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Design Thinking ― A Way in Designing Your Life

Updated: Apr 9, 2021

“It doesn’t matter where you come from, where you think you are going, what job or career you have had or think you should have. You are not too late, and you’re not too early.” ― Bill Burnett

First, let's put all of your expectations aside. Put that “What am I going to do with my life?” type of question or something that holds you back away for a moment and sit back, relax in your nice comfy chair or bed. We know that that issue is happening, and it’s real, either big or small. In that matter, we’d like to tell you how to use design thinking as a way to innovate your career or some issue that’s a part of your life that you’re facing, specifically, in how you can tackle those issues efficiently.

Design thinking is like a methodology or a framework that can help you to set your expectations. Even though it can work efficiently, understand that this technique will not solve all of your problems. But hopefully, 100% of you will think that this is the new way of thinking because there are so many ways to look at your life, patterns, and possibilities to create something new and exciting. In other ways, design thinking can also help you break free of your inner fears. For example, you fear making the wrong choice, fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, or even fear of missing out. Nowadays, we know that things are happening with fear of missing out due to covid. So, think of design thinking as a way to keep you on going forward while taking advantage of your life’s season as a stage of your life.

Stage theory #1 - Life’s season

Before we get into how design thinking works for you, let’s first get grounded and reflect on what we've experienced in our life's season. As we encounter new experiences through the stages in our lives, there must've limitations that apply to our personal and social life because of the nature of our work. In our previous webinar, we’ve asked our guest speakers, Ghina, Yana, and Ayu Sekar, about their journey and the limitation that they’ve come upon in their lives. Being in a law environment while pursuing becoming a notary, Ghina experienced less social life due to the tight schedule between work and personal life. As for Yana, she experienced a dilemma of choosing the right job in terms of working hours because she's the type of person that still wants to have a more balanced work-life. Ayu Sekar happened to feel a lack of experience and wishing that she knew more after handling her own business. Due to her limitation, she applied to a well-known local creative agency to learn and absorb more knowledge, mainly branding. Even though Ayu Sekar doesn’t like the idea of being an employee, at some point, she feels like she has to. The same goes for every occurrence that you encounter. You need to come up against limitations, but know that those limitations will eventually guide you to success.

So, what do new employees need to succeed in today’s workplaces? The answer is by having a growth mindset. People with a growth mindset, on the other hand, tend to believe that their abilities can be built and developed over time. Those with a growth mindset believe that they can improve their limitation. How can one develop it? Set these points below in your head!

1. Take the lessons from our experiences and learn from it

2. It’s a learning process

3. Don’t be hesitant to ask for help

4. The best way is not to avoid, but to confront and to ask

Here's a recap of what our guest speaker, Ghina, said about having to go through our life's season, "Everyone would start their journey from the same line, and not all of them would be instantly clever or successful. But to be at your achieving point, you need a lot of flight hours. You have to start slowly, day by day, step by step, and don't ever compare yourself with others' successes. Believe in what's meant to be yours will be yours. So take your time. Your timeline is on the right track."

Stage Theory #2 - Odyssey years

There used to be four typical life phases: childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. In fact, there are at least six common life phases in our lives: childhood, adolescence, odyssey, adulthood, active retirement, and old age. The least understood stage of the new ones is the odyssey years. Odyssey years frequently occur between adolescence and adulthood, and it’s the decade where you begin to wonder, “Should I explore a lot of things?”, “I keep moving around, should I have a more stable job?” or “Is this the time to experiment with new things?” and it’s okay to make mistakes, but just don't repeat them! It's the planning stage to decide where you're going, and your decisions can be based on a lot of things, especially in this digital era. How can we strive in this stage?

One of the ways to strive in this stage is through developing our design thinking. We’ve put out polling in our previous webinar, and the results were 75% of the participants feel stuck in some part of their work/lives, while only 25% feel on the right track. These kinds of results cause problems and questions like, “Why do I feel stuck? How can I find my passion so I won’t feel stuck?”

Statistically, 80% of people don’t have a passion or never will. It’s a belief that we have to find the one right job for our entire lives. Doesn’t it sound too much of a fairy tale? Because we tend to forget that there’s a lot of reality that we live in, there are many ways to refrain from the way we think. And the truth is, no one writes for you. You’re free to write your own story by creating new experiences throughout your life. Shift the part where you feel stuck, such as Ghina, our guest speaker, who switched her job from one law firm to another, or Yana, who learned that it’s ok to refuse a job that didn’t match our expectations. If you’re going in a business direction like Ayu Sekar, it’s totally okay to learn first from the professionals before starting your own business.

Perhaps some of you are looking at the wrong problem and not at the right problem. With design thinking, we’re trying to solve the right problem. Design thinking comes from a book that was written by Stanford professors Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. We recommend you to read this book because it’s a great way to figure out yourself. Design thinking is a combination of engineering, art, psychology, all in one area. It’s a non-linear iterative process that seeks to understand you, challenge your assumptions, redefine your problems and create innovative solutions to prototype and test your waters.

As we’ve said before, the process in design thinking is non-linear. But to start, always start with empathizing, and the rest will follow.

Empathize: It’s the things that you need to ask yourself, such as, “What are the challenges that you’re facing right now?”, “What is the one thing that you would love to try but you’re afraid to do?”, or “What milestones would you like to achieve in the future?”

Define: Is your problem actionable? For example, if you have many complaints about this and that, you have to ask yourself, “Are there just too many complaints, or can I do it one by one?”

Ideate: Put yourself out there and get curious about your options. The options may lead to the planning of gaining a master’s degree, living your life to the fullest, do some collaboration, networking, and it’s really up to you. Remember to find your chemistry with people who have a similar background because that’s a plus.

Prototype & Test: This is the step where you gotta stop thinking and just start doing. Just do it, just start living your life to the fullest or, in meaning, have some bias for action. People usually do things after they’ve put a lot of consideration into being decided. But if you have a bias for action, you automatically do something and not doing things based on a decision.

Lastly, challenge yourself and realize the power of design thinking. Don’t keep your hopes and dreams to yourself. Share them with your closest family and friends! Then set your timeline with odyssey planning (Here, we share the planning template, feel free to use it).

Our tip would be to start creating three alternative realities for the next five years of your life. Have some faith in it and let the universe do its magic #LawOfAttraction.

Yes, we’ll have to go through breakups, heartbreaks, and limitations but remember that it depends on how we choose what’s best for us, and you need to find them out with yourself!

  • To be or not to be, there’s nothing in between. — Ayu Sekar

  • You can plan where the road ends, but plan it with a pencil. — Ghina

  • You’ll get to learn when you’ve entered the “game.” — Yana

  • No matter how far or hard it is, live your life to the fullest. — Ayu Nabilah

If you’re interested in reading more of our blog posts, make sure to subscribe to our web and stay tuned every week! Follow us on Instagram @baikgp @ayureadypodcast for our upcoming news and events.

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