Learn the key ideas of the book by B. Burnett , D. Evans

Designing Your Life

A step-by-step guide to building the perfect career path

Bill Burnett and Dave J. Evans' Designing Your Life will help us reshape our lives as if we were designers. By adopting design techniques, we will acquire a new mindset, unmasking the "dysfunctional beliefs" that block and prevent people from living a great life. A real guide to work on yourself through a series of practical exercises and be able to answer the question "What am I going to be when I grow up?

Designing Your Life
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Many useful tips to:

  • Answer the eternal question "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
  • Acquire simple and effective tools to "restructure" your life and make it more like your ideal one.
  • Help those who are at a turning point and want to know if they are on the right track.

The author of the book:

Bill Burtnett is the executive director of the Design Program at Stanford University (Silicon Valley, California). He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in Product Design at Stanford and worked on a wide range of projects, from Apple's award-winning PowerBooks to original Star Wars characters. He has several mechanical and design patents, as well as several design awards, including that for the design of the first tablet.

Along with Bill, Dave Evans is the co-director, of the Stanford Life Design Lab. He has a bachelor's and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford. Early in his professional career, he worked for Apple, where he led the laser and mouse print design team, later on Evans contributed to the founding of the pioneering video game company Electronics Arts.


How to redesign your life by taking inspiration from design

There are false myths, known as "dysfunctional beliefs", that block people and prevent them from living the life they would like to (in the United States, two thirds of employees are not satisfied with their work and 15% even hate it). Three of the most common myths are:

  1. Your studies determine your career.
  2. If you are successful you will be happy.
  3. It is too late to change.

After adopting a designer mentality, you will learn to reformulate problems and see them from a new perspective, which will transform these three dysfunctional beliefs into the following statements:

  1. Three quarters of all working graduates in the United States do not hold positions related to their studies.
  2. True happiness comes from designing a life that works; the one that works for you.
  3. It is never too late to plan the life you want to have.

This book will teach you how to build your life using design techniques. Design solves problems and your life is the most interesting design problem there is.

There are 5 things you have to do in order to build a meaningful and fulfilling life:

  1. Be curious. Curiosity makes everything new, it encourages you to explore and shows you that opportunities are all around you.
  2. Try things. Stop worrying, analyzing, reflecting, just act. Run tests, create prototype after prototype until you find the one that works.
  3. Reformulate problems. Change your perspective; a problem is simply something you have not yet understood.
  4. You have to know that it is a process. Being aware that it is just a process will not make you feel frustrated by the disappointments that you will experience when a prototype fails.
  5. Ask for help. You are not alone; designing is a collaborative process and the best ideas are born in a group.

The key ideas of "Designing Your Life"

How to redesign your life by taking inspiration from design
Understand the problem: the four fundamental aspects of life
Build a compass to find your own path
A journal to find the right path
Plurality and mind maps
Designing a life embracing our multiple personalities
Build a prototype through conversation and experience
How to design your dream job
The mission is to be happy
Turn failures into growth
Take-home message

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