Author Topic: Designing your Life  (Read 1280 times)

WalkaboutStache

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Designing your Life
« on: March 11, 2019, 12:41:20 AM »
Is anyone interested in reading Designing Your Life and working though the exercises and ideas in the book together?  I got is a year or so ago, read it cover to cover, even did a couple of exercises, but neglected the authors’  recommendation to form a group to read and think though the issues in the book together.  I am now trying to remedy that. 

For those who are not familiar with the work, I found this NPR interview very useful: https://www.npr.org/2017/01/02/507854095/design-thinking-could-help-those-who-want-to-get-unstuck

Would anyone be interested in doing that?  A lot of it involves lists and mind maps and I think we can easily engage each other through this thread.

I just finished re-reading chapter 1.  I am doing it very slowly now, jotting down my thoughts as I re-read it, so it will be easy for anyone to catch up (I am not in a hurry anyway).

Cheers!

Moonwaves

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Re: Designing your Life
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2019, 02:01:26 AM »
I haven't read it yet but you might be interested in this thread: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/design-your-life!/msg2261421/#msg2261421

WalkaboutStache

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Re: Designing your Life
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2019, 02:55:23 AM »

Moustachienne

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Re: Designing your Life
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2019, 01:06:55 PM »
I read and enjoyed Design Your Life but working through the exercises in detail just didn't appeal to me.  I'm more of a broad brush person so Julia Cameron's It's Never Too Late to Start Again 12 week writing/walking/looking at art plan suited me better. :)

But a lot of people have got a lot out of DYL so best of luck to you and anyone who joins you!

Budgie

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Re: Designing your Life
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2019, 08:48:32 PM »
I read and enjoyed Design Your Life but working through the exercises in detail just didn't appeal to me.  I'm more of a broad brush person so Julia Cameron's It's Never Too Late to Start Again 12 week writing/walking/looking at art plan suited me better. :)

But a lot of people have got a lot out of DYL so best of luck to you and anyone who joins you!

I have the Cameron book in my "to read" pile right now, and I put the DYL book on hold so my library will probably have it for me in the next couple of days.

Walkaboutstache, I am interested in reading DYL for professional reasons as well as personal ones, so I'll gladly go along. I've not seen it so I can't commit entirely to doing all the exercises or to what detail, but I'll be getting a start on it soon and will weigh in.

WalkaboutStache

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Re: Designing your Life
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2019, 01:25:05 AM »
I read and enjoyed Design Your Life but working through the exercises in detail just didn't appeal to me.  I'm more of a broad brush person so Julia Cameron's It's Never Too Late to Start Again 12 week writing/walking/looking at art plan suited me better. :)

But a lot of people have got a lot out of DYL so best of luck to you and anyone who joins you!

I have the Cameron book in my "to read" pile right now, and I put the DYL book on hold so my library will probably have it for me in the next couple of days.

Walkaboutstache, I am interested in reading DYL for professional reasons as well as personal ones, so I'll gladly go along. I've not seen it so I can't commit entirely to doing all the exercises or to what detail, but I'll be getting a start on it soon and will weigh in.

Sounds good!  I might post some of my thoughts on the exercises here.

Budgie

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Re: Designing your Life
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2019, 07:26:37 PM »
I've completed the first exercise, the Health/Work/Play/Love Dashboard.

I don't know yet whether these categories will be further broken down later in the book--I'm used to thinking of them in smaller subcategories from doing Level 10 Life, but for now, okay.

3/4 full Health: great overall. Need to be more active, improve stamina and (of course) lose 15 lbs.

1/2 full Work: too much work, need to pare it down to what is working best for me right now. Would like some more specialized training, too.

1/2 full Play: Lots of positives here, but very limited travel due to too much work, and a real shortage of the kinds of cultural events I enjoyed pre-kids.

3/4 full Love: really more like 5/6 full. I have plenty of people to love and who love me. I could do better at showing it in little ways more consistently. I received a tremendous amount of emotional support while getting my divorce, and I'd like to be on the giving end rather than so much of the receiving end now that it's done and life is balancing back out.

Two statements the authors made stood out to me and have me feeling optimistic about being able to recommend this book to people I work with:

 1) One is that most people develop a passion AFTER developing mastery in an area--not everyone has a burning passion for a type of work right out of the gate.

2) A well-designed life is one in which who you are, what you believe, and what you DO [emphasis mine] all line up together. I believe a large percentage of people would have to do some serious Marie Kondo Tidying Up on themselves if they acted on this instead of just following the herd. And probably good for me to do a review in this area myself!

WalkaboutStache

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Re: Designing your Life
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2019, 10:08:01 PM »
I've completed the first exercise, the Health/Work/Play/Love Dashboard.

I don't know yet whether these categories will be further broken down later in the book--I'm used to thinking of them in smaller subcategories from doing Level 10 Life, but for now, okay.

3/4 full Health: great overall. Need to be more active, improve stamina and (of course) lose 15 lbs.

1/2 full Work: too much work, need to pare it down to what is working best for me right now. Would like some more specialized training, too.

1/2 full Play: Lots of positives here, but very limited travel due to too much work, and a real shortage of the kinds of cultural events I enjoyed pre-kids.

