The Popular Podcast #151: Lifefucking Revisions

Self-evaluation and taking criticism are necessary skills for the progress of any lifestyle designer. In this episode, we iterate once again the importance of lifestreaming as a lifestyle design methodology.

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KELLY’S DIARY

Things I said I would never do

Critical thinking is one of the first skills any designer must master. This means one must not only be able to think critically about her own work, but also accept constructive criticism as such. Any complete design solution is the product of a laborious process of revisions.

Obtaining a perfect life is a design problem, and the solution is only a series of revisions away.

Design students often develop the disgusting habit of defending turds. Instead of admitting she took no thought in choosing a typeface, one may insist on defending the non-choice. This is a result of ignorance and fear. She is inexeperienced and afraid of so appearing.

The same ignorance and fear can prevent our lifestyle designs from progressing. The designs of the students who can’t take criticism don’t grow. Those students don’t make progress, because their designs are ‘good enough’.

We can fall into the same traps in our lifestyle designs, especially if we have worked hard to arrive at our first solution. I worked hard to build up a tolerance to be able to drink every night. It was a great lifestyle, and I often miss it. However, the pros no longer outweigh the cons.

My previous-self would have been embarrassed by my current-self. I would be ashamed to admit that I *gasp* exercise on a regular basis, because it was something I always said I would never do. I was too cool, too lazy, and probably too hungover. My current-self isn’t afraid to admit that I am a bit embarrassed of my previous-self.

Self-Evaluate.

Designers solve problems. To reach a lifestyle design solution, one must first define the problem(s) she is trying to solve. Goals must be clear and concise. When designing, constantly ask yourself: will this decision get me closer to my goal?

Self-Evaluation preceeds consultation. Making every decision a conscious one prepares the designer to engage in discussion about the design. Before requesting the time and input of peers, thorough knowledge of the problem and a proposed solution are vital.

Contrast potential answers to these two questions:

1. What do you think of this design?
2. Is ‘element of design’ effective at achieving ‘goal’?

Open-ended and ambiguous, the former lacks self-evaluation. The designer has not taken first the time to consider which elements of the design are not successful. Without direction, critique can focus on the superficial, especially if peers feel they must spare the feelings of the designer.

Accept Criticism.

Design without critique is life as a recluse. It can be lived, but not completely enriched. Each with his/her own unique perspective, your peers will always notice something about your design that you didn’t. Or infer a message you never intended. Most importantly, your peers will always suggest something you never considered. You must, however, ask them the right questions.

The easiest and most obvious way to seek constructive criticism as a lifestyle designer is through lifestreaming. Employing lifestreaming as a lifestyle design methodology, Jessica and I actively and regularly seek feedback from the crowd. We submit our lifestyle designs for review: detailing known success, admitting known failures, and seeking improvement in known areas of weakness.

With knowledge gained through the design process, we now have the power to push our lifestyle designs to limits we never before imagined possible. Only through the completion of the first iteration will we be able to reach a second, more informed, more successful iteration. If we never started eating whole wheat English muffins, we would have never gotten to the point of making them from scratch. Revisions. We must recognize our successes while maintaining the humility to seek help where we need it. Enhance your strengths and admit your weaknesses.

Timeless design is an exercise in control and restraint.

The design is finished when nothing else can be taken away. The same should be true for your lifestyle designs. Make incremental progress to arrive at the simplest possible solution.

One year after setting out to do so, Jessica and I arrived at a sustainable pattern for fitness and nutrition that included whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and regular exercise. What we realized through the process of creating that first iteration, is that there is so much more to maintaining a healthy lifestyle than we originally predicted. After profuse sharing, conversing, and contemplating our pattern for good health, we have learned a lot from our peers and discovered many places we can improve.

Amazed daily at the progress my life has made, I am certain to attribute my success to the design mentality with which I approach living.

With clearly defined goals, constructive criticism, and constant reevaluation, I am able to say with confidence that every day is the best of my life.

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Masters of Mixtures: A beginner’s guide to saving money, getting back at the man, making environmentally friendly decisions, and overall simplifying life.

Masters of Mixtures is a short e-book containing 6 simple concoctions as catalysts for starting down a path of healthy, sustainable living. The process, though daunting at first, is at once beneficial and fulfilling. The six recipes in Masters of Mixtures are meant to encourage those of you considering beginning making things from scratch to start small. They are all things we thought we would never do, and now here we are sharing the recipes with you.

Recipes Included:

  • Best Salsa in Texas
  • Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
  • Whole Wheat English Muffins
  • Whole Wheat Tortillas
  • Sushi Smashey-Smash
  • Dishwasher Detergent

Log-in below to download your own version of Masters of Mixtures. Printing and folding instructions are included for creating your own personal mini-cookbook and holy grail.

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Download Masters of Mixtures (pdf)

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