Designing Your Life, Part 2

In the same way Apple didn’t accidentally create the iPhone, no one stumbles into a great marriage, a great budget, or a great diet. These things take time, effort, and intention.

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As discussed in Part 1, you are a designer. You may not see yourself that way, but the fact is you are constantly making design decisions.

  • You design how you spend your time each day.
  • You design what you do with your money.
  • You design your habits, routines, and rituals.
  • You design how you relate with others.
  • You design your mindset and view of winning.
  • Etc!

Because remember, design is not something reserved strictly for artistic professionals. Design is simply the process of thinking about how to make things work well. And we all do that, with varying degrees of success.

At its best, design is deliberate and thoughtful. At its worst, design is accidental and careless.

So I’ve been thinking about how to apply design thinking to my daily life. When I sat down to make a list, here were nine principles that came to mind.

I want my life to be…

  1. Simple
  2. Efficient
  3. Advanced
  4. Affordable
  5. Accessible
  6. Intuitive
  7. Durable
  8. Flexible
  9. Beautiful

You could apply any of those words to a car, an app, or a business. But you can also apply them to a schedule, a fitness regimen, or a financial plan.

The point is, design thinking can and should bleed into all of life – to the point where good design and good values become synonymous.

Consider the alternative.

If design didn’t matter and I was content to just default to the status quo, my life might look something like this (and truthfully, sometimes it does):

  1. Complex
  2. Inefficient
  3. Behind
  4. Expensive
  5. Inaccessible
  6. Unintuitive
  7. Weak
  8. Rigid
  9. Ugly

You see, if we’re not deliberate about naming and pursuing what we want, we rarely attain it. Instead, we usually get its opposite.

In the same way Apple didn’t accidentally create the iPhone, no one stumbles into a great marriage, a great budget, or a great diet. These things take time, effort, and intention.

So what would it look like for you to design your life? What words would you put on your list as governing principles? How might that change things for you?

Feel free to borrow my terms or use your own. There’s some helpful material here, here, and here.

Have fun and good luck!

Author: Dave Mierau (Meer-oh)

Christ follower, family man, lifelong learner.

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