Designing Your Life aims to show readers how design thinking can help us create a meaningful and fulfilling life. This success comes regardless of who or where you are, what you have done for a living, or how old you are. The same design thinking responsible for amazing technology, products, and spaces can be used to design and build your career and your life. Your life can be overflowing with fulfillment and joy. Plus, it can be constantly creative and productive.

Here are the 3 most exciting lessons learned about living a better life from the book.

Lesson 1: You can easily see where you want to go and where you don’t by pondering where you’re at in the four fundamentals of life.

Have you ever tried to use Google Maps to get to a place you’ve never been to? I don’t use data very often, so it occasionally has a hard time finding my current location, let alone where I want to go. Interestingly enough, this is a good analogy for what you need to know to begin designing your life.

To get an accurate picture of where you’re at in life right now, you need to ask yourself the right questions. Start by looking at how you’re doing in each of the four key areas:

What you want to do is balance all of these pillars of life, but what that looks like is your choice. Younger people often look more to play, while those that are beginning to get older might focus on relationships or health.

By asking yourself how you’re doing in all of these areas, you can easily see what you’re neglecting. It’s important that you then set some goals to help you keep that part of your life healthy. Your relationships might need some attention, for example, if you’ve spent too much time focusing on your career.

Lesson 2: To get clarity of purpose, identify what you do that fills you with energy and puts you into a state of flow.
Sometimes, the only thing holding us back from pursuing a more purposeful life is not knowing what fills us with energy.

To figure that out, just pay attention to what you do and how it makes you feel, then record it in a Good Time Journal. Use it to write down experiences, positive and negative, and how they make you feel.

Documenting what makes you sad is important but what’s vital is that you capture what you do that makes you feel focused, engaged, and in a state of flow. Make sure to be detailed about what you were doing when you felt these feelings, too!

Flow is particularly important. This is when you are so entranced with what you’re doing that you lose track of time. For me, it happened once while playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but I won’t make a career out of that. I do pay attention, however, when it happens while doing certain writing tasks.

It’s empowering to discover that certain work activities can increase your energy rather than drain it. Make sure to capture these in your Good Time Journal so you can see where you should go next with your life plan!

Lesson 3: It’s good to have multiple options before you, which you can get by exploring where the different paths before you will lead.
So we’ve talked about some pretty awesome ways to get started finding out what life design will make you happiest. But what about the actual design process? One of my favorites from the book is to let yourself have many options and plan for all of them.

Nothing says that you can only have one true path to happiness. There are loads of different ways you can go to find fulfillment. Why not explore as many as you can? It can’t hurt to have options!

I remember clearly what happened not long after I had the mortifying realization that I had chosen the wrong career. I began planning and preparing. Countless hours on Google Docs and spreadsheets outlining my next moves became the norm for me.

Although I had what I thought was a good plan, my transition hasn’t gone how I anticipated. I got sidetracked by opportunities that were better for me. Some paths took longer than expected, but that was good. I’m in the best place now because of it.

I wish I would have been more like one young man who got three internships at the same time. Instead of deciding on one, he planned to do all three, one right after the other.

Once he started, however, he began having Skype conversations with friends giving them advice about their careers from his experiences. He enjoyed this so much, however, that he ended up changing course to become a career counselor!

culled from 4munite summary

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