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Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life Hardcover – September 20, 2016
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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#1 New York Times Bestseller
“Life has questions. They have answers…Learn how to find a fulfilling career…learn how to better navigate life’s big moment decisions and kill your ‘wicked problems dead.”
—The New York Times
“The prototype for a happy life…Burnett and Evans show how to apply Stanford’s famous design principles to finding your place in the world, as a recent graduate or mid-career.”
—NPR’s Brian Lehrer
“Designing Your Life walks readers through the process of building a satisfying, meaningful life by approaching the challenge the way a designer would. Experimentation. Wayfinding. Prototyping. Constant iteration. You should read the book. Everyone else will.”
—Daniel Pink, bestselling author of Drive
“This [is] the career book of the next decade and . . . the go-to book that is read as a rite of passage whenever someone is ready to create a life they love.”
—David Kelley, Founder of IDEO
“An empowering book based on their popular class of the same name at Stanford University . . . Perhaps the book’s most important lesson is that the only failure is settling for a life that makes one unhappy. With useful fact-finding exercises, an empathetic tone, and sensible advice, this book will easily earn a place among career-finding classics.”
About the Author
BILL BURNETT is the executive director of the Design Program at Stanford.
DAVE EVANS is an adjunct lecturer in the Product Design Program at Stanford, a management consultant, and a co-founder of Electronic Arts
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I spent an immense amount of time in my life in my late 20s reflecting, researching, reading, and stressing about what I wanted to do with my life. I wish I had had this book then. It provides a well-reasoned, systematic, eminently practical, but joyful approach to navigating the (ever-evolving) question of what you want to do with your life, testing and pursuing your hypotheses, and living into the paths you pursue. It's also an interesting read, and taught me a lot about design thinking and even some practical tidbits about behavioral science!
(Note that this book has little to do with the concept of "Lifestyle Design" in the Tim Ferriss sense, which involves imagining your dream life - typically one with some sort of dubious passive income stream and frequent travel to low cost-of-living countries. I have mixed feelings about that whole school of thought. This book is just about applying design thinking to the question of what you want to do with your life.)
If you're one of those rare people who's 100% at peace with the question of how to chart your course in life, enjoy your good fortune! To everyone else, I can't recommend this book highly enough. Buy it.