Last Updated on November 29, 2023

Designing a better experience of life

Human beings haven’t lived in nature for a long time.

We live in what is called a “built environment.”

We are surrounded by things humans have designed.

All day, every day, we interact with things we created.

But it’s easy to forget this.

We think the way things have been is the way things must be.

Often we feel at the mercy of external things.

Really though, we can redesign everything!

That means life can get better and better.

Thinking Like a Designer

A few years ago my wife Jess was in graduate school.

She was studying User Experience Design or UX.

UX is all about improving the design of things to be easier and more enjoyable.

We can redesign things like websites or apps to be more user-friendly.

But we can also redesign processes to be easier and more fun too.

For a research project, Jess interviewed some people in my niche.

We studied creative, neurodivergent people who struggled to do stuff.

Especially people who struggled to take their Big Ideas into action.

It was easy to find volunteers because that was everybody I knew!

The 8 Principles of Joyful Doing

What we learned from that small research study changed my whole life.

We discovered deep principles for “joyful doing.”

And these principles apply to redesigning all processes, to make everything we do easier.

Redesigning Life

Life itself is a process.

Everything is always changing.

We can redesign the very act of doing things to be less stressful.

I used to hate doing my taxes every year.

But I’ve been working on making that process easier and more fun.

Last year I got them done in under an hour, and it felt super easy!

Ecstatic Living

As I apply these 8 Principles of Joyful Doing into my life more and more, I feel happier and happier.

Life increasingly is ecstatic!

It used to feel like each day was full of drudgery, just more tasks I “had to” do.

Now I feel more and more grateful to be alive.

I’m far from perfect, and I’m not happy all the time.

But even imperfection is included in the principles themselves!

It’s OK to fail, because that just means we can practice being honest, kind, and curious.

Steps to Joy

These principles continue to astound me at how widely applicable they are.

They are the very principles of healing, beyond techniques and methods.

They are the principles of anything that really works, whether in coaching, parenting, relationships, business, or governance.

And we didn’t “discover” them, other people are already living by them!

The important thing is this:

There are ways of living that lead to greater stress, misery, and suffering.

And there are ways of living that lead to greater joy, healing, and happiness.

Every moment we can take steps in one direction or the other!

We can always redesign our own experience of life to be better.

Take care,
~Duff

p.s. Since November 2022 I’ve been writing a book about these principles five days a week. Hopefully I’ll be done with it sometime next year.

I’ve also been teaching a class since January of 2023, on Sundays at 11am Denver time for an hour.

If you want to learn The Joy of Doing for yourself, get in touch.

In January 2024, we will start again with Principle 1, but feel free to join us anytime. 🙂