Thinking Skills: Using your brain in the Information Age

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Thinking Skills are some of the most valuable skills you can learn today. The reason is simple. While in the past, people went to work for their manual skills, today they go to work for their mental skills. We live in information age, no longer an Industrial Age. That’s why brain has replaced brawn, and strength in thinking has replaced strength in muscles.

No matter what kind of business you work for, nor what kind of job you do, today you are expected to apply a range of thinking skills to the work you carry out. This includes using your judgment; collecting, using, and analyzing information; working with others o solve problems; making decisions on behalf of others; contributing to ideas to innovate and change; and being creative about how your job  can function better.

The Thinking Skills are:

  1. The Potential of the Brain: the brain takes up a fifth of all the energy generated by your body in its resting state. It is also big too, our brain consists of 100 billion cells, each one of connects to 1000 other brain cells making a total of 100,000 billion connections.
  2. Brain Power: the brain weights just 3lb; it contains 12 trillion nerve cells (more than two and a half times the people on this planet). It contains 1000 trillion molecules (way beyond our ability to compute), and can process 30 billion bits of information a second. Your brain has enough atomic energy to build any of the world’s major cities many times over. Unsurprisingly, no human being has yet existed who has been able to use all the potential of the brain.
  3.  Exploding the Myths: one of the reasons we fail to make the most of our brain and, therefore, our thinking skills, is that we hang on to a range of inherited assumptions about our brain and our capacity to think. Many of us believe that, contrary to the facts, we are either born bright or stupid. We think that we are only as intelligent as our measured Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and that this is fixed throughout our lives. We think that, when we run up against big problems, they just can’t be solved. We fret over taking decisions and bemoan our ability to choose wisely. We think that we are stuck with the way we think and that we cannot change it... .
  4. Brainworks: humans are the only species that can think in the 3 dimensions of past, present and future. We can use our brains to interpret our world in any way we choose, at one extreme, positively and , at the other, negatively. We can use our brains for working out answers to logical problems as well as using it imaginatively to work out answers to illogical problems. We can imagine with our brains, invent and innovate. We can learn, change and develop. We can use our brains to interpret, understand, and become wise. We can use our brain to analyze things and to synthesize things… .
  5. Brain not Brawn:Given the wonderful instrument that our brains are, it is astonishing that, until very recently, thinking was regarded in industrialized countries as a second-class skill. For several centuries, people were employed first for their manual labour, secondly, for their machine-operating skill and lastly, and only if called upon, for their thinking ability.



BY Muhammad Elias Hatimi

About the author


Kabul University

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