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We could then identify the definition in each case that is at the root of the negative emotion.
Though you probably can’t do all of these at the same time, we recommend an approach in which you experiment with all of these over an extended period of time. All humans waste some time; that is, fail to use all of their time productively or even pleasurably.
Nevertheless, each represents a plausible way to begin to do something concrete to improve thinking in a regular way.
8) When you act, monitor the implications of your action as they begin to emerge. For example, concentrating on intellectual humility, begin to notice when you admit you are wrong.
Be ready at a moment’s notice to revise your strategy if the situation requires it. Notice when you refuse to admit you are wrong, even in the face of glaring evidence that you are in fact wrong.
Sometimes we become irritated about matters beyond our control. So why not take advantage of the time you normally waste by practicing your critical thinking during that otherwise wasted time? Did I allow any negative thinking to frustrate me unnecessarily?
Sometimes we jump from one diversion to another, without enjoying any of them. The key is that the time is “gone” even though, if we had thought about it and considered our options, we would never have deliberately spent our time in the way we did.
In doing this, of course, focus on four techniques of clarification : 1) Stating what you are saying explicitly and precisely (with careful consideration given to your choice of words), 2) Elaborating on your meaning in other words, 3) Giving examples of what you mean from experiences you have had, and 4) Using analogies, metaphors, pictures, or diagrams to illustrate what you mean. How a situation is defined determines not only how we feel about it, but also how we act in it, and what implications it has for us.
In other words, you will frequently STATE, ELABORATE, ILLUSTRATE, AND EXEMPLIFY your points. However, virtually every situation can be defined in more than one way.
This fact carries with it tremendous opportunities.
In principle, it lies within your power and mine to make our lives more happy and fulfilling than they are.