Designing Your Life - Burnett and Evans
Dysfunctional beliefs prevent so many people from designing the life they want.
True happiness comes from designing a life that works for you.
An “encore” career involves work that combines personal meaning, continued income, and social impact.
It’s never too late to design a life you love.
Every design started with a problem.
Aesthetics is the ultimate design problem as it involves human emotion.
**Design thinking might be the best approach in living life.
When emotions are involved, design thinking has proved to be the best problem-solving tool.
Designing your life doesn’t involve a clear goal.
- Connect here why life doesn’t always start with a purpose.
Because life doesn’t have a clear goal or destination (or at least not at first), you use the following approach:
- try “crazy stuff”
- build your way forward until you come up with something that works
A well-designed life has a look and feel all of its own—a beautiful aesthetic that speaks to you.
A well-designed life is a life that is generative—it is constantly creative, productive, changing, evolving, and there is always the possibility of surprise. It is not repetitive.
Reframing questions and problems is one of the most important mind-sets of a designer.
**Start with empathy
“Don’t start with the problem, start with the people, start with empathy.”
- Start by empathizing by the person using your life: You.
- Once you have empathize with yourself, brainstorm to create a prototype that you will use to discover what you don’t know yet.
- We allow what we discover to pivot, i.e. to reframe our original point of view and modify or change our prototype.
Life can’t be perfectly planned. There isn’t just one solution to your life. There are many designs for your life, all filled with hope for the kind of creative and unfolding reality that makes life worth living into. Your life is not a thing, it’s an experience; the fun comes from designing and enjoying the experience.
The reframe for the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is this: “Who or what do you want to grow into?”
Life is ever-changing. There is no destination to arrive to, only death. There is no question to answer once and for all.
- This is tightly connected with Andrew J. Brown’s idea of a fluid life philosophy built on sand.
What people need is a process—a design process—for figuring out what they want, whom they want to grow into, and how to create a life they love.
Life design is about imagining a life you want, building it, and seeing something that has never existed before emerge.
You have three goals:
- To conceive of and pursue a life and career you really wanted.
- To have as few dysfunctional beliefs as possible.
- To increase your ability to generate new ideas for your life design.
There are many versions of you, and they are all “right.” And life design will help you live into whatever version of you.
**Build a team that will support you in your life design
Get a design team. Read the book together. Do the exercises together. Collaborate to support one another in designing your lives.
The different backgrounds in your group assures that you generate truly unique solutions.
Burnett, B., & Evans, D. (2016). Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-lived, Joyful Life. Alfred A. Knopf.