Rational thinking is the ability to think out of the box. It is the ability to think critically, to produce “good quality of thoughts” to arrive at a rational decision.
Today in the modern world and with the overflow of knowledge and technology, our society demands from all of the decision makers and others to bring qualitative improvement in thinking in the daily affairs of life.
All of us, either political elites or ordinary citizens, put efforts into creating productive and creative solutions to the pressing problems.
Statistics claim that on the average, students memorize the facts but they do not apply them.
And if they apply them, that is what we call rational thinking.
Who are rational thinkers?
Rational thinkers are ones who question everything. Moreover, these logical people are always curious about the world. They frequently ask the “why” question.
Does rational thinking make a difference?
Yes. It absolutely does make a difference. It is not that people lack thinking. People do think, but what they think is incomplete.
And by having incomplete or flawed thinking, they make poor decisions.
Whereas good decisions are always a result of complete rational thinking.
Not everyone has the ability to think in a rational manner.
Most people are limited to typical thinking i.e. they think within their domain.
While some serious political leaders, as well as decision-makers, are able to think rationally to arrive at a sound conclusion whenever being encountered with national as well as international issues and that is the reason they are so successful today.
Rational thinking leads to rational action:
Since every output requires an input so there is no point in only thinking rationally but to not act on it.
It is believed that thinking in a rational manner helps us to arrive at a conclusion so that we become able to do something i.e. rational action.
How is it possible?
It is possible if we involve ourselves in a process – a process that includes a series of repeatable steps and to perform those steps to achieve a wanted goal.
In order to arrive at a rational decision, we need to think rationally first.
– A cake involves a “series of steps” before it is to be baked in the oven.
– A complete official essay needs to be written by following some “prerequisite steps”.
– The changing of a tire of the car also involves some steps to be performed by the mechanic.
So that is how it works. Always.
Remember, the series of actionable steps in rational thinking is necessary and essential to producing the desired outcome.
The entire process of rational thinking is productive and meaningful.
Mathematically, this process works like this:
Input + Process = Output
In this equation, the process is referred to as the process of rational thinking. And the output is the desired outcome of the entire process.
What are those repeatable steps to be performed in order to think rationally?
We can derive many benefits from these steps given below only if we treat rational thinking as a complete process.
Here are some of them:
1) Break the process into individual steps to make them visible:
We cannot know how we arrived at a definite conclusion unless we look into the individual steps that were being performed unless we know how the results took place.
Being a teacher, you assigned a mathematical equation to your students. On the completion, you only evaluate whether the answer (the mathematical value) is correct or incorrect.
In the situation of an incorrect answer, the teacher should look where the student has gone wrong?
Did the student miss any step or mathematical formula or wrote it mistakenly?
At which step the student should pay extra attention?
Does this situation demand to retouch?
2) Apply the process of thinking in unusual situations:
To become totally aware of the process of rational thinking and its process. One must learn all the required steps and then apply them to new or different situations.
This would reciprocate to not only help you in making good decisions but also help you in gathering the relevant data and information.
3) Help others in improving their thinking abilities
Helping others to improve their thinking abilities often strengthens our own.
Just as cricket players are taught to work on their performance step by step like to work on their swing, pitches, etc.
Similarly, we can teach and help others to improve their thinking in various steps.
4) Teachers must revise the syllabus for students:
The best way to rational thinking is that the school must add some basic steps in the syllabus of students. to make them learn how to think rationally in every aspect of their life.
The basic steps like:
– Encourage them to choose a career for themselves
– Develop better learning habits
– Provide strategies to cope with difficult situations
These steps would make the students efficient in decision-making and problem-solving activities.
5) Engage in puzzles and problem-solving activities
As a teacher, you should involve your students in problem-solving activities. So that they become able to think and understand the whole situation and learn to successfully solve the situation.
For example, You may distribute problem-solving MCQ’s to the entire class within the lecture. And then ask them to complete it in given time.
Comprehension is a very good and practical step to rational thinking. The demand is to comprehend the material you are provided with.
Which means to understand the material and then relate it the knowledge you already know?
Comprehending helps you to give the material your own significance and improves thinking.
To become a rational thinker, one must adopt the above-given steps and repeat them every day.
You also need to analyze the things that surround you.
By analyzing you need to see how things are around you. How they are related to others and how they connect with other ideas.