BP #3 – Want to Find Fulfillment at Last? Think Like a Designer


Design Thinking is a process that enlists empathizing, defining, ideating, prototyping and testing to solve some of today’s wicked problems.  But what if we turned the wicked problems inward and let ourselves become the problem worth fixing?  In the New York Times article “Want to Find Fulfillment at Last? Think Like a Designer”, Stanford Professors Bill Burnett and David Evans plan to do just that.  They have designed a course around the concept of infusing Design Thinking with as they put it “anchor problems – overcommitted life choices that keep people stuck and unhappy.” It would be safe to say that on a daily basis everyone struggles with the ideas are my actions virtuous or am I being true to myself and am I a genuinely good person?  Burnett and Evans make you rethink what happiness is and teach the skills necessary to ensure you reach your goals and potential.

If happiness is defined as functioning excellently as a human being then we must consider the steps to make us fulfill a lifetime of happiness. And if happiness isn’t being obtained then what are the measures it takes to change our thinking and become happier in life?  For some it would be family, for others their career and for others still it might be a combination or balance of both family and career.  If happiness is a virtue then say finding the correct career path would be the start to finding happiness or becoming a virtuous person.  I believe a person must look at their life on a whole and ask themselves are the steps they are taking in life helping them to become a virtuous person.  It’s not as if you wake up one day and all of a sudden you are a virtuous person and everything you do from here until the rest of your life is perfect.

Humans are creatures of habit and sometimes it can be hard to break those old habits.  What Burnett and Evans are saying is you don’t necessarily have to break those old habits just adjust your point of view.  What if the habits you started achieving were habits of virtuosity? To have a life filled with meaning or to become a person filled with virtue such as happiness it is ok to commit some trial and error.  If you are having issues with achieving virtuosity view your life in the way a designer would and break it down into its separate parts.  You would then be able to test certain scenarios in turn helping you obtain the happiness you look to gain out of life.


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