Critical Thinking. Part 1

Google the definition of critical thinking, and you will get “the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement.”  I like that definition.  To me, the key components are “objective” and logical reasoning.

You see, anybody can think.  But to think objectively in a fair minded and structured way devoid of  human biases is something else.  Because to make a sound judgement, our left and right brains are constantly in a tug-of-war.

The left brain represents logic and the right, emotions.  And nine out of ten times, our emotions win out.  We tend to stick with our gut feel when making decisions.  That’s why emotional appeal is such powerful technique.

So  how to stay objective and think critically?  Not an easy task given our own biases, self interests, and social norms – the baggage we acquired over time.  To be aware our biases and balancing two halves of the brain takes skills.

To be continued.

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“Seeking Challenge”

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Common in resumes is the phrase “seeking greater or increasing challenges” – the reason to move or advance one’s career.  While no doubt in the job seeker’s intention, the phrase is often misused for the career move.  Why?

How many people can master their current positions (especially at mid to senior levels) and ready to take on more challenges or increasing responsibilities?  Maybe 1%? Because there is always room for incremental improvement in just about every job.

Let’s assumed the answer is 1%. The rest of job seekers are trying to leave their jobs for reasons other than more challenges.  Maybe more pay, better location, and other selfish reasons.  Seeking greater challenges may seem better on paper (not really), but it’s rarely true.

Maybe a more accurate and honest description would be seeking different challenges?

Are you seeking challenge for the right reason?


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“How does it work? Why is it so? When will it happen? Where to find more?” and other questions are asked by people who are curious.  And these questions are wonderful because they represent curiosity which is the basis for learning and source of motivation.

As wonderful as these questions are, why don’t people (i.e, myself) ask more of them?  Lately I have found myself lost my way with asking this kind of questions.  Too set in my ways? too busy? too old to learn? too . . . I am not sure.  But I don’t like it.

When one ceases to be curious, I believe one is just living to get by.  Counting down the days. Learning new things used to recharge me.  The excitement of acquiring something new, be it knowledge. skills, etc. gave me tremendous satisfaction that is more than material possession.

Now I want to get the feeling back.

How do you cultivate curiosity?

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Information are classified into categories.  So they can be organized and retrieved quickly.  As part of the process, labels are affixed to these categories (or sub-categories) for identification.  Makes perfect sense and all good.

But when it comes to people, labeling is a much different matter – a slippery slope if you will.  Take the extroverts and introverts for instance.  The former are “people” oriented and latter prefer “solitude.” These interpretations are value-laden, intentional or not.

People person is viewed positively and a team player while loner, negatively and an outcast.  Even though the terms extrovert and introvert themselves are only to distinguish individual personality preferences, their connotations go way beyond.

People are complex.  Labeling people may be expedient but is risky when reaching beyond the demographics.  Such practice risks stereotyping and trivializing who people really are.

What label(s) have you been affixed with?

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Christmas Eve

Winter sun softens the chill feeling.

Perfect prelude for Santa’s traveling.

Deck the halls with boughs of holly.

It is time to be ready for season’s jolly.

To family, friends near and far,

A Merry Christmas wherever you are.

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Week In Review – 23 Dec 2018

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. . .  Albeit, the government is partially shutdown, the holiday moods as well as my retirement are thankfully not dampened.

The traditional family and relatives gatherings go on as usual.  For an introvert like me, this means spending energy.  But, important to point out that regardless of preferences, both the introvert and extrovert need people.

For an example, running with a partner is more fun.  Yesterday, the sun was up but the weather was cold.  The 11 mile run was more enjoyable with fellow SRC member Woo’s company, and it made me realize what is important – relationship.

Celebrating the holidays with family, friends, and relatives is relationship building.  Spending time together, sharing individual stories, exchanging details are all nuts and bolts of the fun.  Perhaps writing Christmas card is similar but to a lesser degree?

Have a nice week!

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Introvert Love

“Introverts need personal space and time alone to reflect, which is how they develop their energy.” ~ Glenda at Ps of Mine

When I came across that line in Glenda’s blog post, I said to myself – here is somebody who knows my personality type.  Because I too am an introvert.  For me the personal space and time I need speak volume to my blog here at Running with Buddha.

I suppose if I were to take a Big Data approach of applying a content analysis on all my posts, a pattern of my preference for introvert may appear.  But that’s way too geeky even for me. Instead, the details had to be revealed and the nuances dissected through evolution.

Frankly, it hasn’t been all that easy of a discovery journey for me  As Glenda mentioned in her post – 75% of the folks are extroverts.  Coming to term with myself being an introvert has taken some deep reflections.  Looking back it’s work well worthy the investment.

Are you an introvert or extrovert?

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Government Shutdown

Every year the federal government goes through a budget exercise. And it seems shutting down the government somehow gets to be used by politicians as a bargaining chip with impunity.

Not taking sides.  But as a taxpayer, I don’t appreciate the government shutdown.  After all, if I don’t pay my taxes,  Mr. IRS will come after me.  If I don’t pay my mortgage, Mr. Bank will come after me. There are consequences.

Why then with the government shutdowns, the politicians (including the president) do not have to answer to anybody? Is it because the members of Congress continue to be paid during the shutdown (however long that may last)?

It was the words of President Abraham Lincoln, “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,” serves a worthwhile reminder for the elected officials to heed before they espouse the government shutdown.

Are you affected by the shutdown?

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On Christmas Card

Don’t know about you but I still get Christmas cards in the mail.  Yes, the plain old card with a stamp on the envelope kind.  One in particular came with a typed holiday greeting message (with a typewriter?).

For sure, it’s nice to keep in touch.  I had followed the Christmas card tradition for years.  Evolving from hand written, to printed annual update, to photo, then back to hand written, my Christmas card ritual took on many formats before I finally stopped it.

Why?  Too much work?  Not exactly.  While the idea of keeping in touch appeals to me, doing it through the Christmas cards, however, seems a bit trite.  Not to mention the pressure it creates following a mailing list.  Reaching out to all my friends and relatives just feel a bit rushed and disingenuous.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not against the Christmas cards.  It is a form of communications that let people know you are still alive and kicking.  Not to mention it is nostalgic and keeps the Hallmark (when you care enough to send the very best) and Postal Service in business.

With the advent of email, text messaging, and a host of social network options, I prefer to keep in touch throughout the year

How do you keep in touch?

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What’s Really Important, Part 2

The Runaround Dilemma:

Because we don’t know what is really important to us, everything seems important.  Because everything seems important, we have to do everything.

Other people, unfortunately, see us as doing everything, so they expect us to do everything.

Doing everything keeps us so busy we don’t have time to think about what is really important to us.  —Anonymous

Source: FranklinCovey – Enablers of Greatness

The Runaround Dilemma was what I used to avoid on a daily basis prior to my retirement.  I worked diligently to figure out what my priorities, or more accurately my boss’s priorities, were.

Now retired, I own my time and priorities. No longer do I need to wreck my brain to figure out what’s important (to my boss).  Instead, I go with the flow and let the important stuffs happen to me.  Otherwise, must not be important enough.

Part 1, here

How about you? What’s really important to you?

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