Designers often approach challenging projects using what has
come to be known as “design thinking.” At
its core, design thinking involves this basic approach: understand the human
needs being addressed, brainstorm solutions with few rules (no “rights” and no
“wrongs”), create prototypes, try them out, keep what works/ discard what
doesn’t, re-design, do it again. The
process works best with playful experimentation. At its core is also the acknowledgement that
no design is final. Growth comes through
evaluation, invention and iterative improvement.
It’s very easy to develop a calcified perspective on one’s
life. We become stuck in familiar
patterns, routines, beliefs, comforts and expectations. We even develop superstitious beliefs about
our lives, beliefs about what we are or are not capable of that we accept without
question. For example, some of us
possess a sense of perfectionism so strong that it inhibits exploration of
challenges with uncertain outcomes. We
fear what we have learned to label as “failure.” This fear can be so limiting yet so familiar
that it becomes a leash we learn to live with.
Such stuck perspectives become ingrained and we may not even recognize that
such a perspective is only one perspective from among many. A good designer recognizes opportunity in only
partly successful designs and learns from them.
It is even possible, if not likely, that a “failure” becomes a success
in some unanticipated way if only for the lessons learned.
In a very real sense a “design thinking” approach to
creation provides a good model for how one might proactively design one’s life.
Trying on a different perspective, like exploring a new design idea, enables us
to step outside of our current perspective and see things from a new point of
view. This process of examining our
lives from different, unfamiliar perspectives can be very enlightening. We might see that each perspective has its
own strengths and weaknesses but no perspective is necessarily right or wrong. Simply coming to recognize a stuck perspective
as one among many possibilities can be helpful.
The process of actively exploring and choosing from multiple
perspectives can be empowering. Life
coaching helps you examine different perspectives and proactively choose: How are you becoming? (Other Thoughts and Essays)