Designing Your Life: Key Considerations

Dave Evans and Bill Burnett, the Director of Stanford’s Design Program, has come to the conclusion that we can improve our lives by applying the principles of design. True, “designing your life” isn’t quite like designing a consumer project, or a webpage. However, design is all about solving problems and foreseeing problems that may come up and finding ways around them.

Whether you think that designing your life sounds inspiring, too difficult, or too ridiculous, read about these key considerations and see how you feel then. After this choose your favorite ‘Life Quotes‘ to spice up your daily motivation.

Your Core Values

Your values should always be a key consideration in designing your greatest life, let them guide you to where you want to be.


You may think, especially if you are an older reader, that it is too late for you to design your life. After all, things are supposed to be designed before they’re made and you’re already here, right?

Design is actually a little more complicated than that. Sure, things are designed before they’re made, but try to think of a tool that looks exactly the same now as when it was first invented. Everything that we use goes through constant design and re-design. Why should your life be any different?

Design and life are both about experimentation, so if you’ve got more experience than other people, that only puts you further along in the design process.

On the other hand, if you’re a younger reader, it only means that you have the opportunity to learn now from those who have gone before you to avoid some of the complications that you see in the “designs” of the lives of those around you.

Life Strategy

Your life strategy is shaped by your beliefs, goals and purposes and all the decisions you make in how you spend your time and energy. Set your strategy and monitor the direction your life is going accordingly.

Solving “Wicked Problems”

As we’ve discussed, the point of design is to solve problems. But what if a problem can’t be “solved”? Problems that can’t be solved because they are the result of a complex network of systems, because they are poorly defined, or for a number of other reasons, have been called “wicked problems.” Wicked problems cannot be solved, they can only be improved. We all live in a world of wicked problems, even if we are not directly touched by them.

Wicked problems are not problems that classical design deals with, because classical design usually starts with a single, small, well-defined problem to address in a specific way. Cans are difficult to open. Designers make a can-opener. Problem solved. Poverty, on the other hand, is an example of a wicked problem. Designers in various capacities can work on solving the problem, but they aren’t going to do it with a single design. Further, because wicked problems are social in nature, humans can be part of the solution rather than just devices or things.

If “problems” are seen as challenges or systems of challenges rather than issues or things to fix, life could be seen as a wicked problem. The “problem” at hand is always changing, and each problem is the result of any dozen connected circumstances or situations.

Looking at your life as a wicked problem can help you design your life, not to solve your life, but to improve it. Well-designed lives can also be part of the solution for larger societal problems.

Keeping The User In Mind

A final thing to consider is that the best designs are “user-centered.” This means that they are designed in a way that makes them easy and pleasant for the user to use rather than prioritizing things like cost or speed of production.

You are the user of your life and applying principles of design to your life means that it should work for you, not to make your life efficient for those around you.

User centered design requires checking in with the users to see how the product is working for them, so be sure to stop every now and then to check in with yourself and make sure that your life is working for you.

Hopefully, these tips has gotten you a little more interested in applying design principles to your life. You don’t have to have a formal education or experience in design to do this. Just think about how you would go about building something to solve any problem and apply that thought process to the problems that you see in your own life, with yourself as the only tool you need to solve or improve them.

Now it’s time for some inspiration ‘Life Quotes‘ for that extra dose of spirit to build your dream life.

40 Inspiration Life Quotes

  • “The past has no power over the present moment” ~ Eckhart Tolle
  • “Don’t give it five minutes if you’re not going to give it five years.” ~ Meghan Markle
  • “Every day is not a success. Every year is not a success. You have to celebrate the good.” ~ Reese Witherspoon
  • “To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone.” ~ Reba McEntire
  • “The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
  • “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “I’ve failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” ~ Margaret laurence
  • “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” ~ Dr. Seuss
  • “Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.” ~ Carol Burnett
  • “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” ~ C.S. Lewis
  • “The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.” ~ Audrey Hepburn
  • “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” ~ Albert Einstein
  • “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” ~ William Shakespeare
  • “The key to being happy is knowing you have the power to choose what to except and what to let go.” ~ Unkown
  • “Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” ~ Jim Rohn
  • “It is better to walk alone, then with a crowd going the wrong direction.” ~ Herman Siu
  • “Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn, or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” ~ Denis Waitley
  • “To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.” ~ Mark Twain
  • “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.” ~ Dennis P. Kimbro
  • “There is no royal road to anything. One thing at a time, all things in succession. That which grows fast, withers as rapidly. That which grows slowly, endures.” ~ Josiah Gilbert Holland
  • “Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.” ~ Sydney Harris
  • “Nurture your mind with great thoughts. To believe in the heroic makes heroes.” ~ Benjamin Disraeli
  • “The real opportunity for success lies within the person and not in the job.” ~ Zig Ziglar
  • “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ~ Lao Tzu
  • “Courage is the first of human qualities which guarantees all others.” ~ Winston Churchill
  • “The great thing in this world is not so much where you stand, as in what direction you are moving.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • “Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first, it is ridiculed. In the second, it is opposed. In the third, it is regarded as self evident.” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
  • “The difference between a successful person and others is not lack of strength not a lack of knowledge but rather a lack of will.” ~ Vince Lombardi
  • “Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try. ” ~ Jack Canfield
  • “Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” ~ Carl Bard
  • “Some men see things as they are and say why – I dream things that never were and say why not.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
  • “The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.” ~ Arthur C. Clarke
  • “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Many of life’s failure are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” ~ Thomas Edison
  • “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” ~ John Wooden
  • “When life gives you lemons, order the lobster tail” ~ Ziad K. Abdelnour