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How Thinking Critically Changes Your Life for the Better

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How Thinking Critically Changes Your Life for the Better

Critical analysis can be defined as the ability to judge an issue by taking into account all factors that affect the process and outcome of the issue. A person with the ability to think critically will be able to calmly analyze from more than one perspective without letting personal preferences interfere judgment.

So, how does thinking critically make life better? For starters, it can enable you to understand topics more deeply, make you a star performer in your job and allow you to be more open and tolerant of people who hold beliefs which are quite contradictory to your own.

Understand, Don’t Just Learn 

One of the first things you notice after embracing critical thinking is that you are able to understand subjects much better. A normal learning process involves reading a subject and memorizing it. On occasions, you may also understand the subject logically. 

“Critical thinking takes you beyond such basic processes and enables you to understand the subject in a way that you begin seeing its implications across multiple areas.”

For example, if you are learning economics, you may come across a concept which states that the scarcity of a product raises its value, while the easy availability of a product decreases it. Now, a person without any critical thinking ability can only see its applicability in the field of economics, and will probably only be employed in that field.

But someone who can think critically will see the applicability of the theory of demand in other areas, which might at first seem unrelated. For example, they might observe that people who have grown without love from parents may hold love to be very important in their lives. 

In this case, love is the commodity, the scarcity of which, increased its value. And such insights are only possible because the person had critical thinking abilities which enabled him or her to apply knowledge gained from one subject to other areas.

This concept was explored in Richard Paul and Linda Elder’s Critical Thinking Development: A Stage Theory, in which they proposed that children who have higher critical thinking abilities are able to understand subjects at a deeper level and connect ideas across multiple disciplines.

Increasing Tolerance

How Thinking Critically Changes Your Life for the Better

If there is one thing that contributes to a lack of tolerance in the world, it is the absence of critical thinking. Intolerant ideas are the products of narrow viewpoints which are unable to accommodate other perspectives, especially those which run counter to them.

As an article on tolerance and critical thinking notes, when people surround themselves with those who only share their views, critical thinking can suffer and they can end up thinking that only their viewpoint is the absolute reality.

A person of a specific spiritual belief may be against another person’s belief, refusing to believe it as equally valid as their own. A person who identifies with a particular sexual identity may hate those who live with a completely opposite inclination. There are many such examples of intolerance.

Critical thinking expands your ability to observe and accept other people’s views and beliefs. For example, if you are a religiously intolerant person, then critical thinking will make you see that the other person’s way of worship is not so different from yours since both of you are essentially praying to a divine power for the good of people you love. 

And when you start accommodating the other viewpoint, any intolerance you feel will begin dissolving and you become more forbearing.

Developing Critical Thinking

How Thinking Critically Changes Your Life for the Better

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

-Aristotle

Developing the ability to think critically is no easy task. It requires you to slowly give up your preconceived notions and start making value-based judgments on events based on merit. For people who have grown with a strong set of prejudices, this can look impossible.

And even if you think you have developed a strong ability to think critically, you will still have to deal with the paradox of critical thinking, where you may not be able to decide whether you have arrived at a conclusion because of careful analysis or whether you have fooled yourself into thinking that you had done a critical analysis.

But whatever paradoxes you may face, one thing is for certain – it is far more beneficial for you to be able to think critically than not being able to. And as such, putting in the effort to be a solid critical thinker is well worth it.  

Final Thoughts

When you start thinking critically and from various perspectives, the range of thoughts increase. More thoughts aren’t necessarily a catalyst for decision making. Hence, have your starting points and intentions in the right place, and decisions will be easier to make and you won’t get into analysis paralysis.

Mindfulness

5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection

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5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection
5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection
5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection
5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection

Perfection has somehow become a term we use to measure our expertise in something. Rather than focusing on learning as well as we can and as much as we can, we tend to focus on achieving perfection.

While striving for perfection isn’t wrong, because that means we expect the best from ourselves, chasing perfection surely is futile.

