Design Your Life with Discovery & Exploration (Part 3) 

This semester join me as I kick-off the start to a new reflective blog series hosted by the Discovery & Exploration Career Community centering the #1 New York Times Best Selling novel “Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life” by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans.  

In partnership with the Duke University Career Center and “Design Your Duke Journey”, a Sophomore specific half-credit course offered this fall, I’ll highlight a few of the novel’s eye-opening insights regarding career and life design. I promise to not spoil what I’m sure will be an amazing read!  

Continue below to learn more: 

Getting Unstuck 

“You can’t know what you want until you know what you might want, so you are going to have to generate a lot of ideas and possibilities. Accept the problem. Get stuck. Get over it, and ideate, ideate, ideate!” – Ch.4 , Pg. 66, Para. 2 

Chapter 4 of Bill and Dave’s “Design Your Life” novel takes the reader through a series of exercises to bypass the judgmental conscience of our inner critic in turn freeing our creative potential. Getting unstuck requires, first, the understanding of what the authors share as foundational philosophies to life design: 

  1. You choose better when you have lots of good ideas to choose from. 
  2. You never choose your first solution to any problem. 

Mind Mapping your way through tough anchor problems and choosing to reframe, workshop, and/or prototype new solutions/ideas/outcomes is the most helpful way in getting unstuck and realizing new possibilities.  

“One of the principles of design thinking is that you want to “fail fast and fail forward,” into your next step. When you’re stuck with an anchor problem, try reframing the challenge as an exploration of possibilities (instead of trying to solve your huge problem in one miraculous leap), then decide to try a series of small, safe prototypes of the change you’d like to see happen. It should result in getting unstuck and finding a more creative approach to your problem.”  – Ch.4 , Pg. 81, Para. 2 

Try Mind Mapping with Christina Plante, Assistant Director of Career Services, using the video below and by referencing this helpful article. For full-length instructions and more reflective exercises from this chapter check out the book using the link below . 

For more information feel free to reference the Professional Goal Setting Guide and Career Development Process for additional reflective questions, activities, assessments and resources or schedule an appointment to speak with a Career Advisor.  

To learn more about the authors and to support their work start here

By Kai Kelley Jr. (he/him)
Kai Kelley Jr. (he/him) Assistant Director, Entertainment, Media & Arts Career Community