How a Business Plan Turned into a Life Plan through the Application of Critical and Creative Thinking Skills

Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Nina Greenwald


My entrance into the Critical and Creative Thinking Program at the University of Massachusetts Boston was a personal quest for skills which would clarify and focus both my personal and professional life. My work in this program has provided me with critical thinking skills that allow me to examine assumptions, reasonings, evidence and biases brought to bear on issues by myself and others (Nickerson, Perkins, and Smith 1985). Newfound creative thinking skills allow me to explore complex, disordered, ambiguous problems and make connections I had not previously seen. It has helped me identify a creative energy I did not know I had. This paper is a “real time” example of what happens when one puts their critical and creative thinking skills to work- the sometimes unexpected but positive results! My intention as I started this project was to create a business plan. What was originally intended to be a small step in that process- creating a fishbone diagram- took me in a whole new direction and in addition to a business plan I also created a life plan incorporating important elements in my life that were identified through the fishbone technique. I have used the fishbone image to guide the reader through the paper- taking them on my personal journey from high school through the following 16 years as I struggled to find my place in the world.


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