I Want to Be Aware and Understand Things Easily
We all want to be seen as capable, quick-witted, “sharp as a tack,” and to achieve this we have to train ourselves to be alert and adaptable. Yet, have you ever had someone say something to you several times before you even hear them and realize they’re talking to you? Ever misinterpreted what someone meant when they were writing or speaking to you? Has it ever taken you a while to learn and understand a new idea?
We’ve probably all experienced one or more of these at some point or another and not thought much of it, but these are all interconnected issues whose roots we have to expose in order to better our minds. Those roots are the underlying cognitive skills that form our abilities of awareness and comprehension.
Critical Thinking for Success improves your comprehension and awareness by training you in those cognitive skills.
Root Causes of Poor Comprehension and Awareness
We begin by identifying which of those skills you are the most proficient in, and which ones have room for improvement. They include:
- Shape Recognition is how well you recognize familiar objects and shapes. This skill is used to develop your ability to automatically predict meaning from signifiers, such as in speed reading and taking social cues.
- Direction and Orientation is used to form an understanding of relationships in the environment. It makes it easier to give and take directions and figure out priorities.
- Environmental Awareness forms mental templates for similar situations, and helps you understand how things are related to each other. This skill helps you interpret information from the environment by noticing changes, body language, and more, and then form more accurate impressions and expectations.
- Field Discrimination is being able to focus on a target despite other distractions being around, while remaining aware of those other things in case they become important. It helps you stay engaged in conversation and negotiation, stay focused on work despite whatever’s happening in your personal life, and keep your goals in mind while working in a group.
- Abstract Sequencing, or abstract logic, is the ability to visualize the future step by step. This allows you to understand the logic of concepts faster, discover errors earlier, strategize more effectively, and more accurately anticipate outcomes.
- Concrete Sequencing, or concrete logic, is the ability to see what’s working in the moment. Whereas abstract sequencing helps you plan in advance, concrete sequencing helps you recognize the logic of a process at the time of the action. You’re able to quickly grasp how something works in a hands-on situation, spot mistakes and inefficiencies in the plan early on, and be better at training others.
- Pattern Recognition, also called rule induction, helps build mental templates for different types of information, similar to environmental awareness. Seeing patterns in information lets you remember the pattern rather than every individual piece, reducing the amount of effort needed to process complex information.
- Short-Term Memory helps you deal with multiple pieces of basic information at once. This way you can put them together into the big picture and better manage how that information is transferred to medium- and long-term memory.
- Tracking is how your eyes and brain follow and interpret streams of incoming information. Following something beginning to end without deviation helps you process that information without distractions getting mixed in.
Improving Your Comprehension and Awareness
Critical Thinking for Success will identify which of these skills is most in need of improvement, and then develop a personalized training regimen for you that builds those skills up.
Skills like abstract and concrete logic are trained by changing how you approach and plan out tasks in your personal life. Pattern recognition is developed through an assortment of daily games and puzzles. These activities are prescribed to help your brain form good habits, and one-on-one coaching is used to solidify these habits.
Over time, we’ll improve your cognitive abilities so you’ll be sharper, more aware, and better able to tackle whatever comes your way.