Because perfection isn’t exactly a measurable term, we can’t be sure if we have achieved the state of perfection. What you can call perfection when you learn something is knowing all the ins and outs of the subject matter, even then there will always be something new to learn.

“Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time.”

-Voltaire

Perfection takes time. Time is something that most of us scared to invest. You either invest your time or you elude it trying to save it. From the time we start understanding words and achievements, we are inspired to chase perfection. By the time you realize that there is no such thing as ‘perfection’ in this world, you have already wasted a lot of your learning years chasing it.

While looking for a perfect job, a perfect career, a perfect relationship, a perfect moment – we often forget to cherish the things we have or be thankful the opportunities we have been given – we end up losing what we have.

“Perfection cannot be defined or seen; it can only be found in your heart.”

-Kelly Millar

5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection

Everyone has their own definition of things. Because everyone has a different perception of things, different priorities, different dreams – there is no one thing that can sound perfect to everyone – that is what makes ‘perfection’ a very relative term. What sounds perfect to one person, might not even be worth considering for someone else.

If you don’t realize that perfection is nothing but another societal norm we have been working to achieve that isn’t realistic, you will be chasing a dream nonstop with no end to it whatsoever. It is like rolling off the hill, you will only keep tumbling downwards until you reach rock bottom.

Chasing perfection also leads you to a state of analysis paralysis rendering you to inaction. Whenever there is a huge change to be made or a big risk to be taken, we tend to overthink a lot. Yes, research is important. Yes, giving enough thought to your decision is essential. The problem arises when we try to get our solution to the state of perfection. Under the pretence of working on perfecting your course of action, you somehow get stuck and are often too late to be taking any action. 

You can only think about so much, you can only do so many things to ensure everything goes smoothly, you can only think about so many risks that you can counter – unless you actually get down in the water you are not going to learn how to swim is basically my point. You aren’t going to be a national level swimmer when you start and that shouldn’t be your goal either. Your goal should be getting better than you were yesterday.

Let’s talk about the impact you will have on the way you work and the way you approach things once you stop chasing perfection.

“It is reasonable to have perfection in our eye that we may always advance toward it, though we know it can never be reached.”

-Samuel Johnson

1. You Feel More Happiness and Gratitude

5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection

When you are in the pursuit of happiness, you often feel powerless because nothing brings satisfaction. No matter what you achieve, no matter what perks you get, no matter the heights you reach – you will always be chasing more instead of taking a moment to be thankful for what you have and be happy of the things you have managed to achieve.

Instead of being grateful for the feat you have pulled right now and giving yourself credit, you will start planning what more you do to do it better the next time. While striving to be the best isn’t wrong, not being appreciative of what you have managed to do is. When you do not give yourself credit, you start losing confidence in yourself.

When you don’t appreciate your efforts, there is no feeling of happiness or contentment to come by. You jump to your next course of action in the next heartbeat without giving yourself time to relax and cope. 

“I think what is interesting in life is all the cracks and all the flaws and all the moments that are not perfect.”

-Clemence Poesy

But, when you stop chasing perfection, you give yourself a chance to feel happy about yourself, your work, and your efforts. Gratitude is a feeling that helps you stay humble. When you are humble, you are pleasant to work around and you don’t let your pride or ego ruin your hard work.

2. You Get an Optimistic Outlook on Life

5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection

When you let yourself bask in the positive feelings surrounding you, you create a positive bubble for your thoughts. When you are happy, your thoughts are happy. When you feel gratitude, you appreciate the things you have and the opportunities you have been given. Being thankful allows you to have an optimistic outlook on life.

When you are chasing perfection, it is somehow lost. You start finding faults in all your achievements, stopping yourself from being happy about them. This leads to negativity clouding your thoughts and as a result, you start pouring the same negativity in your life.

Letting go of negativity is one of the important steps that help in unleashing your full potential. The more negative you are, the more your mind festers in the feeling, and the more it reflects in the way you carry yourself and your work. 

