“Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones.” -Herbert Simon, Nobel Laureate
Changing yourself into a new and improved version is not difficult. You simply haven’t learned how to yet. Ready to learn?
The basics, first. You need to understand what design thinking is.
If you read back through my articles or have coached with me, you will see that design thinking applied to one’s life is what I do and what I teach.
Design thinking is the process of using your mind, strategies, and practical methods to build or achieve something. You can apply design thinking to all aspects of your life.
Life design is about examining who you are, determining where you want to be, and recreating yourself and your environment.
Reimagine Your Life
I enjoy remodeling houses, taking something old and outdated, and making it fresh and modern. So let’s use a building analogy to explain how you can redesign your life into anything you want it to be.
Think of designing yourself and your life as erecting a tall, modern skyscraper. Here are your guidelines:
- You may model and execute the building however you prefer.
- It must be the tallest and most modern building ever imagined.
- You are required to build on a specific piece of land and utilize some existing structures.
- All the resources of the world are given to you to complete the project.
How would you go about this task?
Likely you would:
- Open your mind to new, vibrant possibilities.
- Design a building.
- Make a plan.
- Determine which materials on your land stay and which to throw away.
- Build it.
Taking your life from mundane to something spectacular requires the same process. Let’s apply the steps to your life:
Completely open your mind to new, vibrant possibilities.
We tend to severely limit ourselves by our past experiences–by all our constraining beliefs. By using the analogy of redesigning yourself as the tallest, most modern building, you open yourself to unlimited possibilities of whom you can become.
Design your building.
It is exhilarating to envision your life as anything you want it to be. Like your building, you’ll want to include everything to make it attractive, functional, and awe-inspiring.
Likewise, you can create every single aspect of your life anew. The way you look, walk, talk, the people you interact with, your job, your home. Everything.
Now sketch it out. How do you want your life to look?
Make a plan.
Building the new you will require an extensive plan and materials list. The project is enormous, so you will need help.
To construct a skyscraper, you will need permits, raw materials, construction workers, architects, and more. There will be things you haven’t thought of that will need to be accomplished. You will need the cooperation of other organizations to get electricity and water and new roads.
The plan for your life will also require acquiring resources and help. These may be people, materials, money, or cooperative organizations (like schools or governments.)
Examine which materials you wish to keep and those you want to throw away.
In life design, this step correlates to looking at the parts of yourself and the environment you’ve created to determine what works and what no longer serves you.
If you’ve ever watched a house-flipping show, you probably get excited about “demo-day”–the day that old, worn bits are bulldozed, and the house is taken down to the studs. Inevitably, the process also reveals some hidden gems the designers want to keep.
Do this with your life. Determine which structures and embellishments you wish to keep. Then take your metaphoric sledgehammer and demolish everything that won’t work in your new life.
You now have the blueprint and have framed out your building. Now start construction.
Constructing a new life may take many forms. You may need to find new helpers or partners, rebuild your body and mind, change jobs or go back to school.
Assemble the necessary components and get to it.
There will be unforeseen challenges along the way, and here is where design thinking shines.
When problems arise, our minds must come up with creative new solutions. This stretching of your mental capabilities, in turn, will benefit all your future endeavors.
Don’t be afraid of problems. They are the energy of life that moves us forward.
What are you designing? Let us know!
Tami Green is America’s Most Respected Life Coach. She has been helping people redesign their lives and achieve stellar goals for almost twenty years. Contact her to speak to your organization or for coaching.