How do I think like a designer

How to create a happy life : Think like a bon vivant

There are no unicorns. No fairies. And no dream jobs ... wait a minute, no dream jobs? Are we not told from an early age how important it is for a fulfilling professional life to discover the one passion that one is burning for and that one should realize? And then how does it all magically come together to create a meaningful life?

For Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, two Stanford professors with excellent connections in the tech world in Silicon Valley, the matter is clear: This idea is the prime example of a dysfunctional belief. The somewhat bulky term stands for all those annoying ideas that slow us down, make us doubt and prevent us from leading a happy life. "The degree determines my career", "Successful people are happy", "It's too late to change anything", "I mustn't screw it up", "My dream job is waiting for me somewhere outside" - all fallacies, who put Burnett and Evans out of the world.

Most people don't even know what their passion is - and that's a good thing, is the redeeming message in their “New York Times” bestseller “Do what you want. Design Thinking for Life ”. (in the American original: "Designing your life. How to build a well-lived, joyful life.")

Life designers don't fight reality

What do you want to be? That is one of the fundamental questions in life - and the central thread that runs through this book. The authors believe they have found the perfect formula to solve this riddle: think like a designer! "Designers imagine things that don't yet exist and create them."

This principle does not only work if you want to build amazing technologies, intelligent computers or sleek Ferraris. Burnett and Evans apply the approach to life planning. “Design Thinking” helps to create a career that suits your own strengths and interests. Regardless of how old you are, where you come from and what you want to achieve. Whether students who do not know what to do with themselves and the world shortly after graduation, in their mid-forties aiming for a second career, or retirees looking for a meaningful task: design thinking seems to be a panacea.

Numerous students have already benefited from the approach. Burnetts and Evans ’Happiness Living Seminar is now the most popular election event in Stanford. Now one could ask whether these are not the luxury problems of a privileged class: Does a single mother or a simple construction worker even have the leisure to find himself? The authors remain pragmatic. Life designers do not fight against reality, they look what is possible and use every opportunity to improve things. It's a small step strategy.

The key to success is curiosity

Design thinking begins with reframing, i.e. rethinking. Similar to a design problem, there is no predetermined result for a successful career. It's about trying out, improvising, designing and testing. There is no such thing as one perfect plan. Burnett and Evans show in the book how one overcomes rigid thought patterns step by step and transforms them into productive guiding principles. You are looking for a job? But not! They are looking at a number of offers.

The key to success is curiosity. The more ideas, the more unusual they are, the better. "Because the great truth is: There are many versions of you, and they are all correct!" Says the book. And: A well-designed life includes both progress and failure. After all, every designer has had the experience that things often don't go as planned. In this respect, there are no wrong decisions that one would have to regret. The great art is to let go at the right moment and to part with the ideas that are not moving us forward.

Anyone who hopes for lightning-fast inspirations from reading will, however, be disappointed. Life design is no hocus-pocus, but a way of life, a philosophy that - in the Wittgenstein's sense - means working on oneself.

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