Ask yourself these — rather unusual — questions: What have you learned about how you think? What do you know about how the mind processes information? Are you, in any real sense, in control of your thinking? Do you have any conscious standards for determining when you are thinking well and when you are thinking poorly? To make significant gains in the quality of your thinking you will have to engage in a kind of work that most humans find unpleasant, if not painful — intellectual work. I suppose in my life I have more or less taken my thinking for granted. It just happens in my mind automatically.“ It is important to realize that serious study of thinking, serious thinking about thinking, is rare. And if you become persuaded of that, you will be surprised that humans show so little interest in thinking.When you cannot do this to their satisfaction, you don’t really understand what they said. Be on the lookout for fragmented thinking, thinking that leaps about with no logical connections. They recognize the importance of learning about the mind, about thoughts, feelings and desires and how these functions of the mind interrelate.When they cannot summarize what you have said to your satisfaction, they don’t really understand what you said. Start noticing when you or others fail to stay focused on what is relevant. They are adept at taking thinking apart, and then assessing the parts when analyzed.Focus on finding what will aid you in truly solving a problem. ” When thinking is relevant, it is focused on the main task at hand. In short, they study the mind, and they apply what they learn about the mind to their own thinking in their own lives.When someone brings up a point (however true) that doesn’t seem pertinent to the issue at hand, ask, “How is what you are saying relevant to the issue? It selects what is germane, pertinent, and related. And when they do question, their questions are often superficial or “loaded.” Their questions do not help them solve their problems or make better decisions. The extent to which any of us develops as a thinker is directly determined by the amount of time we dedicate to our development, the quality of the intellectual practice we engage in, and the depth, or lack thereof, of our commitment to becoming more reasonable, rational, successful persons. And to become an effective critic of your thinking, you have to make learning about thinking a priority. How much of your thinking is vague, muddled, inconsistent, inaccurate, illogical, or superficial? However, to maximize the quality of your thinking, you must learn how to become an effective "critic" of your thinking.Undisciplined thinking is often guided by associations (this reminds me of that, that reminds me of this other thing) rather than what is logically connected (“If a and b are true, then c must also be true”). Your questions become more basic, essential, and deep. See if you can break through your defensiveness to hear what they are saying. Identify times when people use language that makes them appear reasonable, though their behavior proves them to be otherwise. And so it would be if these irrational ways of thinking didn’t lead to problems in life. The strategies outlined in this guide presuppose your willingness to do so.Disciplined thinking intervenes when thoughts wander from what is pertinent and germane concentrating the mind on only those things that help it figure out what it needs to figure out. Be on the lookout for reasonable and unreasonable behaviors — yours and others. Try to figure out why you, or others, are being unreasonable. Few are willing to suspend their beliefs to fully hear the views of those with which they disagree. Ask yourself, “When was the last time I changed my mind because someone gave me better reasons for his (her) views than I had for mine?