Monday, April 23, 2018

Designing Your Life

Chapter 9

1. Every great design was made great because there was a design team that brought that project, product, or building to life. Designers believe in radical collaboration because true genius is a collaborative process. We design our lives in collaboration and connection with others, because weis always stronger than I- it’s as simple as that.

- Why is this true?  Why is this hard at times?

2. Everyone participating in your life design effort in one way or another should be thought of as being a part of your team, but there are different roles to be played, and it’s useful to name them.

            Supporters -
            Players -
            Intimates -
            The Team -

- Briefly review the role of each, along with examples in your life.
3. That last part - the conversation - is the most important. As far as rules go, we use just four in our Stanford teams. Keep it: 

1. Respectful 
2. Confidential 
3. Participative (no holding back) 
4. Generative (constructive, not skeptical or judging)

- Again, provide examples demonstrating the value of each.

4. Your life design effort will be greatly enhanced if you’ve got a few mentors participating with you. We make a clear distinction between counsel and advice. “Counsel” is when someone is trying to help you figure out what you think. “Advice” is when someone is telling you what he or she thinks.

- Provide a situation where each has worked well; and has backfired.

5. Mentors can make a particularly valuable contribution to your discernment process when it’s time to make choices. Important decisions are seldom easy, and there are lots of competing issues and trade-off considerations that conspire to make it awfully noisy in your head. The mentor can listen to you dump out all the stuff going on inside you and help you to make sense of it all, sorting it into the big stuff, the small stuff, and the irrelevant stuff.

- Who serves as this type of mentor for you?  Why is it effective?

6. Now, you’re probably wondering where you are going to find all these great mentors. We suggest that there are many more people capable of giving good mentoring than there are good mentors...all you really need are mentor-capable people from whom you can extract a mentor contribution. You just have to be the initiator. Specifically, ask him not so much to tell you what he’d do as to use his insights and experience to try to help you sort out your own thinking.

- Where has this approach proved useful to you as a mentee?
- Where have you served as a mentor in this capacity?

7. To find a “community” as we intend it, you’re looking for a group of people that shares most of the following attributes:

            Kindred purpose -
            Meets regularly -
            Shared ground -
            To know and be known -

- Review these attributes and share how each has benefitted you.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Designing Your Life

Chapter 9

1. In life design, being happy means you choose happiness. The secret to happiness in life design isn’t making the right choice; it’s learning to choose well.

- Over the years, what have you learned from poor vs. good choosing?
- What examples can you offer of each?

2. In life design, the choosing process has four steps….

Step 1: Gather and Create Options
We won’t spend any more time on option generation here, other than to tell you (again) to write your Workview and Lifeview, to create mind maps, do your three Odyssey Plan alternatives, and prototype conversations and experiences.

- What have you learned about yourself from this first step?

Step 2: Narrow Down the List
So, what exactly do you do with too many options? Simple. Get rid of some. First, if it turns out that a lot of your options group together into categories, you can break your list down into smaller sub lists. That may help you get to your top contender for each option type. But eventually you’ll be in that overwhelmed-by-too-many-options place and have to get rid of a bunch of those jams. How? Just cross them off your list. If you’ve got a list of twelve options, cross out seven, then rewrite your list with just the remaining five on it and go to step three.

- Where do you encounter too many options?  How do you downsize?

Step 3: Choose Discerningly
Now, once you’ve done the preliminary work of gathering and narrowing down, the hard part starts: actually choosing. The key to step three is to make discerning decisions by applying more than one way of knowing, and in particular not applying just cognitive judgment by itself, which is informed but not reliable on its own. We aren’t suggesting making only emotional decisions, either. We’re inviting you to integrate all your decision-making faculties, and to be sure you make space so your emotional and intuitive ways of knowing can surface in the process.

- Where have you found it necessary “to listen to your knee or your gut or your heart” as part of your choosing wisely?

When you finally get down to making a choice from your narrowed-down list of alternatives, and you’ve cognitively evaluated the issues, and emotionally and meditatively contemplated the alternatives, it may be time to grok it. To grok a choice, you don’t think about it - you become it.

- Now you have a new word to add to your vocabulary!  Examples?

Step 4: Let Go and Move On
The perception that there are gazillions of possibilities that may have been great but that we never got to is a powerful force against being at peace with our choice making; even if we don’t know what it was, there must have been a better option out there, and we missed it. The key is to remember that imagined choices don’t actually exist, because they’re not actionable. We revel in exploring a few possibilities, then taking action by starting with a choice. Only by taking action can we build our way forward. So, let’s get better and better at building by getting better and better at letting go of the options we don’t need any longer. This is key to choosing happiness and being happy with our choices. When in doubt… let go and move on. It really is that simple.

- What is your experience with letting go of too many options?

3. Designers don’t agonize. They don’t dream about what could have been. They don’t spin their wheels. And they don’t waste their futures by hoping for a better past. Life designers see the adventure in whatever life they are currently building and living into. This is how you choose happiness. And, really, is there any other choice?

- How does this summary speak to your present & future goals?