Can we design our lives?
Ever thought of designing your life ? well Stanford Professors Bill Burnett and Dave Evans giving people the tools to do just that. Their book "Designing your life" (on my to read list) gives readers the tools and methods. Burnett and Evens advice people to start with a beginners mindset and have an open mind. I know myself how busy life can be. I recently became a father and trying to run a business at the same time can be demanding. Well my wonderful partner takes care of our little girl the majority of the time,but you still have to help out. Changing nappies,appointments and playing with your children can eat into your daily routine, but I enjoy all of it.
So how do you think that you can design your life?
As I said the book is on my to read list, but you can get a sense of what the book is about from the many articles on it.
My thoughts on how to design your life
I think as a Designer I do a ok job at designing my life. There is definitely room for improvement, but my ship is pointed in the right direction. Like design, life can throw up challenges all the time and we need to take a step back and reframe the problem and approach it from another angle. Modern life is extremely stressful and there are many moving parts. Taking that step back and trying to cut out all the unnecessary stuff is probably the best starting point.This can be hard I know, but the rewards can be transformative. For me its about simplification, do I need to have this in my life right now? Asking yourself these questions can help in cutting out the clutter. For those of your that have kids clutter can be around every corner. Kids can only play with one toy at a time, so try and cut down what they have. If your kids are old enough, teaching them to keep some order to what they have will benefit them as they grow. As well as your kids you will need to declutter things in the home and look for a more minimalist environment.Think about that cupboard that is bursting at the seams. You know that cupboard you just shove everything into. I've had one of those cupboards.Take a day of half a day to bring some order to that cupboard, or maybe its a room that needs tidying. Just make that start.
The confusion of life
I think that the confusion, and messiness comes from a lack of purpose in our lives. I say this because we can fill our lives with meaningless things that we buy or take part in just to make us feel better.This sometimes can be confusing or seem a little messy.
Finding this purpose can be hard, but doing some visualisation (I'll outline this at the end) will get you thinking in the right way.
I was many years finding my purpose. There was lots of ups and downs, different jobs and many paths travelled, and I know I am on the right path.I think we all have a calling that is inside of us; that little whisper that needs to be developed into a roar. This can take time but you need to stick to it and in the end you ship will be pointing in the right direction. Now you may run-a-ground sometimes but you will fined your way back out to sea, heading towards a fulfilling life.
Some thoughts on how to think about your designing your life
Get a sheet of A3 paper and draw a picture of yourself in the middle. A stick man and or women is just fine or even your name. Then write the all the elements involved in your life both good and bad. This could be anything from mortgage debt to the wonderful relationship that you have with your husband wife. Also put down stuff that your passionate about such as food, reading photography or helping people. It could be anything just get it down on the paper.
Now slowly start to look at each post-it, sorry yes use post-its for this. Their easy to chop and change. Look at things you could take out, adapt, postpone to a later date.Its really just like a brainstorming process.
Now see are there things left that your really passionate about. Can I pursue that photography career I have always thought about? Can I blog about food? Is it a more feasible option then opening a restaurant. I could do that at a later date. Its just making that little start and seeing where it takes you. These are only my thoughts and it a process that I have used myself for getting stuff out of my head. Best of luck with it and let me know how you get on.