Given the choice between completing a gruelling mental task or lounging at the beach, which would you choose? If you are like most people, the thought of soaking up the sun beats solving problems at the office. However, this widespread temptation to avoid difficult mental tasks is not a straightforward sign that many of us are inherently lazy.
Mindfulness has become over-hyped, misunderstood, and overly commodified. The documented robust health effects are overstated and not enough health professionals are talking about the unknowns or downsides. There are other ways to self-soothe besides mindfulness; it's one of many tools in the toolbox. Let me start by making this very clear: I'm a big fan of mindfulness.
When ideas aren't coming, or I'm confused about what's going on in my head, I'll make something called a mind map. Starting in the middle of a notebook page, I'll draw a picture, or write a word or phrase with a box or a circle around it, then I'll write the first word or phrase that comes to my mind next to it, enclose it with a box or a circle, and draw a line connecting them.
Today’s hyper-connected world inundates us with information, but is it possible we’re losing the ability to think for ourselves? Is connectivity sabotaging human connection? Is critical thinking losing ground to getting in line? Katie Kimball is an educator, online entrepreneur, and most importantly, a mom of 4 thinking children with a message all parents desperately need. YES, worried parents: Your kids can learn to think critically. No, it will not take all the brain cells you have left. It will take some intention to build a spirit of curiosity, attitude of adaptability, and capacity for resilience. These are the habits your kids need early on to assess information, ask the right questions, and come out on top, with their intellect and sense of self intact. It’s time to put critical thinking under the microscope and take practical steps forward. This generation is counting on us.
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