3/4 full Love: really more like 5/6 full. I have plenty of people to love and who love me. I could do better at showing it in little ways more consistently. I received a tremendous amount of emotional support while getting my divorce, and I'd like to be on the giving end rather than so much of the receiving end now that it's done and life is balancing back out.

Two statements the authors made stood out to me and have me feeling optimistic about being able to recommend this book to people I work with:

 1) One is that most people develop a passion AFTER developing mastery in an area--not everyone has a burning passion for a type of work right out of the gate.

2) A well-designed life is one in which who you are, what you believe, and what you DO [emphasis mine] all line up together. I believe a large percentage of people would have to do some serious Marie Kondo Tidying Up on themselves if they acted on this instead of just following the herd. And probably good for me to do a review in this area myself!

I just did mine too, and did the lifeview and workview ones. 

For me the most interesting was to do the lifeview one.  it allowed me to notice that I tend to throw  myself into obsessions and that this whole FIRE impetus is also somewhat obsessive, but I think it is different from the others (academia, cycling, career success, etc.).  This one is more about returning myself to myself, finding space in my life for intrinsic joy and peacefulness instead of competing against others or seeking a brass ring of some sort.  I will always want to engage in competitive sports, as far as I can imagine, but competition does not have any place anywhere else in my life and even the sports bit is turning into the pursuit of craft-like personal excellence.  I just need to watch out that none of it takes over to the detriment of other areas of my life that are important (friendships, community, mental health).

With regards to work, how do you intend to pare down?  Do you have work that is not strictly paid work?  The reason I ask is because what I see in myself and others is a tendency to complain about being busy but taking it as an unsolvable problem.  Would you say this is your primary design problem right now?

Budgie

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Re: Designing your Life
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2019, 09:57:58 PM »

...This one is more about returning myself to myself, finding space in my life for intrinsic joy and peacefulness instead of competing against others or seeking a brass ring of some sort.  I will always want to engage in competitive sports, as far as I can imagine, but competition does not have any place anywhere else in my life and even the sports bit is turning into the pursuit of craft-like personal excellence.  I just need to watch out that none of it takes over to the detriment of other areas of my life that are important (friendships, community, mental health).

With regards to work, how do you intend to pare down?  Do you have work that is not strictly paid work?  The reason I ask is because what I see in myself and others is a tendency to complain about being busy but taking it as an unsolvable problem.  Would you say this is your primary design problem right now?

I think the pursuit of personal excellence is great as long as a person realizes it's a hobby/optional enjoyment and not a necessity. We don't have to be excellent to be worthy of life, but it can be fun to reach for improvement and that's a good realization from your life view exercise.

I plan to pare down work by eliminating one category of my paid employment. I am pretty resistant to working a straight 9 to 5 job so in effect I have three jobs that are each very flexible, but one of them is less enjoyable than the others so I plan to ditch it and put those hours into one of the other gigs.

I am lucky that I enjoy my work and have enjoyed it more every year that I've been in this field--I can't remotely claim mastery but as I move further toward it, the work is more rewarding, so I'm not strongly motivated to leave employment behind.

Overall, I don't feel too busy; although from the outside I look like a very busy person (so people say) I  feel like I have plenty of time to spend as I choose. My perspective there may be skewed by the fact that I have already raised children and all the multi-tasking that is entailed in doing that while working/going to grad school, etc. So, working full time and having time to myself after work feels like a holiday, not a grind.

I did the work and life view exercise and felt there was a good fit between mine--again, this is true for me at age 50 after deliberate choices made in my 40's to re-create that alignment, and fine tuning since I entered the job market after that.

WalkaboutStache

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Re: Designing your Life
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2019, 07:59:59 PM »

I think the pursuit of personal excellence is great as long as a person realizes it's a hobby/optional enjoyment and not a necessity. We don't have to be excellent to be worthy of life, but it can be fun to reach for improvement and that's a good realization from your life view exercise.


Hear hear!  I lost my way on this one for a bit over the last couple of years, so I took a step back and took up a slightly different challenge that made me really slow in my races for a whole year.  I decided not to care, sheltered by the fact that I was learning something brand new.  Then this year I am getting fast again, but the mental habit of focusing on what I am learning instead of the results has held up, so now I feel I am really hitting a stride.

[/quote]

I plan to pare down work by eliminating one category of my paid employment. I am pretty resistant to working a straight 9 to 5 job so in effect I have three jobs that are each very flexible, but one of them is less enjoyable than the others so I plan to ditch it and put those hours into one of the other gigs.

Quote


I did the work and life view exercise and felt there was a good fit between mine--again, this is true for me at age 50 after deliberate choices made in my 40's to re-create that alignment, and fine tuning since I entered the job market after that.


That is what I think I am working towards.  I have unhurriedly created a little side income stream last year, and that pays half my rent without stress (its fun!).  I will continue it this year, and will see what happens. My goal is to leverage it into a coast-FI gig, but even that is the back up to the back up so I don't ruin the thing I love by trying too hard to make it into a cash cow.  It kind of feels like I am prototyping my way into something, like the book recommends.