1-Sentence-Summary: Design Your Future motivates you to get out of your limiting beliefs and fears that are holding you back from building a life you love by identifying why you got stuck in a career or job you hate and what steps you must take to finally live your dreams.
Read in: 4 minutes
Favorite quote from the author:
In April of 2015, I graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. I walked across the stage with the diploma in hand and a good job lined up. It was easy to think I would be set for life.
But after a couple of years, I had a nagging feeling that it wasn’t right for me. After trying to put my heart into it and failing multiple times, I realized that I’d picked the wrong path. That terrified me, but I didn’t give up.
Within just a couple of years, I’d successfully navigated my way into a life that I love with a lot of help and hard work.
That’s why I really appreciated reading Design Your Future: 3 Simple Steps to Stop Drifting and Take Command of Your Life, because it confirms that I was right to take the leap! I just wish I had learned these principles sooner to make the switch even easier!
Here are the 3 most inspiring lessons about building a life that you’re proud of:
- Awakening, disrupting, and designing are the three steps you must take to beat the fear that keeps you stuck.
- Visualize your life in the future to motivate yourself to change your path.
- Create your own scorecard to see how you’re progressing toward your dreams and unlock the power of daily rituals to set you up for success.
Get your calculator and drafting pen ready because we’re about to learn how to design a better future! Let’s get right to it!
Lesson 1: If you want to beat the fear that keeps you stuck, try awakening, disrupting, and designing.
When you’re in a career you hate, the hardest part is breaking free. Usually, it’s so difficult that external events like getting fired are the only way you can get out. This is exactly what happened to me, but it was just the push I needed to start the life I now love.
There are many reasons that we stay stuck and at the forefront of them is fear of the unknown. Will your dream career pay the bills? And what if you become even more miserable than you are now?
You also might struggle with the fear of the emotional drain you experience when going through big changes. What you don’t see, however, is how awful the emotional toll is of letting things stay the way they are.
Change hurts, but it’s far less painful than continuing an awful relationship or keeping a job you hate.
So you know that you want to break free, but how do you do it? The author gives three steps to start:
To wake up to see the awful state you’re in, use the power of mindfulness. Observe your actions and habits to see the patterns you follow that keep you stuck. Especially focus on the things you do that make you unhappy.
Disruption comes next. To do this, experiment with ways to change your routine and see how it makes a difference. You’ll only see how good things can be when you try something new!
Once you have an idea of what works, you can start designing your life, which is what the rest of this book is about.
Lesson 2: To get inspired with the courage to change course, visualize what your life will be like in the future if you don’t change.
One of the things that terrified me the most about my career situation before I changed it was what my manager’s lives were like. They worked 50-60 hour weeks and hardly ever took vacations.
I promised myself I would never live like that but it wasn’t easy at first to realize this was where I was heading unless I quit.
It’s hard to connect with our future selves, and MRI scans confirm this. Economist Hal Hershfield found that brain scans of people who are thinking about their future selves are just the same as if they were thinking of a complete stranger!
To beat this, visualize your future self. One of the author’s clients did this with great success.
He was miserable in his sales job and considered his motivation, relationships, and what he’d look like in the future. The person he saw himself becoming unless he changed course was frightening.
It was just the motivation that the man needed to get going on making his dreams happen. He soon quit his job and began looking for a new career!
You can have the same experience, just ask yourself where you’ll end up in a few years if you keep going on the path you’re on!
Lesson 3: Success comes to those who follow daily rituals and keep track of their progress toward their goals with a scorecard.
About a year ago I set up my first scorecard to track my daily efforts. I was amazed at how quickly I began changing things that seemed so difficult before. Within just 12 weeks I’d lost 10 pounds and almost doubled my income!
To set your own up, just make a list of the things you want to accomplish every day. I use a Google Docs spreadsheet to make ticking off the days I’ve done what I wanted easier.
The author tried this out and as the number of days in a row he’d completed his goals added up, he gained more confidence. He could see that he really could achieve his dreams.
And on days when he failed, he could just look at all the other days he’d succeeded to keep things into perspective. It’s a lot easier to stick with it when you know that a slip up is only one failure in the middle of a dozen successes!
It’s also helpful to make your evenings effective with rituals that set you up for victory. Start by limiting devices, meditating, planning your day, or the next day if it’s the evening.
Design Your Future Review
Here’s yet another example of the power of choosing to follow your dreams instead of being limited by the status quo! I love Design Your Future, it’s inspiring, practical, and will help everyone. I’ve already seen these principles work for me so I know they’ll work for you too!
Who would I recommend the Design Your Future summary to?
The 28-year-old who has only been in his first job out of college for a few years but doesn’t want to have a life like he sees that his managers have, the 47-year-old who is afraid to quit their job and follow their true career dreams, and anyone that wonders if there’s a better life than the daily grind.