March 20, 2023

Final week, I raved in regards to the ebook Designing Your Life by Invoice Burnett and Dave Evans. These two Stanford design professors have taken design ideas and utilized them to serving to folks work out what they need to be after they develop up.

After advocating Designing Your Life to a number of buddies, two of them recommended that we work by way of the ebook’s workouts collectively. A type of buddies is Kim, my long-term girlfriend. The opposite is Craig, a school classmate. I believed it is likely to be enjoyable to share a few of these workouts as we full them over the following couple of months.

As a result of I need to respect the mental property of the authors, I am not going to explain the workouts precisely. As an alternative, I am going to present a imprecise overview after which focus on my very own solutions. (And, when it is smart, I am going to additionally embrace solutions from my buddies.)

With that out of the way in which, let’s dive in! Let’s examine what occurs as I start the method of designing my life.

Begin The place You Are

Start where you are quote by Arthur AsheStep one to designing your life, say the authors, is to start out the place you might be. I like that recommendation! In reality, that is additionally my recommendation to people who’re attempting to show round their monetary lives: begin the place you might be.

Within the case of life design, Burnett and Evans need readers to carry out a self-assessment. This evaluation includes actually evaluating 4 features of your life — well being, love, play, and work — by giving every a score, then writing a brief description of the present state of every.

Here is how I rated these 4 features of my very own life:

  • Well being (37.5%, rising) — After reaching one of the best health of my life a decade in the past, I allowed my well being to slowly however steadily decline. I’ve arrested this fall and begun to show issues round, however there’s a number of effort forward of me if I need to develop into match once more.
  • Love (62.5%, rising) — I am happy with the connection I’ve with Kim, however we each agree we may prioritize one another extra, particularly day after day. I even have work to do with my household and good friend relationships. The excellent news is that I am doing this work, and this space of my life is enhancing too.
  • Play (50%, rising) — I’ve uncared for productive play for a number of years. Kim famous lately that once we met in 2012, I had all kinds of issues occurring: Spanish classes, guitar courses, volunteering at a college, Crossfit 5 occasions per week. Maybe due to my marijuana use, I discarded all of these issues. My solely play includes videogames and anime. I am within the means of rediscovering productive play.
  • Work (56%, rising) — Since I repurchased this website, I’ve struggled to search out function and readability with my work. I misplaced my method. I consider that is altering; I now have a transparent imaginative and prescient for what I would like this website to be. I am not 100% certain attain this vacation spot, however that is high quality. I am going to determine it out. The ship is now on target.

This primary Designing Your Life train is not imply to be actionable. It is an evaluation. Like your web price, this can be a snapshot of a second in time. However as soon as you’ve got taken this snapshot, as soon as you’ve got decided your location on the “map” of life, it is time to determine the place you need to go. That includes constructing a metaphorical compass.

Constructing a Compass

Within the second chapter of Designing Your Life, readers are requested to write down two considerate mini-essays: a Workview and a Lifeview. These quick reflections are supposed to be statements of function. They’re very very like the non-public mission assertion I encourage my viewers to create.

Kim and I have never in contrast the outcomes of this train but, however on Tuesday night time Craig and I linked by Facetime to debate our visions of labor and life. I loved this course of very a lot and felt prefer it helped me admire him extra as a human being (and a good friend). This was, partly, as a result of our responses had a number of overlap. We share a number of core values.

With Craig’s permission, I’ll share his Workview and Lifeview in addition to my very own. I feel you would possibly these fascinating.


Right here is Craig’s view of labor:

Craig’s Workview
I work for cash fortunately for awhile if it the pay appears truthful, however expertise, studying, and progress are important if I’m to stay blissful for lengthy. Work for cash, or standing, clouds any effort with petty issues of parity, competitors, and greed. Nonetheless, we stay on this Capitalist system, can not escape it on our personal, and there are undeniably worse programs.

Confidence that the work I’m doing is truthful, helps life, and doesn’t do everlasting hurt to pure programs, is essential to me. This form of “right livelihood” is aspirational, and maybe unimaginable at sure timescales if all impacts are taken into consideration.

I most worth work that I can see. Producing a tangible product particularly is rewarding. That is maybe why rising issues has at all times been part of my life or aspirations. Fostering abundance within the type of meals is endlessly satisfying. Tangible instruments that allow my work are additionally satisfying.

I feel probably the most significant work attainable proper now’s in restoring pure programs.

And right here is my very own view of labor:

J.D.’s Workview
Work performs a number of roles for me. It is my major means to earn cash, in fact, nevertheless it’s additionally an opportunity for me to spend my time in a method that brings me success whereas additionally contributing one thing to society at massive. It is a method for me to enhance my life whereas additionally enhancing the lives of others. I am lucky to have discovered a method to do that whereas creating wealth. (Proper now, although, I make very little cash.) I’ve discovered my ikigai.

I need to hold these two concepts — GRS can assist me and others concurrently — within the forefront of my thoughts as I make work choices sooner or later. I need to stay clear on my ardour and function.

