In my desperate attempt to “figure out my life” before I go on this life-figuring-out trip, I grabbed two books. OK, it wasn’t that dramatic: my side hustle working with a career coach on her social media had me listen to a Hidden Brain podcast about “Designing Your Life.” One of the books I was led to was “Design The Life You Love” by Ayse Birsel. It applies design principles from a furniture/graphic designer.
Basically, you “deconstruct” your life and look at the present-day constraints, values, etc. You examine these from various “points of view.” Then you pick some role models that represent values that are important to you.
Then you “reconstruct” – use a metaphor for what your current life is, and what you want your life to look like. You highlight your values – your “manifesto”, et voila! New life!
What was interesting about this exercise was I noticed there were some pretty obvious things I was denying or putting down in context. In context, I was thinking about everything as will this make me income? Out of context – deconstructed down to the pure form, the values, what it represents, who I want to be like – it adds back up to a pretty rad existence. One that would be truly my own, and that would be energizing. Kind of the point of quitting a job I’m lackluster about, and a workplace that leaves me feeling like the peg that was trying to be shoved into the round hole.
My favorite part of the book was – shocker – “Vision Letter As Expression.” The best part is she had a template that tied all the previous work (answers) together. And it was the big reveal at the end (doo doo doo, wouldn’t know anything about wanting to go ahead and skip to the end!)
Just like how they tell you to share your weight loss/etc goals publicly, it’s also the part that I thought would be helpful to share, for some accountability. It is my vision statement, overall – maybe not When people are like, Yeah, trip, awesome, BUT, “what are you going to do after?” I’m going to be like:
Dear Future Lauren,
I deconstructed my life recently and realized my constraints are my current career path, too little “me” time for nature/creative projects/ exercise. I’m really extroverted & value family, travel, and novelty.
My role models are Andy Warhol, Marie Forleo, Beyoncé, and anyone who’s ever published a book.
They remind me of my own values of strength, innovation, colors, energy, NGAF, creativity, ground-breaking, entrepreneurialship, tenacity and seeing things through to completion.
My life today is me gnawing my fingernails in the skydiving office, or maybe even still panicking in the car in the parking lot outside.
I’m redesigning it to be carried in a soaring hot air balloon, full of color, life, heat, energy, adventure, 30,000 foot views, etc.
What really matters to me is feeling love, fulfilled, soaring, serenity. It involves creative studying traction. Energy, self-care, travel. It’s positive, solid, and playful.