Attention is all about cognitive engagement. Here’s a simple audit for you to rate your own level of cognitive engagement in just 20 questions …
Answer each of the following 20 questions, scoring
either 3, 2, 1, or 0 points for each answer depending on your
objective estimate of how often you actually do what is stated.
Use your best guess of the following criteria for scoring:
3 – 90% OF THE TIME (nearly always)
2 – 70% OF THE TIME (mostly)
1 – 40% OF THE TIME (often)
0 – 10% OF THE TIME (hardly ever)
My judgments of ideas are based on the value of the idea rather
than on my emotions at the time.
I judge ideas not just as “good” or “bad” but also as “interesting” if they can lead on to better ideas.
I consider all factors in a situation before choosing, deciding or planning.
I consider all factors first, before picking out the ones that matter most.
When I create a rule I see to it that it is clearly understood and possible to obey.
I try to see the purpose of rules I have to obey, even if I don’t like the rules.
I look at consequences of my decisions or actions not only as they affect me but also as they affect other people.
I look at a wide range of possible consequences before deciding which consequences to bother about.
On the way to a final objective I establish a chain of smaller objectives each one following on from the previous one.
The objectives I set are near enough, real enough and possible enough for me to really try to reach them.
In planning, I know exactly what I want to achieve.
I keep my plans as simple and direct as possible.
I know exactly why I have chosen something as a priority.
I try to get as many different ideas as possible first,
before starting to pick out the priorities.
I will go on looking for alternatives until I find one I really like.
While most people look for alternatives when they are not satisfied; I look for them deliberately even when I am satisfied.
I am able to tell myself the real reason behind a decision I make.
Before making a decision, I consider the factors, look at the consequences, get clear about the objectives, assess the priorities, and search for possible alternatives.
I am able to see the other person’s point-of-view whether I agree with it or not.
I am able to spell out the differences and similarities between different viewpoints.
Your total score is _____________
Don’t panic, this is NOT a scientific test. Self-rating is notoriously unreliable so your ratings may be way off depending on your mood and other factors. However, it is a valid audit or metacognition checklist: to help you take stock of your thinking, your own attention skills, your own cognitive engagement. That’s all!
Every day the output of your brain is decisions. You make hundreds of conscious decisions a day, sometimes more. The quality of these decisions has a direct impact on the quality of your personal life, your family, your business and your friends. If you can raise the quality of your decisions you can raise the quality of your life.
A trained thinker can direct his or her thinking and use it in a deliberate manner to produce an effect. To a trained and skilled thinker, thinking is a tool that can be used at will and the use of this tool is practical. This ability to use ‘thinking as a skill’ is the sort of thinking ability that is required to get things DONE.
– If your total score in this test was between 51 and 60 points, you may already possess superior brainpower.
– If you scored between 31 and 50 points, you may have better than average brainpower.
– If you scored between 0 and 30, you may possess no additional brainpower other than the natural thinking ability that most people have.