Critical Thinking Game Plan
Columbia Southern University
Everyday, we are faced with situations that can bring out a mixed bag of emotions that will have an effect on how we react to them. The emotional reaction to certain encounters can sometimes triggerconsciousthoughts or decisionsbased on past experiences that have grown over time. Not to exclude the unconscious thought provoking reactions that arise by surprise, thinking before you act is usually what we are trying to accomplish but can pose a real challenge. The formulation of a critical thinking game plan comprised of proven strategies helps with making rational decisions and improving the overall thought process when practiced daily.
Me and my family currently live with housemates and their family and most of the furniture and appliances in the house, we own. Like most roommate situations, they all brief well, but in the end, it winds up becoming a disaster. I cooked a meal for my family that we all enjoyed and later wrapped everything up put it away to eat the next day after I got home from work. With this food being on my mind, anxiously waiting to get home to devour the leftovers, I get home, open the refrigerator to find out that all of that delicious leftovers were gone except for the empty container. I immediately slammed the refrigerator out of anger and called my wife to tell her how furious I was that not only did our housemates eat our food, but they left me with the empty container to clean. My wife then, laughed and told me that our son ate the food and most likely put the container back in the refrigerator. Feeling so embarrassed that I didn’t get the full details before blowing up, I had to do some reflecting for myself. Sometimes being an egocentric thinker, I had to question some of my thoughts and reactions that I displayed during that moment. Did I overreact over something minor? Could I have handled the situation in a more rational manner? Once you have a moment to ask yourself why you behaved the way you did, I can answer these questions honestly. Yes, I did overreact to something that could have been solved quickly and easily. Redirecting my energy on thinking clearly and effectively asking the right questions to get the right information would have prevented me from acting inappropriately.
Given the living situation that we are in, we have been in search of purchasing a new home and found one that we really like and fits our family lifestyle. Having already been pre-approved, we got all the required documentation needed, and got the house under contract. Me and my wife have already got most of the house packed up after getting a date on when we are supposed to close. Dealing with the rollercoaster of emotions, being excited for my family to be in our own space, but frustrated with all the packing, we then find out that we will not be able to move and close on the date that was given. Upon receiving that information, I immediately called the people I felt were responsible for missing our closing date and threatened to report them to higher for not meeting the proposed deadline. Later on that day I get a call, from the appraiser himself and he shared that he had a death in the family and was apologetic of not being able to close out the deal. In this particular situation, I needed to get in touch with my emotions and Paul and Elder (2012), suggest that when I feel negative emotions, what exactly does that type of thinking lead to and should I be making any assumptions? The agency that was late on the deal has had a track record of being unreliable and I assumed that I fell victim of the same stigma that they are known for so I jumped to conclusions without knowing all the facts.
Another example of me having to use one of the critical thinking game plan strategies was when I was leaving the house to pick up my son from school and traffic on this particular day was bumper to bumper, and I thought I was going to be late. Cars would not let me enter the lane I needed to get into and I couldn’t make any of the stop lights. Furious, would be the term I use of how I was feeling being stuck without any control of the situation. As the traffic suddenly started to clear up and start to move, I noticed that there was a major accident on the side of the road that was holding everyone up. I then had to “redefine the way I see things” (Paul & Elder 2012). What if that was me and family in the accident? Putting myself in the situation where I am traumatized over an accident and feeling the guilt of holding everyone else up because of my collision really changes the perspective on how I looked at being in traffic the next time I was in it.
Paul, R. & Elder, L (2012). Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and Your Life, 5, 38-41.