This question, How might I? is the key to design thinking. It addresses the challenge and is optimistic and broad enough to allow room to discover new possibilities.
Design thinking is a mindset that helps us to solve problems, work with challenges and constraints, and transform difficult challenges into opportunities. It’s about believing that there’s always a creative solution and developing an intentional process to uncover those solutions to create a positive impact.
For example, we might need to manage the constraint of “traffic”—it’s out of our control, it’s unpleasant, and it takes a lot of time to endure. But we need to work around and with our constraints. We can work with the constraint of traffic or a long commute by listening to podcasts or books on tape during the commute, or if you’re on public transportation, taking a nap or meditating. In other words, make the best of it.
Not all constraints or blocks are out of our control. Where do we create blocks that don’t support the lives we are working to design?
- Finance constraints What are your stories around money? If your story is that you’re “poor,” you might be living at a low vibration. A good distinction if you must tell this story is to say “broke” instead of “poor” because broke is temporary. Even if money is tight, recognize where your life is overflowing in abundant love and inspiration. Imagine if you felt that way about your financial situation. Get on top of your finances and tell a new story.
- Body constraints When our bodies are strong, our inner world is strong. Are you eating well? Are you joyfully exercising and dancing? These are a few ways we can support the body and physical state, which reflects our inner state.
- Mind constraints How are you speaking to yourself? If we beat ourselves up all the time through our inner dialogue, we’re not going to get anywhere. Learning to be conscious of our thoughts is the first step to calming and parenting the inner shadow child or critic who is putting us down.
- Personal space constraints If the home or office is a mess, you’ll likely feel frazzled. I know when I come home from a long day and my home looks like a tornado hit, I am not in a very happy place—that’s when it’s time for a cleaning lightning round of tidying up! If you don’t feel safe in your neighborhood, maybe it’s time to look for a new place. Evaluate your personal space—you can design this part of your life to fit your preferences.
- Time constraints Time is finite, so we need to steward it…What are your priorities? Write them down, stick to them, and learn to say no.
- Work and Career constraints If you’re not moving forward in your career how you would like to, work with a coach who can help you move to the next level and who will hold you accountable for making those moves. Next, bring your essence to your work. Weave who you really are into your career. Share your teachings, your personality, and your passions with your coworkers. You might inspire someone! And you will feel more fulfilled by “Showing up” more as yourself at work.
When we shift blocks and caretake our energy fields, we vibrate at a higher frequency. People can’t help but be nice to us; give us a raise; give us free parking; smile at us on the street; or hire us! Life changes when we change.
To work with your constraints and create new possibilities, get your Life Design Planner today!