Designing your Life

Designing your Life

How to Build A Well-lived, Joyful Life

Book - 2016
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#1 New York Times Bestseller

At last, a book that shows you how to build-- design-- a life you can thrive in, at any age or stage

Designers create worlds and solve problems using design thinking. Look around your office or home--at the tablet or smartphone you may be holding or the chair you are sitting in. Everything in our lives was designed by someone. And every design starts with a problem that a designer or team of designers seeks to solve.

In this book, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans show us how design thinking can help us create a life that is both meaningful and fulfilling, regardless of who or where we are, what we do or have done for a living, or how young or old we are. The same design thinking responsible for amazing technology, products, and spaces can be used to design and build your career and your life, a life of fulfillment and joy, constantly creative and productive, one that always holds the possibility of surprise.

" Designing Your Life walks readers through the process of building a satisfying, meaningful life by approaching the challenge the way a designer would. Experimentation. Wayfinding. Prototyping. Constant iteration. You should read the book. Everyone else will."
--Daniel Pink, bestselling author of Drive

"This [is] the career book of the next decade and . . . the go-to book that is read as a rite of passage whenever someone is ready to create a life they love."
--David Kelley, Founder of IDEO

"An empowering book based on their popular class of the same name at Stanford University . . . Perhaps the book's most important lesson is that the only failure is settling for a life that makes one unhappy. With useful fact-finding exercises, an empathetic tone, and sensible advice, this book will easily earn a place among career-finding classics."
-- Publishers Weekly
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2016.
ISBN: 9781101875322
Characteristics: xxxi, 238 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


From the critics

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Sep 13, 2020

Meh. Yet another expert on how his strategies should be my strategies. A few good ideas, and maybe someone else is drawn to some other handful of strategies. This was recommended by a complete stranger (so well he knew me....), and was fine once I started skimming.

Aug 28, 2018

I had a difficult time getting into this book once I approached the exercises after chapters 1 and 2. It was not the format of self-improvement or self-help book I was anticipating. I may give it another chance in the future, but for right now I'm giving this a 3 star review since I couldn't engage myself beyond Chapter 2.

May 02, 2018

I found that there was a lot of repetition throughout the book. It was hard to enjoy when the same things were being reiterated again and again.

CarleeMcDot Feb 28, 2017

wasn't sure what to expect with this book (like many others, I received the recommendation from a friend, put it on my library list and didn't read anything about it until it became available for me to pick up). Although I am not in a position to drastically change or redesign my life, I did really appreciate a lot of the principles from this book. Each chapter closed with action steps on what the writers suggested and ways to put what you read into practice. I also loved the idea that there is not one specific (or "correct") life for you to live - there are many! This takes the pressure off making decisions, because you are always just testing and trying things out. Mistakes aren't failures, they are proof you are trying AND LEARNING!

Dec 18, 2016

Contrary to the previous comment, I find this book highly useful and inspiring! I have not read the "Path Finder" book and can not compare and contrast the two. But the designing your life book is:
1. Well-researched. The book is based on the same-titled highly popular class in Stanford and has changed people's lives in classroom and in print.
2. Inspiring. The examples, life lessons and perspectives on well-lived lives (and those who are not so) are inspiring.
3. Practical. It offers worksheets that allows you to really carry out your designing process.

Life design is a hard process. It is arduous, challenging, and sometimes terrifying. It took me more than 2 years to go through this process - I started even before I read the book. The book has gave me fuel when I was in a tough spot.

This book empowers you to make the choices you have not even dared to dream. The dreams of your youth


Nov 27, 2016

Based on the dust jacket summary and first chapter I really thought I would get a lot from this book. I am a career changer and this book was a disappointment - The Pathfinder by Nicholas Lore was a much more useful resource. One of their main concepts - Prototyping is really just a new name for the old fashioned "information Interview" described about a million years ago in "What Color is Your Parachute".

The biggest let down was the exercise on identifying alternatives for a life path. It is basically the plan you already have in mind, a back-up plan if plan A isn't possible, and the "money is no object" plan. The next step really is to somehow evaluate and possibly incorporate the best of these ideas into one plan - but the book just jumps off onto another topic.


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