My intention is to rework Get Wealthy Slowly right into a invaluable, easy-to-access useful resource for folk who need to learn to grasp their cash (and their lives). I would like the location to be uncluttered, correct, and dependable. I need to put the reader first. Ideally, it is going to produce earnings for me however I am okay with that being a decrease goal, one which may take time to determine.

Craig and I have been shocked to see that we had comparable expectations of labor. We perceive that work is a method to acquire cash. And we each agree that work must be fulfilling for us personally. However we each need our work to imply one thing extra, to learn the world at massive.

Craig introduced up the Buddhist notion of “proper livelihood”. I discussed the Japanese idea of ikigai. All of this jogged my memory of the dialogue of “private dharma” from Stephen Cope’s ebook, The Great Work of Your Life.

Personal dharma

After a few days to consider our dialogue, I would say that each Craig and I need to do work that fosters abundance, that achieves a win-win end result for us and others.


Subsequent, listed below are our reflections on the which means and function of life. Observe how a lot overlap we have now right here. It is a bit eerie. (We did not focus on any of this prematurely.)

Craig’s Lifeview
First, do no hurt, and likewise do some good as soon as in awhile, is important recommendation for dwelling. I stay a wealthy interior life which has many rewards, however might be egocentric when practiced to extremes. Sharing information and perception is rewarding. Giving consolation to others, in no matter type that will take, continues to be extra rewarding.

There isn’t a god, however the human seek for which means that impressed the creation of gods could make sure spiritual traditions and rituals significant. The chic undeniable fact that your complete earth is an insignificant dot within the vastness of area, and our lives right here an unnoticed blip within the vastness of time, is one way or the other comforting.

Pure programs will finally finish our lives and use our stays for meals, and participation on this cycle can be comforting. Within the meantime, if stewarded, nature will bathe us with abundance past perception.

Ultimately, laughter is the one affordable response to life’s vicisitudes. Sharing laughter is probably one of the best ways to overcome worry and ache. “For what can we stay, however to make sport for our neighbors, and chuckle at them in our flip?” – Austen, Pleasure and Prejudice

And right here is mine:

J.D.’s Lifeview
I consider that life has no inherent which means. This might simply be a supply of despair, resulting in hedonism and/or delinquent conduct. I select as a substitute to see it as a possibility to create my very own which means, to search out my very own sense of function.

I consider that morality has nothing to do with which god you worship, which nation you reside in, which political faction you belong to. Morality is about one factor solely: The way you deal with different folks. (And, to a lesser diploma, the way you deal with all dwelling issues.)

Morality is about the way you deal with others. It is about the way you deal with these with whom you’ve an influence imbalance. (For example, the way you deal with servers or gross sales employees, the way you deal with the homeless, the way you deal with your youngsters or your staff or your pets.) And, particularly, the way you deal with these with whom you disagree. (How Christians deal with atheists, as an illustration, or how Democrats deal with Republicans.)

I worth curiosity. I worth information. I worth kindness. I worth mutual support and help. I consider that we develop as people when we have now deep connections with different folks, particularly these in our neighborhood and neighborhood. A lot of the present battle in our world comes from an unwillingness to interact productively with people who disagree with us. I need to type bonds with folks from all walks of life.

I consider that I can take advantage of distinction on the earth by working from the middle outward. I need to observe rational self-centeredness, placing my wants first (however with out depriving others of their wants). From this robust base, I can help Kim. Then my family and friends. And from there, I can concentrate on enhancing the world as an entire.

My intention is to go away the world a greater place than I discovered it.

After sharing our Lifeviews with one another, Craig and I mentioned the notion of social capital. That is truly an concept that Craig launched me to almost twenty years in the past when he advised me in regards to the ebook Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam. We agree that social capital appears to have collapsed in the US — and maybe the web is answerable for this. We each would really like our lives and work to encourage the expansion of social capital.

Not Unto Ourselves Alone Are We Born

Not unto ourselves alone are we bornWhy do Craig and I share such comparable worldviews? I am not 100% certain. It may very properly be as a result of we attended the identical school (Willamette University) on the similar time. I feel it is price noting that Angela Rozmyn (from Tread Lightly, Retire Early) and I additionally share comparable worldviews. She additionally attended Willamette.

The Willamette College motto is non nobis solum nati sumus, which interprets to English as “not unto ourselves alone are we born”. Clearly, each Craig and I’ve included this notion into our views of labor and life. Angela too.

The authors of Designing Your Life say that your Workview and your Lifeview are supposed to act as compasses. They supply path if you’ve misplaced your method. While you attain a fork within the street, consulting these compasses ought to assist you decide which path to decide on.

I feel this can be a nice train. In reality, it is probably that I am going to adapt it to suit my very own displays. I really feel as if my workshops on discovering function have sure gaps. The workouts in Designing Your Life assist to fill these gaps.

Subsequent up? Chapters three and 4 of Designing Your Life. For the following couple of weeks, Craig and I’ll every be retaining a “Good Time Journal” through which we log our actions and fee how engaged and energized we’re by the issues we do. Then we’ll use mindmapping to see what we will be taught from this journal.

Needs to be enjoyable!