How to Be a Critical Thinker and Conquer All Your Money Problems

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Learn how to be a critical thinker and solve any financial issue or money problem you have! All it takes are some simple steps to conquer anything that life throws at you.

Learning how to be a critical thinker takes time and a lot of patience. But in the end it’s the key to solving any problem that life throws at you.

Life is full of obstacles, whether they’re financial issues, mental problems or physical setbacks. But in order to be a successful business owner and manage money on your terms, you have to learn how to overcome them with critical thinking.

In my life, I’ve encountered quite a few obstacles; from losing my mother to breast cancer at 15, to getting divorced at 25, to paying off $14,000 of debt and now starting my own business.

But instead of dwelling on my problems and financial issues, I learned how to be a critical thinker. I asked myself what needed to be done to fix each one and how I could make them work towards my advantage.

That’s the best way to overcome anything life throws at you: become a critical thinker! How? Start by analyzing the situation and look for ways to solve the problem.

Don’t put all your time and energy into focusing on the issue; look for ways to make it work for you instead of against you. This principal applies to everything in life, but especially to finance and business related problems.

Here’s how to be a critical thinker so you can conquer anything that life throws at you.

1. Plan for emergencies before they happen

Obviously an emergency is difficult to prepare for because it’s just that; an emergency! But there are some things you can do to plan for these contingencies to help reduce the blow they have on your life or money.

Look over your past money problems and search for core answers. What caused the financial emergency in the first place? Was it poor planning, not enough savings, or maybe you’re just not good with money?

Review past financial issues and plan for emergencies before they happen. At the very least, take the lessons learned from those past mistakes and make a backup plan for the future.

Related: Create a business backup plan so you can handle any emergency.

small business finances

2. Learn to be a problem solver

People who are problem solvers get things done. It’s just that simple. Once you’ve gotten over the initial shock of whatever problem you’re facing, you need to stop and ask questions.

  • What options are available?
  • What’s the next step?
  • How can I make this work to my advantage?

You want to get to a place in life where you’re a problem solver. Be someone who makes things happen — instead of becoming a victim of life and watching the world pass you by.

There are always more options than you realize. Even if you feel like you only have choice “A” or choice “B” always ask about what else there is. What does choice “C” look like?

3. Become a mover and a shaker

To become a mover and a shaker you’ve got to go with the flow and learn to adjust your perspective. As humans we get very focused on what we want and what we need, before realizing that we might not be making the best decision for our circumstances.

Instead you’ve got to embrace other plans or idea and open yourself to different opportunities. If anyone hates the “go with the flow” mentality it’s me. As a control freak, I don’t like it when life throws me curve balls or succumbing to the emotion’s of other people.

But over the last few years, I’ve discovered that life doesn’t care what our plans are and sometimes you’ve got to make your own luck. Which means, you’ve just got to go with it and as much I hate to admit that, I’m a better person for it.

Related: How to find motivation when you’re stuck in a slump.

mess up and miss a deadline

4. Be proactive not reactive

People who choose to take the offensive position will make things happen and are more in control. Those that are on the defensive, only react when things happen to them and therefore have less control.

Learn to make life happen, instead of letting life happen to you!

To become a proactive person, you’ve got to prepare for obstacles before they even occur. No, you don’t need to be a fortune teller to see the future – you just need to be smart and attentive to what’s happening around you.

For instance; if you only have one source of income with no backup plan, if you experience a job loss or other emergency, your life will be turned completely upside down.

But if you’re a proactive person, you will foresee this issue and start creating multiple income streams, cutting back your lifestyle or taking out more life insurance coverage. You won’t always be able to prepare for everything life throws at you, but you can definitely prepare for them better.

5. Focus on the positives

Some of my best experiences were born out of failure and when I thought my life was over. Instead of letting other people’s problems get the best of me, I’ve learned to look at the bright side. Granted you might not see the bright side till after the dust settles, but don’t give up hope.

In almost every situation in life there’s a silver lining, even in the last recession. Whatever life throws at you, whether it’s money problems, relationship failures or career issues, they can all be successfully handled if you apply these tips.

That’s the key to conquering anything in business and life: learning how to be a critical thinker.

15 comments

  1. Robb says:

    Sometimes I wonder how I kept getting up off the mat during my job search because I got knocked down so many times, it was incredibly demoralizing and even made me wonder if I had a future at all in this field because I’d been told “no” so much. I am very thankful I’ve yet to really have my personal life get demolished and you have my sympathies, I hope I never have to go through a divorce 🙁

    I think to go from reactive to proactive you almost have to change your philosophy of life – past, present, and future. Too many people just focus on one at the expense of the other, you have guys who are just existing – living the present, not really caring where they are going or where they’ve been. People living in the past, assuming nothing worthwhile is happening now or ever well and people looking so far forward they miss the amazing things going on now and trip because they didn’t pay attention to the past. The ideal way to live is to focus on all three – learning from the past, savoring the future, while looking forward to and preparing for the future. That is how to live a proactive life!

  2. These are great tips and things I try to do in my life but I’m also sort of a control freak and hate when I try and try and still things don’t go as I planned. But I am definitely getting better and letting things go and try to go with the flow more and be positive.

    • I definitely takes a lot of practice and patience, but I’ve been getting better and better at letting things go too. It’s by no means easy, but that’s how life is I guess.

  3. Great article! I think right now I fall into the reactive AND proactive category. I do get worked up, but then get down to business. I’m working on being less reactive and going with the flow more. Hard to do with my type a personality. 🙂

  4. Debtkiller says:

    Wow. You and I have a lot in common (except that you’re already debt free). You’re absolutely right! I’m in the middle of getting divorced, my house is for sale, I have a ton of credit card debt, etc. I’ve learned that rather focusing on all of the negative in my life, I can shift my focus onto the positives and make the most of my situation. I believe in fate and for reasons not yet known to me, I was put into this situation for a reason. Love your advice of being “proactive not reactive.”

  5. Llamaface says:

    This is a great article. Such simple advice and yet so hard to implement! I was once told that I am a great person for ‘always putting obstacles in the way of things’, which greatly upset me at the time as I realised I had actually become like that over a period of years. I am trying to move away from that now and become more positive and optimistic, so I will start thinking of myself as a ‘problem solver’, and will learn to focus on the solutions not the problems 🙂

    • You’re right! While the advice is simple, it’s definitely not easy to put into practice. It’s taken me a lot of years and time to get where I am today. And of course each day presents it’s own unique issues and problems that need to be “solved”. But that’s part of the fun in life.

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