Designing Your Life Book Summary By Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

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Designing Your Life (2016) is an inspirational book that helps you design the life you want and make strides toward your true ambitions.

It teaches readers how to break away from the uninspiring nine-to-five daily routine, and instead map out a plan for a career they can truly enjoy.

The authors share valuable advice, exercises, and progressive ideas to help readers identify their passions and actualize them.

It challenges the limitations of traditional career counseling and offers fresh perspectives on creating opportunities for personal fulfillment.

This thought-provoking read encourages readers to let go of their doubts, see the potential in themselves, and create the amazing life they deserve!

Designing Your Life Book

Book Name: Designing Your Life (How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life)

Author(s): Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

Rating: 4.1/5

Reading Time: 14 Minutes

Categories: Career & Success

Author Bio

Designing Your Life, written by Bill Burnett, is a book whose author could not be better suited for the job.

With a master's degree in product design from Stanford University and over 30 years of experience in design, Bill Burnett is an authority on the subject of designing one's life.

As well as writing the book, he serves as Head of Design Program at Stanford and continues to enjoy his passion for creating and making things.

That kind of experience and dedication makes Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett an excellent guide for anyone looking to make meaningful and lasting changes.

Design Your Life For Bliss: Exploring The Four Most Important Parts Of Life & How To Balance Them

Parts Of Life

Designing Your Life is the ultimate guide to crafting a life that you can be proud of.

With it, you will get the tools and tips to help you design a great life.

From understanding the four most important aspects of your life and finding balance between them to having coherency in your beliefs and actions, these sections give you both the knowledge and skills needed for designing an incredible life.

You will also learn about why it’s vital to design different types of life, how this will give you much more freedom and control over where your future takes you, as well as how to make sure that your design works for you.

With Designing Your Life, creating a magnificent customized lifestyle has never been easier!

Design Your Life For Maximum Fulfillment And Satisfaction

It’s no secret that too many people are stuck in a rut when it comes to their personal and professional lives.

A poll of US workers showed that two-thirds of respondents expressed dissatisfaction with their job, with some feeling like they were trapped by the degree in a field they’d rather not be in.

Meanwhile, 31 million Americans aged 44 to 70 said they would choose a different encore career if given the chance.

But you don’t have to get stuck!

You can create a well-designed life that gives you greater satisfaction and joy, no matter your age or background.

The key is to think like a designer and use your creativity to design your own path.

You don’t need to feel limited by the degree you chose or any other factor – three-fourths of college graduates end up in a field that has nothing to do with their major!

With some thought and effort, you can design your way towards the life you want and deserve.

How To Use A Beginner’s Mind To Find Your Path In Life

Designing your life is all about getting to know yourself.

It starts with taking stock of the four key elements in your life: health, work, play and love.

Health includes emotional, mental and physical wellbeing; work comprises both paid and voluntary roles; play encompasses any activity done for fun; and love applies to partners, children, friends or pets.

Once you’ve made a thorough assessment of these four aspects of your life it should become apparent if one is particularly neglected.

For example, you might be focused heavily on work which consequently adversely affects your physical health as well as compromising relationships.

Or perhaps you’re too immersed in play that it prevents you from taking the steps towards building a career?

The next step is to begin questioning yourself like a beginner – open your mind and explore the possibilities like an amateur!

Take some time to think about new ideas or dreams which relate directly to each element, considering what might put these out of balance for better or worse.

Don’t forget that all elements interconnect – success or problems in one component can affect others so it’s important to get them into balance effectively by having challenging but achievable goals rather than unrealistic expectations.

By taking stock of these four aspects of life and identifying potential problem areas, you will be far better equipped to make decisions with fewer risks and more rewards!

Finding Balance Between Our Lifeview And Workview Is Key To A Successful And Satisfying Life

Successful And Satisfying Life

When it comes to designing your life and finding a career that you’ll find meaningful and satisfying, your workview and lifeview should serve as your compass.

Your workview is your own personal philosophy about work – does money matter to you? What about societal impact? By taking some time to reflect on this view and writing down at least 250 words about it, you can get a better understanding of what matters to you in the workplace.

Similarly, your lifeview is your own philosophy on how to live life – do religious beliefs factor in? What values are important to you when you think of justice? Reflecting on this area gives us a starting point to begin exploring our career choices.

Discover Your Engagement And Energy Levels To Help Design Your Life

The key to design a life that brings joy is to identify engagement and energy boosters.

Keeping a Good Time Journal is an invaluable tool that allows you to track your experience in both the good times and bad.

It also helps you notice when you feel engaged, dull or energetic while tackling different tasks throughout the day.

Log activities where you felt immersed and time flew by incredibly fast – this is known as the state of flow.

When this happens, make sure to jot it down in your journal along with what task you were doing at that moment as it can be an indication of your overall engagement level when designing your career and life.

Don’t forget to note which activities give or take away your energy.

If there are certain activities like sitting through meetings or entering data that drain your power but another task such as pitching products revs you up, document it!

Being aware of how to retain high energy levels each day will be instrumental when designing a meaningful life.

Unstuck Yourself With Mind Mapping: Find A New Path And Open Your Mind To Fresh Ideas

Fresh Ideas

If you are feeling stuck in life or in your job, mind mapping is a great way to generate new ideas and get unstuck.

Just take a piece of paper and draw a circle in the middle with a word that represents what you want to focus on.

An example was demonstrated in the story of Grant, who was working at a car rental company – he chose the words ‘outdoor activities’ as his starting point.

From there, branch off from that word and start writing down any ideas that come to mind.

For Grant it was “hiking”, “surfing” and “travel”.

Then, for each of those he wrote down secondary associations such as “mountains”, “exploring”, “Hawaii” and “tropical beach” which helped him see potential paths forward.

By using this technique, Grant was able to create an action plan to pursue by accepting the promotion offered at his job while also relocating to another office near the beach so he could surf during his spare time.

Take The Road Less Traveled: Plan Multiple Alternatives To Get Ahead In Life

In Designing Your Life, the authors explain why it is important to give yourself options and alternatives.

They use the example of Chung, who was offered three internships after he graduated from UC Berkeley and felt immense pressure to choose the right one.

But Chung ended up doing all three internships in succession, learning valuable lessons from each of them that shaped his future career direction.

The authors also highlight the importance of having multiple paths so you can explore your options without feeling pressured to commit to just one path for life.

Instead of ranking them from worst to best, look at them as three equal possible plans so that you don’t get stuck if one option doesn’t work out.

This is called odyssey plans – envisioning multiple lives instead of just one life path.

Ultimately, it is important to have an open mind when exploring your options and avoid limiting yourself by taking a single route first before giving yourself other possibilities.

It may seem daunting, but being able to weigh your choices give you a sense of control over designing a life that you could thrive in — no matter which route you take!

Wrap Up

Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans is a great book for anyone looking to take control of their life and plan out the next steps.

The main message of this book is that you can be the designer of your own life.

You do this by first focusing on your current situation, analyzing the balance in your work, health, play and love, understanding your workview and lifeview, and then doing some mind mapping to focus on three solid options for where you want to go.

Finally, it’s important to remember actionable advice from Designing Your Life: stuff keywords into your CV.

When applying for a job or changing careers, it’s important to pay attention to job descriptions so that you can ensure that your CV contains all of the necessary keywords (such as “PhD,” “creative,” “motivated”) so that it gets priority when human employers are looking over CVs.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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