A couple of months ago I read this book, “Designing Your Life,” written by Bill Burnett, and Dave Evans, two Professors at Stanford, who teach a class about applying principles of design to life.
Usually, when I read a book that I’m very curious about, I’m so eager to find out everything it says and to get to the end of it that I don’t take the time to do the exercises properly or to note down the main ideas.
That’s what I did with this book, too, because I was so enthusiastic about it. But even if I read it quickly, I left with a few key ideas:
- Become aware of the dysfunctional beliefs you might have and reframe them.
- There’s not just one best life for you, no one best version of yourself; there are several ones, and for every situation, there is more than one right choice.
- You find a path and life that works for you by testing and trying things out. You can’t figure things by thinking about them.
- Sometimes what you think is the problem, it’s not the real problem. This was an idea I found intriguing, and I think there’s truth in this. Sometimes the dissatisfaction in our lives doesn’t come from what we think it does and we need to dig deeper to find the real cause.
I started to read Designing Your Life again; this time, more slowly and thoroughly, working through the exercises suggested in each chapter. And I bought the physical book, too. Reading on a screen can’t replace the feeling of holding a book in your hands, underlining it with a pencil and jotting signs and notes on the margins of the page. But mostly, I’m excited to see more of how it feels like and what works when you apply principles of design to life.