Designing Your Life:How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life
By Bill Burnett, Dave Evans
Designing Your Life teaches you how to take a design-based approach towards your life in order to live better and optimize the life you lead in every way, and in every area. The book was co-authored by Bill Burnett, one of Apple’s original designers; and Dave Evans, a mechanical engineer, and previous VP of Talent for Electronic Arts. Bill and Dave also teach a popular class together at Stanford that teaches students how to leverage design-thinking to customize a personal + professional lifestyle optimized for maximum fulfillment. This book is based on their Stanford life-design class.
One of the most important points the authors reiterate throughout the book is that any one can design and live-out a joyful, purposeful life — including you. Regardless of your past, your failures, or whatever skills you believe may be holding you back, remember this: when you take a design approach to your life you will learn exactly how to evaluate your biggest challenges, reframe your thinking, and try solutions as you find what works specifically for you. This design-thinking approach takes the pressure off needing to know exactly what you want and how to get it. Instead, you try options that seem interesting, enjoy the journey, and add or subtract choices as you design your life. It leads to a dynamic, energetic, and fulfilling life where you’re always growing and changing for the better.
Here’s what you’ll learn about in this summary:
- You’ll learn how to go from where you are right now, to where you want to go, to the type of person you must grow into in order to get there.
- You’ll learn how to sort through several options and choose the one that suits you best by using techniques like way-finding and prototyping.
- You’ll learn how to practice living a life where you can positively reframe negative situations and use them to your advantage.
- And much, much more.
“You can use design thinking to create a life that is meaningful, joyful, and fulfilling. It doesn’t matter who you are or were, what you do or did for a living, how young or how old you are – you can use the same thinking that created the most amazing technology, products, and spaces to design your career and your life. 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.”
“In life design, we reframe a lot. The biggest reframe is that your life can’t be perfectly planned, that there isn’t just one solution to your life, and that’s a good thing. 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.”
“If you become open-minded enough to accept reality, you’ll be freed to reframe an actionable problem and design a way to participate in the world on things that matter to you and might even work. That’s all we’re after here – we want to give you the best shot possible at living the life you want, enjoying the living of it, and maybe even making a difference while you’re at it. We are going to help you create the best-designed life available to you in reality – not in some fictional world with less gravity and rich poets.”
The key to designing your life starts with replacing questions like “What do you want to be?” with questions like “What do you want to grow into?”
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