When you let go of the notion of perfection, you allow yourself to relax and be proud of your achievements. This action triggers positive emotions within you, helping you become optimistic toward the next stage of your life.

3. You Start Feeling More Confident

5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection

Now, that you have are happy, feel thankful for what you have, and have a positive mindset – it is natural to start feeling confidence seep into your every step. A happy mind will help you achieve a lot more than you could have ever imagined.

When chasing perfection, you never stop to look at your achievements as achievements, instead, you jump to the next stage of doing it better, getting it to perfection. This never gives you the time to analyze what you have done and derive confidence in yourself from the results.

Acknowledging your achievements is as important as learning from your failures. When you don’t give yourself time to feel good about the things you have managed to do and focus on only what you could have done better, it will eat away your self-confidence and that will take you a step back rather than a step forward.

Giving up on the notion of ‘perfection’ lets you develop confidence in yourself and your work. So, after a little wait, when you do go for betterment, you will know that you can do it and that will help you move faster toward your goal.

“If you chase perfection, you often catch excellence.”

-William Fowble

4. You Strive to Achieve More

5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection

When you chasing perfection, you most likely are aiming too high. When you are told to take a moment to praise your own achievements, it is not only to help your pride. It also helps you learn what worked and what needs more work. When you are content enough with your current accomplishment is when you can look at it objectively to understand how to be better.

Because this thing you did gave you a positive feeling and boosted your confidence, you are more likely to feel motivated to achieve more. Setting the benchmark too high because you are hell-bent on achieving perfection makes the very thing unachievable or at the very most you feel unsatisfied even if you do end up achieving it.

You have to know your skills and your limitations when you set goals for yourself so that you can give yourself ample room to put your best foot forward. When you have realistic expectations and see real results, it pushes you to achieve more as a result.

5. You Feel Content

5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection

When you are striving to reach the stage of perfection, you let that idea hold you in its clutches. Your idea of perfection can stop you from admiring something wonderful that is present right in front of you. Chasing what is out of your reach can lead you to reach what is in your hand.

“We adore perfection because we can’t have it; it would disgust us if we had it. Perfect is inhuman because human is imperfect.”

-Fernando Pessoa

When you let go of that perfection ideology, you free yourself from your own expectations tying you down. You start feeling content with your life and with the pace you are going. Being content with what you have, frees you from feeling pity and sympathy for yourself, giving you a boost to go ahead with all your focus. You learn to use your resources to the fullest and make the most of your circumstances.

Final Thoughts

“Perfection’ is man’s ultimate illusion. It simply doesn’t exist in the universe…. If you are a perfectionist, you are guaranteed to be a loser in whatever you do.”

-David D. Burns

Instead of chasing perfect, strive for improvement and excellence. When you focus on becoming better than you were yesterday, you automatically open doors for yourself. You surround yourself with positivity – inside and out – making it a much-needed fuel to keep working toward your goal.

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Habits

7 Lifestyle Changes You Need to Make for a Meaningful Life

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7 Lifestyle Changes You Need to Make for a Meaningful Life

A meaningful life holds a different meaning for every single person out there. My definition of a meaningful life will vastly differ from yours. There’s no right or wrong answer here. Everyone feels satisfied with different things, everyone has a different purpose.

One common thing that we can all agree upon is that our lifestyle dictates how we go about our life. Whether we add meaning to our lives or just exist from day to day is promptly defined by our lifestyle choices.

The basic lifestyle choices are all in tune with our basic needs. Our basic needs are usually what we overlook in the process of getting things that will fulfil our basic needs – it is ironic, really. 

Here are a few of the most important and down to the element changes that you need to make to live a healthy life and to increase the quality of your life. Most of these are entangled with one another. When you work on one, you are bound to have started working on another. So, let’s talk about them.

