Designing your life Reading Guide: Unleash Your Potential and Create a Meaningful Life

Designing your life

Author Background

The authors of “Designing Your Life” are Bill Burnett and Dave Evans.

Bill Burnett is an executive director of the Design Program at Stanford University and co-founder of the Stanford Life Design Lab. He also teaches courses on design thinking and its application to life and career development. With an extensive background in product design, Burnett brings his expertise in design principles and processes to help individuals apply these principles in designing their own lives.

Dave Evans is a co-founder of the Stanford Life Design Lab and an adjunct lecturer at the Stanford University Design Program. He has a wide range of experiences including being the co-founder of electronic arts, holding management positions in technology companies, and working as a management consultant. Evans brings his wealth of knowledge and practical experience to guide people in redesigning and reimagining their lives.

Together, Burnett and Evans have developed the “Designing Your Life” course at Stanford University, which has gained immense popularity. Drawing from their extensive experience in design thinking, innovation, and career development, they offer a unique approach to help individuals design a fulfilling and meaningful life through a series of practical exercises, insights, and frameworks.

Their collaborative work has resulted in the book “Designing Your Life,” where they distill their teachings from the course into a comprehensive guide for readers. With their combined expertise, Burnett and Evans aim to empower individuals to apply design principles to their own lives, embrace uncertainty, and create a life they love.

Designing your life Book Club Questions

1) How does your mindset and perception of problems affect your ability to design a fulfilling life?

Answer: In Designing Your Life, the authors emphasize the importance of adopting a growth mindset and reframing problems as opportunities for growth. This mindset shift plays a crucial role in designing a fulfilling life. When we view problems as fixed and insurmountable, we limit ourselves and become stuck in a state of helplessness. However, by practicing a growth mindset, we can see problems as solvable challenges that encourage us to explore multiple possibilities and find innovative solutions. This perspective enables us to approach life with curiosity and optimism, empowering us to create a life that aligns with our values and passions. By focusing on our mindset and perception of problems, we can break free from self-imposed limitations and unlock our true potential.

2) How can the concept of prototyping be applied to designing our lives?

Answer: Prototyping is a central concept in design thinking, and Bill Burnett and Dave Evans suggest that it can be effectively applied to designing our lives. Prototyping involves creating low-cost, low-risk versions of potential solutions to test their viability and gather feedback. Similarly, in life design, prototyping allows us to experiment with different possibilities before committing to a particular path. By building prototypes of our ideas, we can gain valuable insights, refine our choices, and avoid making hasty decisions based solely on assumptions. By testing various options, we can assess whether they align with our values, bring fulfillment, and lead to a fulfilling life. Approach life as an ongoing process of experimenting and prototyping, enabling us to uncover what truly resonates with us and make more informed decisions about our future.

3) How can the inclusion of multiple perspectives and collaboration enhance the design process of our lives?

Answer: Designing a fulfilling life is not a solitary endeavor; it is greatly enriched by the inclusion of multiple perspectives and collaboration. By seeking out diverse perspectives, we can gain insights and ideas that we may have otherwise overlooked. Engaging in meaningful conversations and collaborations allows us to challenge our beliefs, expand our thinking, and consider alternative possibilities. When we bring together individuals with different backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints, we create a space for innovation and generate a greater range of potential solutions. Moreover, collaboration enables us to leverage the collective wisdom and support of those around us, increasing our chances of success in designing a fulfilling life. By embracing collaboration and embracing others’ perspectives, we open ourselves up to new ideas, enrich our understanding of ourselves, and create a more holistic and well-rounded life design.

Designing your life

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