Sarah Pirie-Nally

Life Plan Lab: Unleashing Generational Genius with Design Thinking Wizardry!

A few years back, in the good ol’ days before the pandemic took over our lives, I had this wild idea. I transformed my long dining table into a DIY workshop extravaganza. Picture this: brown paper covering the table like it’s about to throw a fashion show, Steve by my side, and an arsenal of post-it notes, magazines, sharpies, and even some mystical oracle cards. We were ready to tackle the ultimate challenge—a 90-year life design plan.

Lots of people have a business plan, lots of people have a 3-5 year strategy, but how much time have you spent on your life plan?

Now, before you start thinking we were absolute maniacs, let me give you some context. Steve and I were playing tag between Australia and New Zealand like professional globetrotters. Our lives were colour-coded to perfection, thanks to our trusty Google Drive schedule. It had everything—family commitments, custody arrangements, events, travel plans, and don’t even get me started on birthdays and milestones. So, trust me, this DIY life design workshop wasn’t as intense as it sounds. We were practically experts at juggling calendars while keeping the family sanity intact (well, most of the time).

With our arsenal of creative tools and an abundance of open-ended questions, we dove into a mind-bending session of hopes, dreams, fears, and visions. We stuck post-it notes like there was a sticky note revolution happening right in our dining room. We flipped through magazines like undercover agents searching for secret messages hidden in glossy pages. And let’s not forget the Sharpies—we wielded those pens like true warriors of life planning.

Sure, some might call us crazy for embarking on such a grand endeavour. But hey, life is meant to be lived to the fullest, right? And if that means turning your dining table into a chaotic vision board, then so be it! We were on a mission to design the roadmap of our lives, one post-it note at a time.

So, for those struggling to keep their family calendar alive, fear not! Our eccentric DIY life design workshop might seem like a wild ride, but trust me, it’s all about finding the balance between chaos and organization. After all, who said life planning couldn’t be a hilarious adventure? Join us on the journey of colourful calendars, ambitious dreams, and a whole lot of sticky notes. Buckle up, my friends, because life is about to get beautifully messy!

Welcome, fellow adventurers, to the thrilling realm of life planning! In this fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind without taking a moment to envision the bigger picture. But fear not, for we have a grand experiment in store for you. Prepare to dive headfirst into the magnificent world of designing your full life plan, complete with generational thinking and the enchanting principles of design thinking. Buckle up, it’s going to be an epic journey!
Step 1: Cultivating a Legacy Mindset
In our daring experiment, we’re stretching our life plan to encompass not just our dreams but the dreams of our grandchildren and their children. We’re talking about leaving a legacy that would make even the wisest ancient philosophers jealous! By adopting a generational mindset, we’re thinking long-term and beyond our own existence. Get ready to make choices that will positively impact future generations and leave a mark that will be talked about for centuries!

Challenge: Grab those post-it notes, what legacy do you want to leave behind?
Step 2: Holistic Decision Making – The Science of Balancing Chaos and Harmony
Now, things are about to get wild (in a good way)! With our full life plan, we’ll be adopting a holistic approach to decision making. It’s all about connecting the dots and seeing how different areas of our lives, like career, relationships, health, and personal growth, intertwine. We’ll navigate the intricate web of life, making informed choices that bring us happiness and contribute to the well-being of ourselves and our future kin. It’s like being a mad scientist in a lab, except instead of potions, we’re mixing ingredients for a vibrant and fulfilling life!

Challenge: Grab the post its again. What would you do differently if you won the lotto? Lost your job? Decided to co-locate between 2 countries? Play with different life scenarios to find little insights into dreams you may not have discovered yet.
Step 3: Alignment of Values and Vision – A Magical Elixir of Purpose
Get ready to uncover the secrets of your soul! With our full life plan experiment, we’ll dig deep into our core values and conjure up a crystal-clear vision for our lives. But here’s the twist: we’ll also consider the aspirations of our grandchildren and their children. This broader perspective will guide us on a quest to prioritize what truly matters, aligning our actions and decisions with our true purpose. It’s like crafting a magical potion that captures the essence of who we are and what we want to pass down through the ages.

Challenge: Empathise with the future generation. What would you hope they get to experience?
Step 4: Applying Design Thinking Principles – Unleashing the Wizards of Creativity
Behold, the magic of design thinking! This powerful problem-solving approach will be our wand as we shape our life plan. With empathy, ideation, prototyping, and iteration as our faithful companions, we’ll embark on a grand adventure of exploring possibilities, testing strategies, and adapting our plans based on newfound wisdom. It’s like being a wizard in a laboratory, concocting spells and charms to transform our lives into magnificent works of art!

Challenge: Look back at our post it notes, what themes are emerging? What insights are you gaining? What problems are you seeing? What opportunities can you see?
Step 5: Creating Design Principles for Life – The Alchemy of Guidance
Our experiment wouldn’t be complete without creating our very own design principles for life. These guiding stars will illuminate our path, helping us make choices, navigate challenges, and seize opportunities. They’ll be our trusty compasses, keeping us on track and aligned with our values and vision, even as the winds of change blow. It’s like having a secret map that leads us to a treasure trove of fulfillment and happiness! Great design principles will help you navigate choices. Think about all of your favourite things from colours, to places, to experiences. What commonalities can you see? Remember a start is all you need, great designers keep iterating until they feel satisfied and then they usually iterate some more, designs work is never done.
Congratulations, intrepid explorers! By embracing this life plan experiment infused with generational thinking and design thinking principles, you’ve embarked on a grand quest towards a life of purpose and legacy. As you navigate the wild twists and turns of existence, may you find joy in holistic decision-making, harmony in aligning values and vision, and the magic of design thinking to guide your way.

Fancy doing this workshop with me in real life? Book me for an upcoming team session or 1:1.
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