Add up your decisions. This is the real litmus test on what a person actually wants. You will find yourself at times, being stuck. This is normal. As the authors of the book “Designing Your Life” argue, the goal is getting “unstuck.” But this cannot be forced, it should be organic.. But you can create opportunities that didn’t exist before. When a person makes no decisions, or doesn’t prototype, they get stuck. Or they make decisions purely from a place of fear and risk aversion.
Define success for yourself. What is a well-lived life? What does meaningful work look like? What would create delight and fullness, or excitement? Regardless of whether you know the answers to these questions or not, designing your life is a continuous process of self-discovery. As you explore and try new things, you will eventually test your hypotheses. You will make adjustments in an effort to optimize your brand and positioning. Perhaps you will pivot, but you do not want to pivot for too long.
90% of people who don’t make progress are optimizing their decision-making for safety which doesn’t sound too bad, except that successful people don’t optimize that way. Successful career and life designers optimize for growth. They craft their way forward. They don’t look for purpose, they create Purpose.
Every design starts somewhere. Innovation is just something new, something useful, and is about connecting things. You must be clear on where you are, and if you are honest with yourself, you can design a path forward towards fulfillment regardless of what stage you are in.