February 24, 2021
Q&A 023


A few days off are often a great time to do some reflection. I regularly forget, but having a metacognitive loop is a great way to steer your life more towards the things you want. As both the circumstances and our desires change constantly, it's useful to incorporate a system to reflect and steer.

One useful model emerged from the school of Design Thinking. As this thinking is aimed at innovation, it comes as no surprise that the theory can also be applied to your life. Bill Burnett and Dave Evans started a course on 'designing your life' at Stanford University to help their students figure out what to do with their lives after graduating.

Their main idea is to lose the idea that we have to choose between 'money' and 'meaning'. Framing our life choices this way is causing a 'false dichotomy', limiting our options. One tool that Evans and Burnett use in their workshops consists of three sliders. Like the equalizer on a stereo system, they represent 'money' (market economy), 'impact' (social economy) and 'expression' (creative economy).

They invite you (yes, you!) to set the sliders at the level that represents your current work-life, and also draw a set of sliders representing how you would like your life to be. For the instances where you set your desired sliders above your current level, they invite you to come up with a small experiment to 'move the needle' just a bit. Small enough to execute in the next few days, big enough to feel the impact. What would your experiment be?