Intentional Thinking is making a conscious decision to think about a subject, a situation, a topic usually with the goal of finding a solution or gaining needed knowledge. It is deliberately directing your mind in a certain direction and is a form of self-mastery.

Change Thinking is deliberately opening up your mind to others’ opinions, especially when it challenges your own belief system or Point of View (POV). We all have habitual patterns of interpreting the world that shape our experience that are so engrained we are no longer aware of them (Fish discover water last). One visualization technique I use is to image yourself entering a lecture hall and choosing to leave your current mindset at the door (I imagine I’m carrying my world outlook in a backpack) knowing it is there for you to pick up at your leisure on your exit. If nothing else, my ability to understand and relate to others has been enhanced PLUS I’m more aware of the lens with which I’ve chosen to view the world.

Good Thinking is utilizing Critical Thinking Skills (CTS) i.e., to think in a prudent, purposeful, organized, rational manner. It includes the careful evaluation of the quality and reliability of sources of information received and at times involves the application of the scientific method. Good thinking requires we think about how we are thinking, reflect upon the process, exercise independence, verify with appropriate skepticism.

Catastrophic Thinking is irrationally focusing on worst-case outcomes. By overestimating the likelihood of negative events and in turn underestimating our coping skills, we choose to create a fertile breeding ground for stress and anxiety. This reduces our ability to respond effectively and may trigger a self-fulfilling prophecy. This self-induced cognitive distortion is a classic example of self-sabotage.

Closing Quotes:

“Thinking is a habit, and like any other habit, it can be changed; it just takes effort and repetition.” – John Eliot, 1604-1690

“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.” – William James, 1842-1910

“The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes or fears or wishes rather than with their minds.” – Will Durant, 1885-1981

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier