When and when not to think Logically

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"When and when not to think Logically"
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The ability to think logically is a useful tool that everyone should keep in their mental capabilities cupboard, but it is not the be-all and end-all of even such activities as problem solving, planning or the process of scientific discovery. The well-rounded individual uses emotional thought, intuition, recall, imagination, creative thinking, deduction and analysis as well as logical thought.

No one of these ever fully controls our thought processes. Each may operate in a primary role at times dependent on the situation, with some of the other elements either supporting or sometimes conflicting with it. As a situation changes or develops, other aspects may move into the primary role.

In problem solving logical thought will usually enable you to determine the problem eventually, but intuition may get you there faster or recall might enable you to recognize similarities to problems you have dealt with in the past. The problem, particularly in human interactions, may not have a rational cause and in this case analysis rather than logical thought might work better. Finding a solution is more likely to be the result of using your imagination or creative thinking. Emotional thought will often interfere with the problem solving process, unless it is teamed with imagination to allow you to see the problem from another person's point of view, enabling you to determine a compromise solution.

With planning logical thought is most effective in the primary role, but by using aspects of all the others in conjunction you are likely to devise more effective plans. Logical thought is essential to the process of all sorts of research and development, including scientific, but deduction and imagination are more likely to bring the big breakthrough.

When watching entertainment, viewing art or supporting your favorite sports team, logical thought will be an impediment. Emotional thought should be in the primary role here, supported by imagination and creative thinking, as the purpose is enjoyment, sensory stimulation and excitement.

Most people can recognize what type of thinking is appropriate to a given situation, but usually we just do it automatically without needing to decide. We also have varied abilities, know your own strengths and weaknesses but don't avoid using those you are weak at. Try practicing them in non-crucial situations so as to strengthen them and your overall capabilities.

So, use logical thinking as a tool in combination with others in most aspects of your life, particularly planning. When engaged in creative activities, aesthetic appreciation or intentionally emotive pursuits leave it idling in the background.

More about this author: Perry McCarney

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