tiistai 22. helmikuuta 2022

Asking the right questions in critical thinking

 The right questions are the most important source of critical thinking. Doing them and/or doing them in the right order is more important than getting the right answers to the wrong questions. Let's take one example of such a pair of questions:

  • How can I do this more effectively?

  • Does this need to be done at all?

We don’t have to ask the first question at all if the answer to the second question is no. If the answer to the second question is yes, we should also ask ourselves the first question. The right questions will radically reduce our waste. We only get great answers with great questions. We need to set aside time to ask great questions because their benefits can be invaluable. By getting the right answers to the wrong questions, we are creating an opportunity for a great catastrophe for ourselves. In the long run, a chain reaction could result in a major disaster after asking the wrong questions.

Most of the questions we ask are wrong. They lead to wrong conclusions. The question is almost always more important than the answer. For example, when we do science, we ask questions for which we have no prior knowledge of the answers. Surprising breakthroughs can result. The benefits of the right questions then become irreplaceable. The right questions simplify things. To get the right answers, we need to keep our questions simple because our brain capacity is limited. Here are a couple of question pairs where the first question is wrong and the second is correct:

  • Why do I spend so much effort on this client?

  • Do I need this customer at all?

  • Why do politicians have to raise taxes all the time?

  • How can I pay less taxes?

Asking the right questions is difficult, but they bring great benefits. In less is more philosophy, one question transcends all others:

What are some of the critical things we can do to make all of these things either easier or unnecessary?

We need to go through the anatomy of this question carefully:

Point 1. What are some of the critical things we can do. The most important word in this paragraph is can. This is a possible action. We can’t put a word in a conditional form, as we could, we would, we should do. Doing always wins the intention.

Step 2. To make them by doing. This point means doing the purposeful thing. That doesn’t mean we do things for the sake of doing it. Finding purposefulness requires in-depth thinking, because by doing one thing, other things are not done.

Point 3. other things become either easier or unnecessary. This means that our critical issues yield such great benefits that it becomes easier to reach our goals as other things become easier or unnecessary. Most of us don’t realize how much we cannot do to achieve something significant.

Asking the right questions saves time for the most important things and tasks. I hope you find this text useful.


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