Design Thinking to Build a Person

So 3 years is a long time. To live and learn.

And I, once again stand at the threshold of change. A few years back, such a change was intimidating. I have no shame in admitting that I would not have handled it positively. In fact, I would have taken a couple of months of wallowing in mental isolation- and doubting and reassuring myself that the world is not black and white.

Was I weak? Nope. I was merely ill-equipped to understand the various perspectives that change of any kind brings. But right now, at this moment; once again on the threshold of change, I feel liberated. I feel that various disparate factors are coming together so that I can be the best version of myself!

Change brings new lessons, though. Sometimes they are tough ones; that take a long time to learn. And some lessons just come to you, without your realization. Something like that happened to me.

Usually, I am a proponent of design thinking. What does that mean? It means designing everything, not just products and things, but systems, lives, organizations, in a way that they fulfill 2 basic tenets. Functionality & Finesse. Functionality here is all about things being easy to comprehend and enact. So a chair would be functional if it is easy to move. An institution would be functional if it were easy to scale up or down. And it’s culture would be self-synthesizing. Functional means it should serve its purpose and provide additional comfort. Finesse- we believe in what we see. Anything that appeals to our vision, real or metaphysical, is always easily accepted and trusted.

So I was thinking that each system should have these immutable principles as the backbone of their values. And I realized that this is applicable in our very lives as well!

Think about it- when our lives are not just lived, like machines; but experienced to the best potential we can reach, we would be working on our own functionality! And this is where, I realized, many of us fall short. We wait for someone to push us and tell us where to go. We wait for others to pass judgements on us, before taking ourselves seriously (I have done this and learned from it). We allow ourselves to be herded like sheep or cows.

Why not take the initiative to better ourselves? Why not go that extra mile? Do a little more than required or expected? Why not give a little more than we are supposed to? Why look outside and expect from others? Why not look within and give instead? And here the 2nd immutable principle of finesse comes into play.

We may look like whatever physically. But why not train ourselves to see the shades of gray and accept them? Why not see the beauty in each person along with their shortcomings? Why not give people the same courtesy, attention, and concern we give ourselves?

I have learnt and learnt well, from my mistakes and experiences. Which is why, I say with complete confidence, that I treat each person I meet as I treat myself. When we go that extra mile, when we try our best, not to please someone, but because we are capable of it; and we wish to reach our highest potential; we are awakening the divine in each of us.

I still experiment with my mind, but I live with this belief and faith. That we all have the ability to be great;and learn continuously. It is high time we allow the best in each of us to shine in order to grow together. It’s high time we rise above someone- our parents, spouses, bosses, or anyone tell us that we must create change. As I am learning it, we must be the change we wish to see and create.

Originally published here.