Can You Design Your Life By Your Own Design?
Lifestyle Design offers us a unique opportunity to care for and make ourselves a priority. This feeling of being lost can be driven by some factors ranging from not working in the “right” career to making the wrong choice to live in a particular town or state.
Every day, we make decisions that we think will align with what is we want to do, who it is we want to be, or where it is we want to go only to find that we may not be living the life we were meant to live or being the real self that we are supposed to be.
Studies show that in 2017, only 50 percent of Americans were satisfied with their job. Although these levels are the highest they have been since 2005, the reality is that there is still a significant number of adults out there who are not happy with what it is they do.
These statistics only shed a small bit of light on the story. Although half of those surveyed were satisfied with the job they do, there’s another half of the American population who is not so happy for a variety of reasons.
Dave Evans and Bill Burnett of Stanford University in their book, Designing Your Life suggests that for each of us to own our design, we must first do a little work to understand if we are where it is we are supposed to be.
Knowing your self by design requires having a self-awareness of who you are and creating a design based on multiple ideas about who it is you want to be and what it is you want to do on a professional and personal level. To be self-aware means to have a clear perception of your personality, your strengths, your motivations and a keen perception of how others view you.
Willingness to Test Your Theories about Who You Think You Are and Who You Want to Be
We all walk around with an idea of who it is we want to be and the things we want to do, but some of us are not so good at acting on those thoughts. Owning your design requires you to take a chance and test your theories about what your passions are and those “if..then” statements.
For example, if I open my own physician practice, I will be far happier than working shifts in a hospital. If I start that coffee house business I have been dreaming about for the last ten years; it will be far better than working for someone else and building their dreams.
Designing yourself requires you to take action to validate our perceptions about one’s self.
2. Envision Three Scenarios for your Future
Bill Burnett and Dave Evans suggest that you should consider three ideas for your life before taking the plunge. This action is particularly important if you have several ideas of what it is you want to do. First, you should take action to redesign your career if professional or some part of your life if personal that allows you to experience the things you enjoy most. This action will enable you to determine if your self-assessment is accurate or if you are moving down the wrong path.
Determine Your Alternate Life
Imagine what you would do if your current life or job went away and you could no longer work in the role you have been in for years. Is there a different job you would perform? Think of this as your “ultimate job.” What is the thing you would do that in place of this?
3. Fascination Lifestyle
This final approach is perhaps your most accurate life design. What would you do if you did not have any financial worries? Imagine a world where you did not have to worry about the rent, mortgage, car note, or grocery bill each month. You have all of the money the world. Now what? What is it that you would do to achieve fulfillment.
Once you envision these three scenarios, your goal should be to reach out to someone who is living the life you aspire to live in one of these three areas.
Once you have those discussions or perhaps even experience a day in the life of someone else experiencing your impending design, you have to the option to make one of them your own.
Each of these steps in the Designing Your Life approach will help you to establish your life by your own design and not someone else’s.