Book Review: “Designing Your Life” by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans


 “Designing Your Life” by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans is a transformative self-help book that applies design thinking principles to help individuals craft a fulfilling and purpose-driven life. Drawing from their experience as educators and design professionals, the authors guide readers through a systematic approach to design their own lives, uncover their passions, and build a meaningful and satisfying future.

Book Details:

Title: Designing Your Life

Authors: Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

Publication Year: 2016

Genre: Self-Help, Personal Development, Career

Pages: 272

Goodreads Rating: 4.14/5


In “Designing Your Life,” Burnett and Evans introduce the concept of applying design thinking, a problem-solving methodology widely used in the field of design, to life design. They encourage readers to approach their lives as a design project, emphasizing the importance of curiosity, experimentation, and iteration in creating a life that aligns with their values and aspirations.

The book is divided into four sections, each exploring different aspects of the life design process:

Orientation: Getting Started In this section, the authors introduce the design thinking mindset and its application to life design. They encourage readers to embrace curiosity, reframe their problems as design challenges, and establish a growth-oriented mindset.

Building a Compass: Wayfinding Here, readers learn how to identify their values, interests, and aspirations, which serve as a compass for making decisions and designing their lives. The authors provide tools and exercises to help readers gain clarity on what truly matters to them.

Wayfinding: Prototyping Your Life This section delves into the process of prototyping and experimenting with different life options. Readers are encouraged to take small, actionable steps, gather feedback, and iterate on their ideas. The authors emphasize the importance of reframing failures as learning opportunities.

Getting Unstuck: Building a Well-Designed Life In the final section, Burnett and Evans address common challenges and obstacles that may arise during the life design process. They offer guidance on overcoming limiting beliefs, dealing with fear and uncertainty, and staying resilient in the face of setbacks.

Throughout the book, the authors provide real-life examples, engaging stories, and practical exercises to help readers apply the concepts and tools of design thinking to their personal lives. They encourage readers to approach life with a sense of curiosity, embrace experimentation, and prioritize action over analysis-paralysis.


Design Thinking: Apply the principles of design thinking to problem-solve and create a well-designed life.

Clarify Values and Aspirations: Identify personal values, interests, and aspirations to guide decision-making and goal-setting.

Experimentation and Prototyping: Embrace a mindset of continuous learning through prototyping and testing different life options.

Reframe Failure: View failures as opportunities for growth and learning, fostering resilience and adaptability.

Mindset Shift: Develop a growth-oriented mindset, challenge limiting beliefs, and embrace a sense of curiosity and possibility.

“Designing Your Life” offers a refreshing and practical approach to personal development, providing readers with a framework to design a life that aligns with their passions, values, and aspirations. With its combination of insightful principles, relatable stories, and actionable exercises, the book empowers individuals to take an active role in creating a life of purpose and fulfillment.

Also read:

Designing Your Life: Crafting a Purposeful and Fulfilling Journey

You can find more information about the book on the following platforms




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