Designing Your Life


I was recently perusing a bookstore in the airport waiting for a delayed flight when I saw the book "Designing Your Life" by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans.

Since I'm currently going through this period of self-discovery and reflecting on my career decisions, I figured I would give this book a try. After reading through it (and admittedly, not really going through the chapter tasks), I've taken away three things from this book:

  1. View the issue of being 'stuck' in life as a design problem.

  2. Ideate!

  3. Each decision is the next step - not the final step, not the right step, but just A step


Prior to reading Designing Your Life , I never really thought of my indecision or not really knowing what I wanted in my career as a 'design' problem. I felt like it was a problem without a solution - I've spent several years of my life studying for what I thought I wanted to be, and now having squandered my 20's just studying, I have no life skills and haven't really worked a REAL job. 

Viewing a problem as a 'design' problem means RE-FRAMING that problem into something actionable. Actionable problems are those that have solutions - one can break down this problem into several actionable steps to hopefully arrive to a solution. No training other than clinical training? Why not get more training by utilizing online courses or communities. Perhaps try LinkedIn to create relationships and a network with someone in the field you are looking to break into. 


After re-framing a problem into something that is actionable, then try different iterations of solutions. In design process thinking, there's multiple solutions to one problem. Ideation sessions, such as brainstorming, allows one to explore different solutions to optimize outcomes. There's not one solution to that one problem - as the saying goes, there's multiple ways to skin a cat.

Don’t look as the next step as a final’s a step forward in a direction that will lead to more opportunity.


I think a lot of my indecision in what the next step should be is because I look at the next step as a final step. I often find myself thinking about consequences of each decision that could happen - and then I get so lost in those consequences that I never take a step or make a decision in the first place. 


Build the Life You Want

I will try to put these three things into a more actionable plan - and hopefully I will be one step closer to a more fulfilled life. With a fresh perspective and a curious mind, there can be multiple ways to finds happiness and fulfillment in anything!