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Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life

Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life PDF

Author: Author

Publisher: Publisher


Publish Date: September 20, 2016

ISBN-10: 1101875321

Pages: 272

File Type: File Type

Language: Language

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Book Preface

Ellen liked rocks. She liked collecting them, sorting them, and categorizing them according to size and shape, or type and color. After two years at a prestigious university, the time came for Ellen to declare her major. She had no idea what she wanted to do with her life or who she wanted to be when she grew up, but it was time to choose. Geology seemed like the best decision at the time. After all, she really, really liked rocks.

Ellen’s mother and father were proud of their daughter, the geology major, a future geologist. When Ellen graduated, she moved back home with her parents. She began babysitting and dog walking to make a little money. Her parents were confused. This is what she had done in high school. They had just paid for an expensive college education. When was their daughter going to turn magically into a geologist? When was she going to begin her career? This is what she had studied for. This is what she was supposed to do.

The thing is—Ellen had realized she didn’t want to be a geologist. She wasn’t all that interested in spending her time studying the earth’s processes, or materials, or history. She wasn’t interested in fieldwork, or in working for a natural-resource company or an environmental agency. She didn’t like mapping or generating reports. She had chosen geology by default, because she had liked rocks, and now Ellen, diploma in hand, frustrated parents in her ear, had absolutely no idea how to get a job and what she should do with the rest of her life.

If it was true, as everyone had told her, that her college years were the best four years of her life, Ellen had nowhere to go but down. She did not realize that she was hardly alone in not wanting to work in the field in which she had majored. In fact, in the United States, only 27 percent of college grads end up in a career related to their majors. The idea that what you major in is what you will do for the rest of your life, and that college represents the best years of your life (before a life of hard work and boredom), are two of what we call dysfunctional beliefs—the myths that prevent so many people from designing the life they want.



Title Page



Introduction: Life by Design
1. Start Where You Are
2. Building a Compass
3. Wayfinding
4. Getting Unstuck
5. Design Your Lives
6. Prototyping
7. How Not to Get a Job
8. Designing Your Dream Job
9. Choosing Happiness
10. Failure Immunity
11. Building a Team
Conclusion: A Well-Designed Life

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