Getting unstuck

Getting unstuck

It’s safe to say we’ve probably all been there. Those times when you feel like your life may not be hitting all the marks you had envisioned. You might feel momentarily lost, unhappy and bothered by not being on the track you wanted to be on. In an instant, you put immense pressure on yourself to immediately fix it. But what if you don’t necessarily know where to start or how to fix it?

Feeling stuck is tough. It’s also common. We’re not aware of anyone who has nailed their life plan without experiencing a few roadblocks. Even Oprah was fired from her job as a TV journalist because they said she was “unfit for TV.” Oprah, you guys. It’s when you’re faced with those moments that you need to understand how to keep moving forward. And here’s the secret — there’s not just one right way.

Design thinking

The method here is to use the approach that designers and engineers have been using for ages — create a prototype, test it, build a new prototype, test it, build a new prototype, and keep this cycle going until you’ve reached a solution you’re happy with. By applying design thinking to your life, you free yourself up to experiment and tweak as you go, instead of getting frustrated with the notion of “there’s only one right answer and I need to find it right now.”

Dave Evans and Bill Burnett teach Designing Your Life at Stanford University. They often work with students who “don’t know what they want to do with their lives.” NPR dove into applying design thinking to life’s roadblocks with Dave on Hidden Brain. It’s a great episode.

Learn more about how you can apply design thinking to your life, work on developing a growth mindset and start connect multiple diverse aspects of your life to help you achieve big goals in your future by signing up for ASU 230: Life by Design.

And check out this video of Bill walking you through the process of designing the life you want.


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