Design Yourself

Design Yourself

It's not uncommon for everyone to hit a point in life where they are in search for more meaning. In fact, it's not uncommon for people to have that feeling on many occasions throughout life. When these moments occur, it leads some people down a path of depressing thoughts like "woe is me." For others, it's a spark that ignites a major life change or new adventure. In either case, people will come back around to searching for meaning because they haven't properly designed who they want to be in life.

In our culture where competition is a part of DNA we are all striving to be the best, but not everyone can be on top. To lay claim that you are the best at something is to always have to convince others they are not. Instead, what if we worked at being our own self, to be different, to be the best version of who God made us to be. It's not so much that we need meaning in our lives, because as creations made in God's image, our meaning is inherent. Rather, it's more about living uniquely because uniquely is how you were made.

Here's an excerpt from the book Play Bigger by Ramadan, Lochhead,  Peterson, and Maney.
"Designing yourself might involve developing a personal set of beliefs and a way of conducting your life that fits with what you do and the category you address. Design the
"product" - that , your offering to the world - by developing your skills. And design the space around you so it fits your capabilities but also challenges you."

If you can figure out your personal category and how you make it unique, meaning and success will come. Spend time designing yourself.


Ramadan, Al. Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets. New York: HarperBusiness, 2016. 218. Print.

Opinions of Powerful People

 FreeImages.com/Ike Gomez

FreeImages.com/Ike Gomez

Several years ago, Adam Galinsky, a researcher at Columbia Business School concluded that the more power a person obtains, the more their ability to see varying perspectives diminishes. Through a series of social experiments Galinsky discovered that feeling more powerful causes us to anchor on our own opinions rather than others.

One of the causes for this is the fact that powerful people tend to have more resources available to them. They have certain comforts that afford them the luxury to be careless with their thoughts and actions because they are less incentivized to take the perspectives of others. Another cause for not taking other perspectives is the fact that powerful people are often too busy to stop and truly consider the perspectives of others. This is especially true when rushing through life and trying to consider the lifestyle differences of those unlike their own.

Whether it's for social justice, political movements, or commenting on a favorite subject people with power and celebrity status are more often careless with their thoughts and actions. Meanwhile the entire public gets in a tizzy over a social media post or a sound bite on the news from well know people because those without power want to ride the coat tails of the powerful. In turn, the weak begin to feel more powerful living vicariously through the powerful until we are all entrenched in our own views and opinions.

It's not that powerful people don't have good opinions and valuable insight on different perspectives, they can and do. However, responsible people should be careful to consider everyone's perspectives equally whether they're are in a position of power or not. A celebrity can too easily use his or her platform to persuade others from seeing multiple perspectives and therefore sharing their views is more often irresponsible than not.

We've all experienced those relationships where people rise in power and influence and as they rise, they become less humble and more dogmatic with their approaches. Good leaders maintain perspective and are willing to change their minds. It takes courage for a leader to do this and it should be commended when it happens rather than berate them for "flip-flopping."


Pittampalli, Al. Persuadable: How Great Leaders Change Their Minds to Change the World. New York: Harper Business, 2016. 145-47. Print.

Proschaka's Six Stages

From the field of addiction counseling, James Prochaska researched and developed a theory of readiness for change in people that is pretty well defined. The six stages are also a useful exercise to consider when thinking about behavior design in your product.

 

Stage 1: Pre-Contemplation

During this stage people are unaware for their need to change. Using assessment data that is specific to that user can help raise the awareness for change.

Stage 2: Contemplation

People are considering making a change when in this stage, but are often unsure how to proceed. They often struggle with whether making a change or taking action is worth it and will get stuck weighing the pros and cons of making a change.

Stage 3: Preparation

A person moves to gathering information, and lining up resources, or gathering options in order to make a change. This stage is a pivotal transition from thinking (Stage 2) to doing (stage 4). This is where a product or service can play a pivotal role in facilitating behavior change in individuals.

Stage 4: Action

This stage is where a person is actually trying new things and taking action.

Stage 5: Maintenance

Persisting with an action long enough for it to become a habit or routine is the hallmark of this stage. making minor modifications or tuneups to a persons plan based on their environment is key.

Stage 6: Termination

This term is used to simply signify that the person no longer needs any kind of programatic system to help facilitate change because key actions have successfully become a natural part of their lifestyle.

These six stages are not always linear and a person could be in multiple stages at the same time while addressing multiple behaviors. 


Williams, Patrick, and Diane Susan. Menendez. Becoming a Professional Life Coach: Lessons from the Institute for Life Coach Training. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2007. 76-79. Print.

Market Problems and Behavior Design

When it comes to building a successful product there are two pillars that cannot be left out; market problems and behavior design. You must understand your markets and their problems and you must design a solution that triggers actions and behaviors that your market is ready to take. 

If you focus on trying to get a market to use your product and they are not motivated nor have the ability to use your solution, your product will fail.  Your product doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to help your market solve their problem at the very moment they need a solution.

 

You're Positioned

 Motivational speaker Gail McWilliams once said, "You are not stuck. You are positioned." 

No one signs up to be a pawn, yet being a pawn describes how so many people feel —stuck with limited options only to be sacrificed. 

When it comes to the game of chess, the two most important pieces are the king and queen yet neither of them can make a move until the pawn boldly steps forward.

 http://www.freeimages.com/ Marcelo Gerpe

http://www.freeimages.com/ Marcelo Gerpe

May the perspective of your position be renewed each day to find purpose and meaning in what you do and may your sacrifice be for a king worth dying for.