Powerful Thinkers do Critical Thinking (CT) in order to assume the position of "taking charge" of ones life and remain in the position of controlling and orchestrating what one thinks, feels, says, and does; in any situation; and with any problem. Patterned Thinking (PT) Tools contributing to these ends are to be cultivated while any PT working against these ends are to be shed. To be able to recognize the difference requires "Knowing Thyself" in general and the type of ones Character in particular. One way to start that process is by the Seven questions of Self-Inquiry--the who, what, when, which, why, where, and how of ones Selfhood. Step I: Look in the mirror and engage in reflective questioning. "Who was I before my parents conceived me?" "Who am I now?" "What am I about? And what is my most recent evidence of this?" How do my deceased Ancestors see me and are they proud? These questions help in determining ones depth and "realness" in daily living. If, after assessing all of ones good, neutral, and bad points one is not able to honestly say: "I am outstanding and as good as I can possible be," then one must look at ones flaws to determine: "What part am I playing in not being my best?" For me, this is where most of the problem lies.
Step II is using the "4Fs" to locate and handle ones keystone problems causing Bad PT. If ones problems can be traced back to one or more of the "4Fs," then one becomes aware of perpetually getting what one really, really does not want while not getting what one really, really wants. If this is the case, then one is a non-sexual Masochist (inviting or failing to prevent needless hardships). Fight, Flight, Fright, or Funk represent keystone Roots in the Tree Concept. Exploring behind each Root will give the Seed. Listing all of ones problems and selecting those which apply to the Keystone Root will shape the Trunk, Branches, Leaves, and Fruit. Next, place this Problematic Tree inside its proper setting of: (a) ""am I" Just Being" whereby there is no thinking and no emotions; (b) "am I" reacting mentally but not physically out of fear that reacting "by doing" may make things worse; and (c) "am I accepting" needless hardships like "It's my fate!"? Step III: Since non-sexual Masochism is most frequent in struggling Black Americans, this means correction of the keystone problem includes simply stopping what is self-defeating; becoming educated as to what is the Truth of what to do; and developing the skills in how to do what needs to be done. For those believing "God is causing me to go through this hell to purify me for the Afterlife," I would suggest spending the time to learn the Truth about God from the Ancient African (not European) Bible. One will learn, for example, that assuming God is Unconditional Love and one believes this, then pain and suffering would never be part of God's plan and thus "It's my fate!" is never a "Right" excuse for "giving up."
Step IV focuses on breaking up Bad PT while replacing it with a constructive counterpart. Bad PT is either formed improperly; misused--e.g. in the wrong way, at the wrong time, or in the wrong direction; or used in place of much needed CT. Bad PT is a great hindrance to ones success in life and the longer it is allowed to continue, the harder it is to correct. The process of switching immediately is to assume the "take charge and control" position for orchestrating ones life. The way to kill a habit is to have another habit overwhelm it. Then let the old habit die from lack of use.
And make this a mild Obsession and Compulsion. Good Obsessions are the full and persistent concentration on what properly needs to be done which, in turn, directs beneficial activities. Good Compulsions are dedications to consistently do the job "right". There can be no "vacations" from either and there can be no short cuts. When some PT is automatically reproducible and has a track-record of giving beneficial results, each of those can be converted to a PT Habit Tool. Key Points: "Think About Every Single Thing You Do!" & "Know Why You Do Everything You Do!!"
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