Discussing and thinking hard can be like pedaling an exercise bike: they expend lots of energy and sweat but go nowhere.
Like the traveler who is so distracted by the surroundings that he loses his way, we focus on the substance (evidence, arguments, and conclusions) and not on the process of our analysis.
The word analysis means separating a problem into its constituent elements.
Doing so reduces complex issues to their simplest terms.
Not surprisingly, the solution we intuitively favor is, more often than not, the first one that seems satisfactory.
Economists call this phenomenon satisficing (a merging of satisfy and suffice).If you’re a good writer, you might be tempted to take the GRE essay portion without practicing.That’s not a great idea–the issue essay is a different kind of essay than you’ve probably had to write in school, and you might miss the mark if you don’t practice.Failure to consider alternatives fully is the most common cause of flawed or incomplete analysis.(page xiii) As a result [of taking an instinctive, intuitive approach] we unwittingly, repeatedly, habitually commit a variety of analytic sins.Lack of a process that fit the problem is why the alchemists failed to turn lead into gold. The rest of this article is a deep look at a tried-and-true way of answering that question.It's also why so many people and organizations, as well as entire social movements, are failing to turn opportunities into successes. An analytical approach is also known as "structuring one's analysis." Here's what Morgan Jones, former CIA analyst, has to say in his widely acclaimed Exactly what does structuring one's analysis mean?We aren't interested in the process and don't really understand it.Most people are functionally illiterate when it comes to structuring their problems.The key word in the above definition is "appropriate." If your problem solving process doesn't fit the problem at hand, you can execute the process to the highest quality possible and still not solve the problem.This is the reason most people fail to solve difficult problems.