blog POST

The analysis paralysis myth


You often hear about ‘analysis paralysis’, about people who think too much or too deeply and for that reason cannot act.

The truth is—there is no such thing as analysis paralysis.

Paralysis exists, but analysis paralysis does not.

So-called ‘analysis paralysis’ is when the person in question can’t find the answer; so he doesn’t have the option of acting, and all he can do is sit there and ruminate.

And, of course, the cripple in question refers to his woolgathering as ‘analysis.’

That’s one kind of analysis paralysis, in any case. Another is when the person in question really is smart and does know what to do—or at least has the ability to figure it out quickly enough—but he doesn’t want to act, either because he is fearful or lazy or weak (or all three, it being unclear how different these attributes of character are interrelated).

In my experience, the second form of ‘analysis paralysis’ is the more common one. But the take home is that analysis doesn’t paralyze people. Other things paralyze people, the two main ones being not knowing what to do and being to weak to do it. Any overanalyzing that happens, happens after the defect of character in question has already made action impossible.

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