I like to know what I don’t know. If I don’t know the answer to a question I’m asked or the solution to a problem in front of me, my brain immediately conjures up the question: “why don’t I know?”
I look for what I’m missing. “If I knew A, B, and C, then I would be able to figure out X.” A lot of people skip this crucial step, and try to figure out X by just thinking harder. But that won’t work if you don’t have everything you need.
Once you’ve identified the things you need to know, you actually have a few choices. You can go find the answers to those questions, or you can speculate in a smarter way. If A has a 90% chance of being A1, and A1 would mean X1, then if you need to you could try the X1 solution with a 90% confidence rate.
This method of thinking takes practice. It can be complicated at first to untangle all the interlocking threads, but untying the knot is worth it. The clarity of your decisions will improve dramatically.