If you want to thrive in your life, rethink the design of everything around you

There are ways you could be happier and you don’t know it yet. I’m not talking about obvious unattainable life improvements like having Idris Elba for a partner, or owning a villa in Tuscany.  I’m talking about changes you can make in an hour, or in a few months, or next year that are unclear at first but obvious in retrospect, that simply require asking good questions (okay, and sometimes money).

Our lives can always improve in small ways that can have a huge ripple effect. Sure, we adjust quickly to improved circumstances, and studies show that our happiness level will return to what it was. But using this as a reason to never strive or improve anything is such an unimaginative Eeyore perspective because changes don’t have to be big. I’m not saying you have to get divorced, move to the sea, and become a lesbian— though I can personally vouch for it! I’m saying that when you make a change in your life that delights you, and your happiness quotient returns to what it was, relax— there are 20,000 more changes you can make that can produce delight, relief, or both. It’s exciting! Life can always change!

This is design thinking. It’s making people happier and more productive through changes and iterations, and it applies EV-ER-Y-WHERE. (The term is overused and bloviated, as Natasha Jen explains in this excellent 99u talk, “Design Thinking is Bullshit“, but I’m not using it in this way.)

I’ve got two personal examples of what I mean.

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How to make your corporate blog less ugggghhhhh

Chances are, no one reads your corporate blog. You can confirm this using analytics.

If you confirm that no one is reading, we’re here to help with this awesome guide on how to make a blog people will want to read.

This isn’t a “10 top tips” quickie blog post because you’re simply not going to learn enough from a post like that. Consider this a free consulting session. Creating good content that people want to read is not an easy checklist anyone can accomplish (particularly not if you’re only willing to invest five minutes here and there to learning how!). –> If you don’t have more than five minutes right now to read this post, save it and read it later, or pay someone else to read it for you. Pay me to read it for you. Just kidding. That would be extraneous. 

Alright, let’s get started.

First, do you have a clear, quick answer to why you would start a blog in the first place?

If the only reason you can think of is “for search engine optimization results,” there’s a good chance that you’re wasting money. The only way your efforts could be profitable is if:

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vintage illustration of woman working at computer

How to expect to pay for creative services

“How much do you charge for a logo?”

“What are your rates for a website?”

I sigh when I hear this. It’s like saying to a mechanic, “My car isn’t working. How much would you charge to fix it?” But while that may sound obviously silly, people are less familiar with what goes into design work, so… here goes:

We have a list of about 15 or more considerations we make before we price out a contract. Until our custom calculator is set up, a lot of thought goes into putting together a quote we think is fair, affordable for the client, doesn’t run too much of a risk of scope creep for us, and which is all-around worth it for us to take at this moment in time.

Here are seven of the considerations:

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The best business leaders embrace feminine behaviours

quote from Pablo Isla on emotional intelligence in the work place

This quote jumped out at me from Harvard Business Review’s November 2016 issue. While I’m the feminine-appearing half of Lynne’s and my partnership, I’m more masculine in personality.

In the past couple of years especially, I have learned that masculine people like myself are as emotional as feminine people, we just tend to suppress our emotions, causing them to bubble up as impatience, irritation and anger, all examples of externalized blame and all socially acceptable ways of showing emotion in business. We act like other people are upsetting us and are simply not being tough enough when they are upset with us.  Sometimes we think these “delicate snowflakes”—who demand a certain degree of care and who make their personal lives and feelings about their work experience known—are asking us to put in extra effort to take care of them. But really they are asking us to put in extra effort to take care of ourselves, so that we can be more aware of what is bothering us so that we don’t take it out on others. When we suppress our feelings and pretend that we’re not humans with personal lives, moods, emotional triggers, heartbreaks, and fears, we create oppressive, mechanical environments where everyone is afraid to be wrong, to screw up, or to have feelings.

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