My Year By Design

The journey to living by design.

Think by Design – 5 Steps to Success


Thinking by Design

Dr. Jamie outlined five steps we can take to begin thinking by design. I am going to summarize them briefly here and you can check out the Think by Design eBook to read about them in more detail.

Step 1. Develop a Conscious Philosophy.

As Dr. Jamie pointed out, “I didn’t know what I didn’t know.” We have to uncover what we don’t know. Dr. Jamie suggested you Google a values chart and choose 10 key values for yourself. Then ask four or five people who are close to you what they see as your values. How you live gives them the answer. If you see a contradiction between what they choose and how you live, you need to align your life with the things that are most important to you. This isn’t easy but it’s possible.

Start by making decisions based on your core values. Dr. Jamie suggested that we “Choose values over opportunities.” To do this he said we should use the doorman principle.

The idea is that your doorman knows your values and when faced with decisions, he lets them in or not based on what is most important to you. Therefore, your inner circle needs to match your values. This may force you to limit the influence others have on you when they don’t match your values. Keep in mind that others can still participate in your life in other, smaller ways but your key people need to value similar things to what you value.

Step 2. Build Self Esteem.

This is a huge step and it takes time. Dr. Jamie suggested reading Six Pillars of Self Esteem by Nathaniel Branden. I’ll check this out in a later blog and post a review.

Step 3. Identify Your Vision.

Create a vision, not a vision board. I’ve always found the idea of vision boards kind of fluffy and silly, but we need to think consciously about how we want our lives to be and how they can be. Dr. Jamie pointed out that successful people all do two key things; they get up early and they read a lot. I was so excited when I head this because I get up at 5:30 each morning to do yoga and I read a book a week, (not including the reading I do as a teacher).

Step 4. Clarify Your Purpose.

Here Dr. Jamie made his second book recommendation. He suggested reading Start With Why by Simon Sinek. Again, I’ll try to give this a read and post a review in a later blog. The main point is that we have to know why. We need to know where we’re going. Dr. Jamie’s main question was, “How would waking up every day with a purpose affect your health?”

Step 5. Detail Your Strategy.

This is where most people fail because they stop short of completing this step. Probably because it takes the most work. Dr. Jamie let us know that we have to go home and work through the steps to get the benefit. True health is hard work and we need to preserver to reach health. We have to take our values and create strategies. For example, if you value health, your strategy is Life by Design. If your goal is job security, you need to detail the steps you will take to achieve this, (e.g. more training, creating a better resume, etc.) You will feel when you have contradictions with your core values. Most people avoid those thoughts, but as Dr. Jamie stated, “Do the work, put the effort in and extraordinary things will happen”

Dr. Jamie also showed us bits of his Life Book, a beautiful creation where he ponders questions like, “What do I believe? What do I want? Why do I want it? What action steps do I need to take?” Stay tuned to future blogs to see how I work on this too!


Coming up next: My 10 Core Values.


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