TOEFL Independent Writing
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Being creative, rather than planning carefully, more often results in the best solution of a problem.
Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Can a problem be solved without planning carefully or can it be solved without being creative? There are no absolutes, to be sure; but there is an interesting grey area between the two approaches. From the identification of a problem to the implementation of the solution, successful problem-solving requires a combination of careful planning and creative thinking.
Conventionality, careful planning is important to solve a problem from beginning to end. At first glance, this approach may seem straightforward on the assumption that excellent planning leads to excellent execution, poor planning leads to poor execution, no planning leads to uncertain execution. It is logical to believe that the more careful people are in planning to solve a problem, the better they are able to solve that problem. What is usually implied in careful planning is to follow established patterns in the hope of coming up with the best solution of a problem without taking risks. It is as the saying that goes: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” However, while stressing the importance of careful planning, can all problems, including those problems which have never before been identified, or those problems which have yet to arise, be solved conventionally without creative thinking?
Beyond planning carefully, being creative is required in order to result in the best solution of a problem chiefly because creativity involves breaking out of conventional patterns and looking at things in an innovative way. An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail, meaning that it needs courage to think creatively as there is no creativity without failure. It is true that many people understand the importance of creative problem-solving, but they just do not understand what it is, and it is almost impossible to explain creativity which has no boundaries. Fortunately, creative thinking as a problem-solving skill can be practiced and nurtured. That being said, while careful planning is important in its own way, that alone is no guarantee that a problem can always be solved successfully in the same way. About this point, Albert Einstein has this to say: “People cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking they used when they created them because a problem can never be solved on the level on which it was created.”
In conclusion, when it comes to problem-solving, both careful planning and creative thinking are required, and the one must have the other in mind. The two approaches are not mutually exclusive. In problem-solving, it takes two to tango.