Design your reality, design your life

Design is often looked at as "drawing cute little pictures". When in reality it is the process of creating something with intent and finding elegant solutions to complex problems. It is so much more than just making things look nice.

Sebastian Scheerer
Sebastian Scheerer is a tech startup founder, digital product designer, and business consultant. He co-founded Wunderlist as head of design, a platform that earned the title of Apple's App of the Year in 2014 and was later acquired by Microsoft. Additionally, Sebastian co-founded, Germany's premier digital health insurance, renowned for it's industry leading customer satisfaction.
Design your reality, design your life

Design is a process, not a thing

We can use it to design ourselves, our thinking, our character, our business, and the way we look at things. We can design every aspect of our lives and our own reality.

Most people live their lives without realizing this. Every day just unfolds. Things happen to them. They are a victim to the circumstances, fully embracing their role, bowing to their fate of living a life of (seemingly) meaningless existence.

Another rainy day. Another gloomy afternoon. Another stressful day at the dreadful job. Another 30 years until pension (Who knows what happens by then).

I guess we've all been there to some degree. Chances are that you, just like me, are a little more evolved already in your personal journey (compared to my rather extreme description above).

Who are you becoming?

If we choose to live our lives as passive observers, merely watching what is happening and accepting the way things are, nothing will change.

However, if we want to shape the future (and all of our own reality), then we need to be active participants in it. We need to create a vision for ourselves and boldly start doing something about it.

The very first step is figuring out what that something should be. And to determine this, the easiest thing is to work our way backward. At first, this might seem like a bit of an odd approach. After all, how do we work our way back when there's no map to follow? It turns out that it's not that hard at all and actually quite simple once you get the hang of it. You see, everything in life is connected.

If I were to go back in time (or pretend to), I would say that one event led up to another and then another and so on until finally reaching where I am. So if that's true, where do you want to be when you're old. Or better yet, WHO do you want to become?

What do you wish people will say about you at your funeral? What do you wish will be written on your gravestone? I know, that's a lot of death right there. But it's the most powerful exercise I know to determine what's really important to you. You can use it to uncover your deepest purpose, values, and the legacy you want to leave behind. Once you have uncovered that, everything else can be designed to fuel and support those values.

Believe it before to achieve it

You design everything that matters to you, even if you are not aware of it. When I say "design", I don't just mean creating an object or product, but also how we behave, the things we do and say - including words we write- and how they affect other people and what they do with their lives as well. We can shape and influence ourselves and the environment around us to become what we want them too.

And you know what, we've been designed ourselves to do exactly that. Our bodies are goal-seeking mechanisms. Once we defined our purpose, broke it down into the goals we want to achieve, and take action in the right direction, our subconscious will start aiding us in reaching and manifesting those goals. Sounds whoowhoo? Think again...

Just think about how you've set yourself the goal to learn driving. And now think about how hard it was at the beginning to coordinate all the different movements and incoming information of traffic, lights, pedestrians, etc. But only when your subconscious started taking over and that it's been instructed to do the job you became an effective driver, right? Now you don't even think about what to do, your body will just do it (and much more effectively). So that was an intentional act of life design at work.

  1. You've set a goal
  2. you believed in the outcome first (end in mind)
  3. You took the action that was necessary to instruct your subconscious to learn a new behavior
  4. You achieved the goal you've set for yourself and became "The person who drives a car"

Now, I know what you're probably thinking: This is a trivial example... it's not. The only reason it seems trivial is that we grow up surrounded by people in cars who know how to drive them. Our grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, friends of the family, and so on. We've believed in being a driver long before we even thought about doing our license.

So, obviously, we must believe in it to make it happen. We need to visualize it. Make it crystal clear to ourselves and our subconscious that this is the thing we will do and we already know how it feels to achieve it. This is where the visual aspect of design really comes in handy. We can use it to paint a vivid picture of our future and visualize what it is. Both in our minds, but also on-screen and paper.

Use visual design to make it real

If your vision is to build an app or a certain type of business that supports your purpose in life, your values, the first thing is you want to make it as juicy and real as possible. You want to be able to see what it will look like before you build it. You want to make your subconscious believe that it's the thing that is your goal that needs to be supported.

You need to become so familiar with your vision that it just feels completely natural to go to the next steps. And this is where the magic really happens. When you start to believe in it, people around you will start to believe in it. As you define your concept with words, design mockups, and give everything home on a website you start to manifest your vision. Now it feels real. You can almost touch it. Things start falling into place, doors open up and people start walking in to help you out.

You are the placebo

You start getting ideas and creativity that come from outside of your mind. It starts feeling like the universe is on your side because it's responding to your thoughts, desires, and intentions. Even your body changes when you believe something deeply enough. Remember the placebo effect? Don't you think it's funny that the placebo effect is mostly mentioned as something that wasn't really interesting? Like: "Yeah, that was just a placebo effect".

For me, the placebo effect is the most incredible proof that our thoughts change our beliefs and our beliefs change our reality. That’s why if you want to change any area of life, from weight loss to getting a job or anything else for that matter; be specific about what will happen when this transformation happens as well as what it will feel like.

How are you designing your life?

What are your desires? Write them down, get specific and write out the details as well as what they will look like in the future. Start building your prototype, your landing page, and your pitch deck for your app idea. Do the same with every other area of your life that you want to manifest.

We can't make our thoughts a reality without having a clear picture of how we want things to be! This is not about positive thinking: It's about designing reality so that everything you believe is made real. Imagine your life with these new thoughts, now create an intention for those new beliefs, and start acting as if you already achieved it.

If you do that, you will be on a whole different trajectory and miles ahead of most people around you.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase a paid plan. These are products I’ve personally used and stand behind. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only.

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