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6 Lessons From Design Thinking That Will Help You Rethink Success

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Our lives are messy and complex, and there are always problems that need to be resolved. One of the best approaches you can use to deal with the complexity of life is the design thinking process. The process is based on principles that can help you discover your new passions and career.

If design thinking can transform organizations and inspire the next, it certainly can help us change our life to a more purposeful and fulfilling one. The process can be used by anyone, no matter his or her age, current situation, or occupation. It will help you to discover what you need to try next or to make you rethink your approach to success even.

What is Design Thinking?

Design thinking refers to the cognitive and human-centered processes: Empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test. On the contrary to how it sounds, it is not an exclusive practice for designers. Design Thinking is being taught at leading universities around the world. Innovators, entrepreneurs and leading businesses have also practiced it.

Here are some of the lessons you can learn from design thinking to rethink how to make your life better:

1. Start with Empathy

All success in life will start with empathy. You need to look at your life clearly; it is important that you understand all aspects of yourself. You need to be critical also and examine your relationships, your health, and your mental state. The same also applies when you work with others. If you want to be a good leader, you have to be empathetic.

It is important that you are empathetic to their needs. When you show empathy to others, they will reciprocate it. Design thinking builds a framework where through empathy, you can meet the needs of others, and they can help you succeed by meeting your needs.

“The highest form of knowledge is empathy.” – Bill Bullard

2. Connect the Dots

If you aim to succeed, it is necessary that you learn to see the bigger picture. It will thus require that you first define the issues. You will then need to correlate and connect things to ensure you know what actions will help you achieve your goals.

In essence, you need to learn how to visualize abstract concepts. With these visual maps in your mind, you can define a path for success with ease. Whether you are working as the head of a group or on your own, having these mental maps is always important.

3. Improve Often Based on Feedback

The design thinking process requires that you are open to feedback daily. Use this feedback to make meaningful improvements to your life. Keep in mind that what works today might not work tomorrow. Thus, it is important to constantly imagine new scenarios and try to find solutions to them.

In short, never get too comfortable in one situation that appears to be working. Tomorrow, you might find that it actually causes you a headache. The aim is to seek out problems proactively before they start to harm your success and even cause you to fail. Feedback here comes from making a self-analysis or listening to the opinions of customers if you run a business.

4. Talk to Those Who Already Made it

If you are thinking of entering a certain career, it is essential that you talk to those who are already there. This might entail shadowing successful people or having normal conversations with them.

In the end, you might understand how things work better. It can help save you the time of getting to some unanswered question you have. The best way to understand anything better is conversations (and reading too).

These conversations can be over coffee or on the weekend. However, ensure that you ask probing questions such as the difficulties people face and how they solve problems. Even when they don’t want to talk about something that has gone wrong, you can discuss the practices that keep things running smoothly.

5. Take Actual Steps in the Real World

While it is important to visualize success, it is always vital that you take real action in the real world. You can’t just sit and think about what those jobs or ideas may be like. Go out and try some of the things you think might help you succeed.

Always keep in mind that you will never know whether you could have succeeded unless you do some testing in the real world. It is one of the definitive methods to help make a decision.

“Above all, think of life as a prototype. We can conduct experiments, make discoveries, and change our perspective” – Tim Brown

6. Be Persistent

The design thinking process requires you to persist in whatever you chose to do. Achieving goals will not happen overnight. A repetitive process requires a lot of willpower at times. The more you persist, the more lessons you get to learn in life. In the future, you will be able to make better choices for your success.

Successful people are learners and observers. They show empathy but also take a critical look at themselves, at others and at the problems. Successful people are also the people who devote their time to learning from other people and experimenting.

Design Thinking is definitely one of the practices to help people rethink their approach to success while in the process.

Which one of these lessons from design thinking resonated most with you and why? Let us know your thoughts below!

Sally Smith, who recommends Orange Digital – a Brisbane based digital marketing agency taking on the world with cracking web design and digital marketing. Sally is a creative introvert, writer and digital marketer. She likes to write about topics related to personal development, particularly about how to be more and more creative and productive. You can catch her on Twitter.

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