Making people happy

Finlay Craig
Jan 13, 2018 · 4 min read

I was watching this video about a guy, Bruce Zaccagnino, who’s built the biggest model railway set in the world called ‘Northlandz’ (don’t ask me how I found this video).

I’m attracted to stories of people that have a passion and follow it. This guy has dedicated his life, with the support of his wife, and without the support of many, to building something that he loves. I have huge respect for this guys passion.

In this video he says something that really resonated with me…

“The only good in life is to be happy. The time to be happy is now. And the way to be happy, is make someone else happy.”

To bring value to the world, you need to understand why you’re bring value, and how you’re bringing value.

As I attempt to ‘Design my future’, I’ve thought a lot about why I’m doing this. How is going to bring more value to the world, other than just to me? And I think I’ve found the answer…well for now at least.

I need a hypothesis of who I’m working for, and what they want, and what they’ll get.

It’s really obvious. I should have realised this earlier, as I preach this in my professional life almost everyday. But when it comes to personal endeavours, it’s often hard to make that link which makes so much sense in your professional life, and bring it over to your personal life.

Where am I going? … how not knowing your audience can make you feel.

So, I’ve taken the three areas within my ‘design my future’ (‘Finlay is writing…’, ‘Finlay Craig the Photographer’, and the ‘Product Designers’ interview series) and developed a third-person description (how my audience describe this), an end-user value (think ‘what will I learn’) and why this is valuable for the world that I do this.

Here it is…

Finlay is typing…

How would someone else describe this publication:

“Advice from someone who is trying to redesign their future, and how I can apply that to my life.”

What are the things that I am going to learn from reading this publication:

“I will learn strategies and techniques that I can apply to my life to unlock my personal skills, and create value from them.”

How is this helping the world?:

“Finlay is helping people leverage the skills they already have within them, by providing them with a new perspective, that their own experience didn’t give them.”

Finlay Craig the Photographer

How would someone else describe this publication:

“Inspiring stories and photographs, through which stories of self-discovery are told.”

What are the things that I am going to learn from reading this publication:

“I was inspired to learn more about myself, be reflective, and grow as an individual.”

How is this helping the world?:

“Finlay’s stories encouraged me to seek answers to my own questions, helping me grow as a person.”

Product Designers

How would someone else describe this publication:

“Behind the scenes stories of how Product Designers found their way into their careers, and what they learnt along the way.”

What are the things that I am going to learn from reading this publication:

“The steps that you might want to take if you want a career in Product Design, and what you should look out for.”

How is this helping the world?:

“By sharing what other people have learnt about getting into Product Design, people who read these stories will find the path a little easier.”

What can you take away from this? Well, what I’ve taken away from this is that I need to think more about you the reader. Why are you here? What are you looking for? How are you going to leave a better (and hopefully happier) person than before you arrived at this article? I hope that you’ll see that you too can find more purpose in your work, if you better understand who you’re ‘working for’ and what you hope they will get out of it.

My tips to helping you do this…

  • Constrain your audience — you can’t do everything for everyone. Get specific. Creativity thrives under constraints.
  • Think in third-person — forces your justification, forces you to articulate, and removes your personal bias … somewhat.
  • Your reader is another lovey human — think of their needs, their hopes, their dreams. Think of how you help them achieve those.
  • Be realistic — you’re not going to achieve world peace, but the difference you can make, however big or small, is worthwhile. Be realistic, and maybe you’ll achieve it.

What do you think? Have a better idea? Share it. I’m all ears.

Until next time, Finlay.

View the video of Bruce and Northlandz here —

Finlay is typing …

Finlay is running an experiement on his life, and this is…