Let’s look at how we can use Design Thinking (DT) for designing your life. If we replace the “user” with “you” then I thought you can run all the 5 steps in DT to see how you can solve any problem for “you”. After I got this thought I learnt that two professors at Stanford, Bill Burnett and David Evans, teach a course called “Designing Your Life” !!. Very interesting. Also, they have written a book called “Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life”. I am not sure what their thought process is on this but I will share my own thoughts/approach.
Step 1 Empathize: This about understanding user. In this case it will be “you”. So try to understand every thing about you – beliefs, needs, emotions, etc. You need to detach yourself from you then try to be very empathetic (first time??).
Step 2 Define the Problem: Here you will articulate the problem you are trying to solve or whatever you want. Again important point is how well you articulate and define the problem statement or goal.
Step 3 Ideate: Let’s say one of the problem/goal statement is “I want to change my career”. Here you will come up with different ideas without any constraints/restrictions.
Step 4 Prototype: Here you prototype your ideas. In the case of change of career, you basically come up with different career change solutions to your ideas.
Step 5 Test: This is THE MOST important step when it comes to Life design. In this step, you test each of your ideas/solutions in parallel to your current career/job to see how it is working. Most often your original assumptions might fail or it will re-define your original problem. Bottom line is without much risk you can pilot and test your ideas. This is very much possible in most cases.
In summary, whatever you WANT in Life, you can run through these steps to test it out fast to validate your original assumptions/ideas/solutions to see if they yielding what you are expecting !!.