close friend of mine finished her studies recently. In her search for a job, a company offered her one that was paying around ?18,000 for a fresh starter in her field of study. She felt that was not up to her standard and thought ?30,000 or ?35,000 job would suit her needs for a start; therefore, she declined the offer. She also declined the offer because she felt that the company was in a small town while she preferred staying in the capital city.
Later on, on getting to the city of her interest, the only jobs that she could secure offered between ?12,000 and ?15000. She also realized that the cost of living in the city is very high. The current offers cannot support her and meet her basic needs let alone some luxuries. Time is now gone, yet she has not found a satisfactory job, in fact she does not have any.
The objective of citing this example is not to show how unfortunate people can be or how good some are, but it is to show how costly ‘mindlessness’, which most people fall victims, can be. It is therefore wise to think critically before making important decisions; critical thinking improves such situations. Among the key concepts of critical thinking are clarity, accuracy, and logicalness (Paul & Elder, 2009, p. 14).
Before declining the first offer, my friend would have clarified her thoughts probably by sharing with more experienced people in her field. This would have reduced doubts and prevent her from making this kind of mistakes. By so doing, she could make accurate decision. Sharps and Martin (2002) posit that, “people often make decisions without reference to vital information, even when such information is readily available” (p. 273).
After gathering sufficient information through consultations, my friend would have made a better decision, take the offer and gain experience before looking for the job of her dreams. Of course, there are companies that give her desired pay, but to experienced people.
These kinds of mistakes are very common in life, even in the government planning and policymaking and in scientific researches. Schwartz (2008) emphasizes critical thinking in all areas of life, since it is a primary tool in approaching many prominent issues (p.17). Everyone who purposes to excel in life, and avoid making unnecessary stupid mistakes ought to learn and practice thinking critically until it becomes part of his or her life.
Critical thinking is an important intellectual trait that every person should have. This would prevent many losses and negative outcomes like loss of lives in accidents wherein somebody somewhere failed to think critically.
Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2009). The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts & Tools. USA: Foundation for Critical Thinking Press.
Schwartz, M. (2008). Critical thinking and analysis. Journal of Cell Science, 121, 17-25.
Sharps, M., & Martin, S. (2002) “Mindless” decision making as a failure of contextual reasoning. Journal of Physiology, 4(2), 47-54.