1. Wake Up Early

7 Lifestyle Changes You Need to Make for a Meaningful Life

This is one advice that is the beginning of bringing about a lot of good changes in your life. There’s something delightful and serene about the morning time. The environment we are in affects our mood – waking up early is a great example of that. 

Not only our productivity is at a peak, but nature is also at its finest, especially if you live in a city. The air around you hasn’t had the chance to be tainted with pollution, and the sound is filled with happy chirping than loud horns blaring – thanks to the morning traffic not having polluted everything yet.

“Life is too short,” she panicked, “I want more.” He nodded slowly, “Wake up earlier.”

-Dr. SunWolf

Being in a calm environment helps you focus better. Studies have shown that you have reduced stress levels in the morning which makes you more energetic. Having high energy and better concentration helps boosts your speed, which in turn helps you complete any task in lesser time than it would take otherwise.

This is the perfect time to get your biggest task done, or as I call them, your big rocks or MITs (most important tasks). Starting early lets you wrap up early, meaning you get more time for yourself and your family.

2. Get More Sleep

7 Lifestyle Changes You Need to Make for a Meaningful Life

When you make waking up early a routine, you start going to bed early. This lets your internal clock adapt to the routine, resulting in better sleep quality. Having no sleep pattern messes up the body, but now that your body gets to get the rest it needs, you will see a lot of aches and pains go away.

When we think about working hard, we often misconstruct it as late nights and early mornings, meaning no rest whatsoever. In the whirlwind of getting as much as you can get done, it is easy to start focusing on being busy rather than being productive.

“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.”

-John Steinbeck

Another reason that people have difficulty falling asleep is excessive use of screens in their daily life. Scrolling through social media with fear of missing out (FOMO) lingering over our shoulders have become a common phenomenon.

Worrying about life and whatnot already reduces the hours of sleep we get drastically and add to that spending hours scrolling through various apps. It doesn’t only impact your physical health negatively, your mental and emotional health is affected too.

Going to sleep late is considered cool but your body would like to disagree. Not getting adequate sleep not only leaves you feeling tired, but it also develops a lot of health risks. Instead of trying to pump yourself full of coffee to get through the day, work on getting adequate sleep.

3. Limit Screen Time

7 Lifestyle Changes You Need to Make for a Meaningful Life

As discussed, being on our devices is one of the major reasons for us going to bed late at night, mainly social media. You should go on social media detoxes from time to time to help yourself spend less time online. 

Phones are one of the biggest distractions right now for a majority of people, taking measures to eliminate the distraction caused by your phone is an important step toward increasing your productivity. Studies have proven that using electronic devices before sleep makes people have trouble falling asleep. It is advised to not use any kind of screen at least 30 minutes prior to bed.

4. Have a Balanced Diet

“The little energy you obtained from your breakfast can ignite your willingness to kick start. Don’t overlook the little energy you have now by fixing eyes on a supposed magical influence farther away!”

-Israelmore Ayivor

As we go on working on our goals, our diet takes a backseat along with our sleep. We sort of have started taking pride in the meals we are missing – it is somehow meant to show how hard we are working. At the end of the day, it is helping no one. One of the meals, that is commonly missed, is the breakfast, it sort of ties to us not waking up early and not having enough time to do everything we need to do before we start hustling at work.

7 Lifestyle Changes You Need to Make for a Meaningful Life

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. It gives you the energy you need to start the day. Not having a proper breakfast is another reason why people fill up on caffeine. We have forgotten the importance and need of having a balanced diet. In our fast-paced, busy lives – out of sheer convenience – we have started relying more and more on fast foods and instant, processed food. 

The processed food we consume isn’t necessarily healthy and doesn’t help our pocket either. Try to prepare batch meals on weekends that you can eat throughout the week. If you are super busy and don’t even get weekends off, then start with having at least one home-cooked meal every day. Your body will be really thankful for the nutrients it is getting. 

Always focus on getting a balanced diet. Include whole foods that are filled with minerals, proteins, dietary fiber, fatty acids, and vitamins, meaning nutrient-rich. Include eggs, yoghurt, milk, fruits, oatmeal, whole-wheat toast, wheat pasta, mixed nuts, etc.

