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Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans

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Think like a designer, reframe your thoughts and design your life so you live like you want to you!

Design thinking involves certain simple mind-sets. The five mind-sets:


Bias to action



Radical collaboration

These are your design tools, and with them you can build anything, including a life you love.

There are different types of problems – gravity problems are things you can’t do anything about, obviously you can’t change gravity. From the designer mindset point of view these are not real problems. As if it’s not actionable, it’s not a problem. This is a situation, a circumstance, a fact of life that you can do nothing to change. There is no solution to a gravity problem—only acceptance and redirection.

An anchor problem is a real problem. This is when you are stuck because you can only see one solution, the one you already have that doesn’t work. Although this is an actionable problem you may have been stuck on it so long or so often that it seems insurmountable. This is why such a problem has to be reframed, then opened up with new ideas, then knocked down to size by prototyping.

Health, work, play, and love are important factors.  For these think about where you were before and where you want to go.

Brainstorm think of problems and potential solutions.  Mind map put any word that comes into your head. Reframe the solution to some other possibilities, prototype those ideas and get yourself unstuck.

Too many options and reflecting on these too much can lead to unhappiness, be aware if you have too many options this can be burdensome, so discard some options and move on.

Prototypes allow you to try and fail rapidly without overinvesting in a path. Failure is raw material for success so expect this. To prototype ask good questions, create experiences, reveal our assumptions, fail fast, fail forward, sneak up on the future, whilst building empathy for ourselves and others. Once you accept that this is really the only way to get the data you need, prototyping becomes an integral part of your life design process. Not only is it true that doing prototyping is a good idea; it’s equally true that not prototyping is a bad and sometimes very costly idea. First you gather and create some options, then you narrow down your list to your top alternatives, then you finally choose, and then, last but not least, you fourth step in the process is to let go of our unnecessary options and move on, embracing our choice fully so that we can get the most from it.

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