VIP = Very Important Project

Say you have been given an important project to complete at work. The assignment is to take over managing a client that isn’t reaching their potential, figure out the problem and find the best solution. How do you handle this project?

Do you just start suggesting alternatives right away or do you do some background research first to make sure you know everything about the client before making changes? Do you work on the project yourself or do you delegate key parts of the assignment to a coworker you’re not sure you trust? Do you go home, pack a weekend bag and camp out in your office with meal delivery until the project is done? Do you work alone or do you recruit every consultant you think would be able to help? 

What if this project was the rest of your life? Shouldn’t your life be the most important project you work on? Shouldn’t you integrate some of those best practices you use at work so that you can design the best life possible for yourself?

Design the Life You Love by Ayse Birsel is not a workbook. It’s a playbook! Well, it can be a workbook but it’s an opportunity to design the life you want so if that’s a life  with playfulness, playbook it is.

I love what Design the Life You Love says about the reason we should design our lives. There are 2 main components of our lives – what we want and what we need. What we need are the parameters that limit us and the reasons that often hinder our ability to get what we want. There exists a grey space though. Creativity is that grey space where you can redesign your life to get what you need and what you want simultaneously. An example Ayse uses is, “I want to go on vacation but I need to work to make money. Creativity is figuring out a way for me to make money while I am on vacation so both needs and wants are met.”

I got into the book because  it’s not just another self-help book to read the whole way through and then see how you might be able to apply it to your life. In fact, the objective is to work on the book for 20 minutes per day and then leaving it for the next day so you can come back with a new perspective.


  1. I love the way the book looks – it looks just the way I imagine a designer’s notebook should look, it has a journal-like appearance, the entire book is printed in a handwriting font (which is both a plus and a minus for me) and the elastic on the side just excites me.
  2. I love the different creative forms and the book encourages me to draw more than I normally would – I normally express myself with words but when Ayse recommended that I sketch (not write) a metaphor for my life, I found it was strangely thrilling and useful.

Gripes: I only have one.

  1. Some of the handwriting fonts could be a little challenging to read in some instances. For example, I had to turn to the back cover to figure out the writers last name. But the font for the author’s name is not used anywhere else in the book so that’s ok.

I received a free copy of Design the Life You Love from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review but I would have paid for this book if I’d seen it in a bookstore first. I don’t think there is anyone who would regret purchasing a copy of this book, even if it’s purely for aesthetic value, as an inspirational journal, or just to own a copy of the coolest new book around. (More of my BfB reviews here)

Click here for more info about Design The Life You Love.

Shared with Breaking the Spine

2 Comments Add yours

  1. sfarnell says:

    Luck you – this is the kind of book I think I should read. Any ideas about how I can make money while on holiday is worth reading lol 🙂
    Hope you have a good day Karen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Run Wright says:

      Haha. You’re so right, Simon. I’m all for that kind of idea too. Thanks. I hope you have a wonderful one also.

      Liked by 1 person

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