5. Practice Self-Care and Meditation

7 Lifestyle Changes You Need to Make for a Meaningful Life

Chasing our dreams doesn’t mean we have to forget ourselves. Taking care of yourself should definitely be on your to-do list – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Being busy is no reason to neglect your health. Even when you are busy, you can slip in moments of self-care. Practising self-care fills us with optimism and helps us gain a better hold on our lives.

Meditation is a good form of caring for ourselves and making a stronger connection with ourselves. It helps you relax your mind and helps increase your focus. Self-care can mean a lot of things like lighting candles and reading or using bath bombs while having a bath or lighting incense sticks while exercising or doing yoga, or even listening to music while cooking – it all depends on what makes you feel like you are being taken care of. 

“Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.”

-Deborah Day

Anything that helps you feel relaxed and at peace is considered as self-care. It is supposed to help you live your life to the fullest without the exertion taking a toll on your body. Give your body time to recover from all that you put it through. 

6. Listen to Podcasts

7 Lifestyle Changes You Need to Make for a Meaningful Life

Most of us spend hours traveling to either work or college or someplace we need to be. This time isn’t usually ideal for getting work done, so it is sort of free time you get with yourself. Why not do something productive with it while still relaxing.

Our busy minds instantly start to roam and worry, stress about things that need to be done or things that are out of our control. Listening to podcasts on subjects we enjoy gives us something to do and helps pass the time by doing something productive. I usually listen to podcasts to help boost productivity. There are so many podcasts to choose from. If you want, you can also listen to audiobooks.

7. Get a Hobby

7 Lifestyle Changes You Need to Make for a Meaningful Life

Having a hobby is important to give your passion a chance to flourish. It is a great way to learn new things and also relax while doing things that make you happy. Spending some quality time with yourself and doing things that mean something to you – is something that can’t be measured in value.

“It is in our leisure hours that we are permitted to follow our “hobbies,” and it is in them that our truer selves find expression. Many of the greatest men in the world’s history achieved their fame outside of their regular occupations in the spare moments of time which most people think are of no serious use.”

-Nixon Waterman

Not having a hobby, or not doing something just because you like it can have negative effects on your emotional health. Gain isn’t only monetary, you can spend time on things that build your emotional wealth. Hobbies get you a chance to figure out your passion if you haven’t already.

With an increase in work from home culture, you anyway spend a lot of time looking into your screen. Try to invest in a hobby that keeps you away from the screen. Get out in nature, spend time with friends and family, get your creative juices flowing.

Final Thoughts

Making positive changes in life is not about making drastic changes – it’s about taking small steps and being consistent about it – little changes that leave a significant impact are what we are working toward. We are creatures of habit. Breaking a pattern isn’t easy, we try to fight change. Try to ease yourself into things that will help transform your life for a better tomorrow.

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Habits

5 Meaningful Steps to Help Transform Your Life Through Self-Discipline

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5 Meaningful Steps to Help Transform Your Life Through Self-Discipline

Whenever we think about transforming our lives, change is the first thing that comes to mind. Change is the only thing that is fair about our lives, everyone goes through a myriad of changes in their lives – some similar and some completely different.

Chane helps us get new experiences and pushes us to be a better person. Transforming your life works on the same philosophy as well. You can’t expect to get a different result by doing the same things over and over again. To transform both your personal and professional lives, you will need to make changes in yourself, your habits, your process, and the way you work. All of these simmer down to how disciplined you are.

Here are some steps that will help you bring about the changes in your life that can help you transform it for good, all of them need you to have self-discipline which will then lead to accountability and commitment.

1. Recognize Your Weakness

5 Meaningful Steps to Help Transform Your Life Through Self-Discipline

Knowing your weakness is really important to bring meaningful changes in your life. When you recognize the areas you need to work on, it gives you a direction to follow. Identifying the problem is said to be 50% work done.

