Designing Your Life

Eniola Fapohunda Written by Eniola Fapohunda · 2 min read >

I found this topic really interesting because many of us get stalled in choosing a career and sometimes we might be indecisive about the next line of action.

Let me start by saying that, the most interesting design problem is one’s life.

The design life lab teaches the class that helps you figure what you want to be when you grow up, and everyone wants to grow up.

It is of utmost importance to know that the culture of mindsets is reframing, curiosity, mindful of process, radical collaboration and bias towards action. To start with;

Curiosity: lean towards what you are curious about then move to,

Re-framing: we reframe problems because we found that most people work on the wrong problems.

Radical collaboration: these answers we seek are out in the world with other people.

Mindful of process: as there are times in the design process when you want lots of ideas and there are equally times when you really want to converge to test somethings.

Biased action: we think no plan for your life will survive first contact with reality.

The Dysfunctional Belief where you are been told, or asked questions like;

  1. What’s your passion
  2. You should know where you’re going by now (and how to get there) and if you don’t know it simply means you are late.
  3. Are you being the best version of you!

In designing one’s life, there are five (5) ideas from design thinking

  1. The notion of connecting the dots; increase making meaning. Here, there are 3 dots to be connected;
  • who you are
  • what you believe (life view)
  • and what you do (work view)

2. Gravity problems; something you cannot change. You can’t solve a problem you are not willing to have. If you’ve got a gravity problem and you’re simply not willing to work on it, then it’s just a circumstance in your life. The only thing we know to do with gravity problems is to accept. In the design thinking chart, we start with empathy, redefine the problem, then come up with lots of ideas, then you prototype and test things but this only works if it’s a problem you’re willing to work on.

First is to accept that you can’t change it.

3.    How many lives are you. Here, you ask other questions like, what else you wanted to be? How many lives would you want? We find that it’s not about what you don’t choose, it’s rather about what you choose to make you happy.

Then you do some design;

Ideate your future 3 5 years version of me (Ideate not one (1) but three (3))

  • The things you are doing (can be done for 5 years)
  • What if the thing died tomorrow (i.e., robots are doing it and they don’t need you anymore)
  • What’s your wild-card plan? What would you do if you have a lot of money and you didn’t care what people thought?

4.    Prototyping: Prototype to;

  • ask interesting questions
  • expose assumptions
  • Involve others with your ideas
  • sneak up on the future.

5.    Choosing well

Gather and create options – Narrow down – Choose – Agonize (let go and move on)

When you have many choices, you’ve got no choice! Narrow down and choose one then cross off the wrong ones. You cannot choose well if you only choose with a rational mind.

Let go and move on make the decision reversible. If you make the decision reversible, your chance of being happy goes down like 60 or 70 percent.

In been mindful of process: you; collect, reduce, decide, move on and that’s how you make yourself happy.

In summary;

  • The 5 ideas are,
  • Connecting the dots to find meaning through work and life views
  • Gravity problems; staying away from gravity problems and reframing it to what is workable
  • 3 five-year odyssey plans; always do 3 of everything i.e., 3 ideas
  • Prototyping your life; always prototyping everything in your life before jumping into it.
  • Choosing well.

You will design a well joyful life if you get curious, talk to people and try stuff.

Do you mind trying to design your life? Kindly put in the comment box!


Bill Burnett, TEDxStanford, 5 Steps To Designing The Life You Want


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