I wrote a response on quora recently to the question 'how do I become a better thinker' that generated a lot of attention and feedback so I thought I'd build on that a little and post it here too. Thinking is not IQ.
When it comes to using our minds, we all want to learn how to think like Sherlock Holmes. This isn't just a way of solving a crime. It's a way of thinking. Maria Konnikova's book, Mastermind: How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes, takes a deep look at Sherlock Holmes's methodology to develop the habits of mind that will allow us to mindfully engage the world.
As children, we are remarkably aware to the world around us. This attention wanes over time as we allow more pressing responsibilities to attend to and demands on our minds to address. And as the demands on our attention increase so, too, does our actual attention decrease.
As it does so, we become less and less able to know or notice our own thought habits and more and more allow our minds to dictate our judgments and decisions, instead of the other way around.