When you know your weaknesses, you start questioning your actions. This lets you think rationally. Critical thinking helps you change your life for the better. You will know whether what you are doing is because it is the right thing to do or you simply are afraid to take action. You will find out what things you need to give up to live a successful life.

2. Create Positive Habits

When you know what your weak points are, the next step naturally is to start making changes to turn those weaknesses into strengths. One step to doing this is reinforcing good habits. Introducing good habits in your life needs sheer determination and consistency. 

The kind of habits you have dictates the quality of your life. The way you live your life has a huge impact on how you work, and it does not require a genius to figure out that how you work has a huge impact on your success.

“I have learned that champions aren’t just born; champions can be made when they embrace and commit to life-changing positive habits.”

-Lewis Howes

The changes we make in our daily routines, our habits, have the power to change the narrative of our lives. They directly contribute to the outcome of the work we do, the progress we make. It is crucial to recognize the areas we need to work on and then find ways to make it right.

It is also in your best interest to create habits that will help you attain your goals. These habits have to be developed by identifying the various ways which will be used to achieve your end goal – like said before, turn your weaknesses into strengths.

3. Use Rewards

Healthy Reinforcement is a great way to make a new habit stick around and also get work done. Rewards are a sure way of getting work done because it gives you something to look forward to at the end of the task. It is a sweet driving force. When you can see something for yourself in the end, you feel more motivated to complete the work. Say you want to watch a new episode of your favorite show, then use that as motivation.

5 Meaningful Steps to Help Transform Your Life Through Self-Discipline

Keep watching an episode of the show a reward for completing the report you have been putting off for months. Trust me; it will work like a charm for the things you need that little extra push to the finish. This motivation is the most lucrative one to oneself. The activity that you usually do to procrastinate can be used as a reward instead – killing two birds with one stone.

Incentives or rewards are a great way to motivate yourself to finish the task at hand. When you have something to look forward to, it becomes easier to run the last mile. When you work on your business, the results aren’t often quick. No sight of results can dim your mood, and you can feel demotivated, everything can seem pointless. You have to avoid that feeling, and that can be done by setting rewards for yourself for completing a difficult task or achieving a small milestone.

4. Self Realistic Deadlines and Personal Standards

Working with a deadline requires discipline. You have to use that aspect and apply it to your business and yourself. Set non-negotiable deadlines for the most important tasks. This will help you learn how to manage tasks effectively, how to multitask, and how to get a job done no matter what.

5 Meaningful Steps to Help Transform Your Life Through Self-Discipline

If just setting deadlines is still not helping you focus completely. Set strict restrictions on yourself. Do not allow yourself to deviate from the task at hand. If you have the urge to stop working and check your phone or play a game or listen to one song, stop yourself. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Tell yourself that you will be able to do whatever you want, guilt-free when you get your work done.

While you are doing this, don’t forget that the deadlines need to be realistic. Take into the account the time you require to finish the work along with breaks. Breaks are as important as working with dedication. Don’t set standards that are too high to meet for you consistently. This will make you feel demotivated because you won’t be able to achieve your deadlines.

5. Make Constant Adjustments and Changes – Be Flexible

Being flexible is a great tool when you are trying to learn anything or are trying to cultivate a new habit. You need to recognize the shortcoming in your current plan to build your routine accordingly. If something isn’t working, change it. Just because something worked for someone else, doesn’t mean it has to work for you too.

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

-George Bernard Shaw

Make changes as you go, your strategy for anything is only going to work when you aren’t rigid with it. You will realize that often times it becomes necessary to make changes throughout the journey. Don’t be afraid to completely change your course of action either.

Final Thoughts

Seld-discipline is a massive help when it comes to good qualities in us. It will help you sail through a lot. Whatever you wish to achieve and whatever you are doing with that will usually boil down to how strong your resolve is. At the end of the day, it is all about what you want, how much you want it, and what you are willing to do to achieve it.

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