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Designing a good life

The first step in designing a good life is realizing the project requires more of a flexible process than a fixed plan. Plans have a way of making people feel stuck when challenges arise. Processes are more flexible and open-ended, helping people work through setbacks and discover new solutions. Processes also let people reconfigure solutions as a problem evolves over time.

One reason why a process is better than a plan is because people like to try new things and approaches. An example is career choice, which is rarely a one-time decision. Workplace trends have shown that people switch companies and even careers more often than workers did just a few decades ago. A job that’s a good fit today might not be the best fit tomorrow. The key is to be flexible, revising your outlook and strategy as many times as needed instead of trying to stick to an outdated plan.

Failure is a virtue

It’s rare to succeed on the first try. We hate to admit it, but failure is often a necessary element in scoring big achievements. According to Mark Manson, society sends the misleading message that failure is negative or shameful, which prevents people from recognizing defeat as a positive sign of progress and learning. If you crave external validation and praise, failure may feel especially painful. Just keep in mind that some of the greatest success stories involved many missteps and disappointments along the way.

Self-help literature often overemphasizes the importance of maintaining a positive outlook. That’s one reason why Manson became a writer. People who only look at the bright side of complex situations don’t get a full picture of reality. Denial creates problems because it prevents people from formulating an effective response to challenges. By embracing hardships and flaws, you’ll be in a better position to navigate tough situations.

The next time you hit a bump in the road, acknowledge the failure and forget about other people’s opinions. You’ll be back on the path to success much faster when you keep your eyes on the road ahead. Designing a good life.

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