5 ways you can use design thinking to kick start your success

change woman thinking while writing in diary featuredWe don’t simply wake up one morning and choose to kick ass in our chosen career, business, or life path. We have to design our journey to success in a way that works for our personal situation and lifestyle.

It’s common to look to people who have achieved what you want to achieve, then emulate and modify their journey as best you can to meet your needs. But at what stage of this ‘copy-cat’ behaviour do you find yourself questioning how authentic this feels, or how sustainable this approach is for you?

Having a connection to who you are and what you want to do is a much easier route to take. That’s not to say I’m going to demand you tell me your purpose, your passion, and whether you have a burning desire to create impactful change right this moment. No.

But I can provide you with the top 5 ways you can apply a design thinking mindset to kick start your success – in any area of your business or life.

1 – Empower yourself by accepting that you are on a journey.

Visualise yourself getting on a packed, stuffy train to find there are no seats and there’s already an hour delay. Not enjoyable, right? Now imagine yourself getting on that same train, but this time start chatting to the person whose elbow is in your ribs. Within the first few minutes of conversation, you discover they’re the perfect person to help you with your current problem. So much better, right?

I can hear your neural pathways lighting up! Even as you’re reading this, you’re thinking about what your current problem is. Better still, you’re already imagining what that person – who is going to help you find the best solution for you – looks and sounds like.

That’s because a life you can visualise is a life you can better realise.

2 – Ask for and accept help.

Now I’m not asking you to accept unsolicited advice from a stranger here, but I am asking you to remain open-minded to all perspectives. Personal development is a collaborative process. When you’re ready to design your success, you’ll inevitably crave feedback and acceptance that you’re doing the right thing.

This feedback, the insight of others, and the help they offer as a result, are the very things that will power you forward to design your success your way. There’s a knack to be learned in only asking and accepting such involvement in your journey from those you know, like, and trust. The naysayers? Silence them quickly.

3 – Get curious!

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it will be the making of your success. Getting curious – about everything and anything – is a great way to ready your brain to accept new things and prepare you for what you need to learn along the way.

And I’m not just talking about learning that directly impacts your goals. If you want to be an accountant, you can take a course. If you want to learn to swim, you can take lessons. But if you want to prepare yourself to be a ‘good learner’ you need to warm up first. Like an athlete stretching before a race.

So those beautiful blooms you pass each morning on your way to work; find out what they’re called and try growing some. Or that urge you’ve always had to be able to chat with the locals on your next trip to Spain; book that class and get learning mi amiga!

4 – Try out new things.

Now you’re enjoying your new found curiosity, it’s time to turn this more pointedly towards the success you want to design think for yourself. Grab a pad and pen and draw yourself a map of how you will reach the future you are designing for yourself.

For each twist and turn on your map, what assumptions have you made?

Does your vision work out the same regardless of which turn you take?

If not, get willing to experiment, and really dig deep to find out which is your preferred route and how you will overcome any obstacles that may get in your way.

5 – Look at problems from different angles.

Those experiments you’ve just carried out in order to overcome possible obstacles? They are the best way to shine new light on situations in order to make space for potentially better solutions. Sure, they may all be hypothetical at this stage of your journey, but even running a scenario through your head, readies your brain to make the best decision when the time comes.

So, do you feel like you’re ready to tell me your purpose, your passion, and whether you have a burning desire to create impactful change yet?

Exercising a design thinking mindset in this way is a fast track to positive change, transformation, and happiness. It will take courage, and you may discover things about yourself you didn’t previously know or want to acknowledge, but I guarantee that if you stick with it, your future will be designed exactly as you want it.

Lucy Patterson is an acclaimed Business Strategist and Coach. She founded Flourish Unlimited (An Institute of Enterprise & Entrepreneurs Approved Academy) with a clear mission; to support individuals and teams to embrace the principals of design thinking, in order to solve complex business and life problems with creative ease.

One of only 16 people in the world to have completed Babson University’s Inspiration USA Business Growth Program, Lucy is regularly called upon by the media for her opinion and expertise in this area.

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