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Publisher's Summary

At last, a book that shows you how to build - design - a life you can thrive in at any age or stage.

Designers create worlds and solve problems using design thinking. Look around your office or home - at the tablet or smartphone you may be holding or the chair you are sitting in. Everything in our lives was designed by someone. And every design starts with a problem that a designer or team of designers seeks to solve.

In this book Bill Burnett and Dave Evans show us how design thinking can help us create lives that are both meaningful and fulfilling, regardless of whom or where we are, what we do or have done for a living, or how young or old we are. The same design thinking responsible for amazing technology, products, and spaces can be used to design and build your career and your life, a life of fulfillment and joy, constantly creative and productive, one that always holds the possibility of surprise.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2016 Bill Burnett & Dale Evans (P)2016 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"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." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Both authors narrate this helpful audio with the same refreshing tone that's embodied in their conversational advice on making your life great. They speak with the natural cadences of experienced professors who care about their students and feel confident about their material...this empowering audio will motivate many listeners to create lives that line up better with who they are." ( AudioFile)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Get the printed version

Would you listen to Designing Your Life again? Why?

The audio is quite nice and well done. I suggest the printed version for the charts, questionnaires/homework, etc. Difficult to use the references in the audio version.Content is inspiring and the authors are illuminating and scholarly. I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to owning a hard copy.I would not buy this as an audio book to start.

Would you be willing to try another one of Bill Burnett and Dave Evans ’s performances?

yes

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

no

Any additional comments?

The only reason I gave less than four stars in any category was because of the audio format. I would rate this book much higher in its printed form.

31 of 31 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

From a Retired Person's Point Of View

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. I would recommend this. As a person retired from conventional 'work', but still active in various independent ventures- artist, publicity for creatives, local non-profits- I am able to transpose a lot of the examples used in a the book, to apply it to someone like me. But most examples (so far- I'm on writing my good time journal for 3 weeks right now) are centered around young people and also, on academia, to a certain extent. As a retired person, the minute you retire, everyone puts pressure on you to "..do this, do that, volunteer, join my book club, travel..." and, as a retired person, often, they do not understand why you don't have time (or the desire, more accurately) do do those things. I've made up a few good responses and so can handle that nicely now. But many of my friends have not, and they are uncomfortable a lot of the time. Another problem is that retirement is better for some of us when we can put some structure in life. For example, if I like to ride bikes, garden, workout, socialize, paint, cook, entertain, be with grandkids...and i also do my own housework, garden work, shopping, laundry, manage admin duties of the house.... Often, especially in Summer when we have a lot of guests, I feel like I'm "busy", but so unfulfilled. Like I'm scratching around the itch. Then, Fall arrives and I've missed beach picnics and other things I like to do. I'm not managing my time well. Clearly. To rectify this, for a few YEARS, I had been making lists, strategizing, trying to map out my days, weeks-but I was using the ACTIVITIES in my lists. Not the Work, Love, Play, Health starting point. I have made and tossed many pages. I did keep my last version, which helped me fill in the activities for your program. Your book is, so far, solving my problem. After just the beginning, (I'm listening on Audio Book) I rearranged the room I 'work' in- laptop, etc.- and it has already felt better. Also, as a parent of a 34-year-old who dances to the beat of her own drum, this has added to my respect and admiration of her, and the challenge she has taken to live life on her own terms. An entrepreneur, I am pretty sure she did all these steps, but it was not easy and there was no clear guidance for her. She has my utmost respect.

What did you like best about this story?

the approach. Starting from health, work, play, love was a paradigm shift I needed. Instead of starting from: laundry, shopping, painting, bike riding....

Have you listened to any of Bill Burnett and Dave Evans ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no. I had not, but i most likely will.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Reframing around Anchor and Gravity problems. getting clear on distinguishing those two, and the ways that can and cannot be worked with on them. I liked the clarity. and I liked that I was actually able to see it after listening to the book.

Any additional comments?

I think I said it all in my first part up top... retirees need more than AARP to dig deeper to help optimize these amazing years. Most of the resources out here are "pablum". After decades spending days in a certain way, it's a huge transition to make. Why waste precious years figuring it out when we can read/listen/participate in this book instead?

50 of 55 people found this review helpful

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  • Chérie
  • WASHINGTON, DC, US
  • 11-06-16

Read this book Now

This is an incredibly useful and helpful book. Whether you are in college, mid-life or transitioning to or in retirement, their plan and approach for living a more satisfying life is doable and practical. I've started my Good Time Journal and feel like an I am back in the driver seat of designing my life - thank you Bill &a Dave!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Useful Approach, Worth the Listen

This is a very much a left brain book, logical and methodical. I'm glad I listened to it, and the approach is solid. I can see the method working really well in a workshop, and this book would be great preparation for that. The authors purposefully don't promote any type of lifestyle, so this is not a Tim Ferris type book. Rather it is a practical approach to identifying what you want, prototyping it, and monitoring major life decisions.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A start in the right direction.

I believe learning, change, and reinvention is required for a full and valuable life. This book, and its ideas, speak to that thinking with a well-laid-out approach.
I would recommend this to coal miners, steel workers, and anyone else stuck...and anyone else unwilling to say I can't.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Best book I've read all year!

I cannot put in words the wealth of value I received from reading this book. I plan to make it a regular read from here on out.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A well designed life, is a life well lived ....

The book dives into the application of design thinking to having a deliberate approach to our life plan. Not a prescriptive approach, a curious, inquisitive approach which incorporates prototyping, moving quickly on from failure, commiting to options in an intelligent and methodical way. A well written book, discussing an appealing discipline applied to life as a whole.

"A well designed life, is a life well lived"

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I didn't want to like this book!

As I begin reading this book for the second time, it is well worth the read. The exercises are spot on and great guide for me.. This is a must read for EVERYONE. Talk about the things they never teach you in school. Now they do!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The content is life-changing!

I highly recommend this book. It's incredibly helpful. It helps me to open my mind and be more thoughtful about life planning and career choices.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • andrea
  • Mexico, Mexico
  • 03-14-17

Good book, so so narrators

It was a little hard focusing on the narrators voices. They sounded a little depressing to me. Their tone is too monotonous and sounds like they are sad.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful