Asked what aspects of thinking are most central or valuable, I'd say the ability to keep an open mind, especially about things you may already believe to be true or false; the inclination to ask good questions and really listen to the answers; the flexibility to shift your point of view when you're stuck; and the humility to realize that truth is never singular.
Process Reflection: Trying to mold these thoughts into a single sentence of exactly 64 words was both more labor intensive and more revelatory than I had thought it would be. I've been toying with the idea of doing some writing about thinking again. As a result of the years I spent in dialogue with the Critical Thinking group at Punahou, with my CT classes, and with the Institute for Critical Thinking, it's a subject I've had more direct experience with than most. But it's been a while since I've re-visited the subject. If I were to give myself the exact same assignment again I suspect I would not come up with exactly the same answer. In fact, I'm inclined, as an exercise in lateral thinking and the shifting of my own point of view, to set myself the exact same assignment again under the condition that I have to come up with a completely different answer that will also be, if not "true," at least plausible. So that will be, with luck and the blessing, be the next post.