The Secret to great Designs

Great design comes from making difficult decisions early on. Decisions that choose one solution over many others, and take responsibility for success or failure. 

But that is not what we do. We avoid making the decisions that cut back on our options because we know that any decision comes with a cost. 

The cost of lost opportunities. 
Once we decide, we are responsible for the choice we made. And if we fail, we might not be able to go back. We are bound to the failure or success of our decisions. So we hesitate, and we don’t decide. We are afraid of failure and rather stay on the surface of our designs, missing out on great opportunities.

But great designers dive deep.
They focus on one or only a view opportunities in their designs. They pick one over many others and focus. They dive deeper; then they climb higher. 

But not us, we stick to the surface. We don’t choose; we don’t like to cut back on our options because we might regret it later on. So, we miss out on the one big opportunity we have, because we still hesitate.

Others advance, but we stagnate. 
We don’t realize that not taking the decision will lead us towards mediocrity. We don't understand that design (as life) is meant to be experienced in depth, not in possibilities. 

Great design limits, bad design doesn't. 
It doesn’t reduce options for the benefit of greater focus. It is not going deep; it is not revealing insights that lead to a better understanding. 

Opportunities, like insights, want to be revealed. They are chances to break with the status quo and trigger change. 

But opportunities only arise when we cut the ones that don’t work for us. You will never know just how many options there are until you drop what doesn't work. 

Eventually, any opportunity vanishes if you don't decide on it. So, any opportunity only exists when you see it but also act on it. Your future, your goal only becomes real if you take the chance in the present to make it happen in the future. 

Today, there are many opportunities in front of us. Choose one, go all in, take action and make your future real. 

But you won't.
You will stick with what you have, to stay where you are. Because this feels safe to you. But opportunities don't feel safe. They feel risky. And we crave for assurance because we don't like to fail. The kind of assurance that guarantees us that we won't regret our decisions in the future. 

So you look at other designers, what they do and how they design. Whom they talk to; whom they listen to and what tools they use. You watch which opportunities they choose. 

But because you don't choose, you will finally end up where all the others are. Watching the same tutorials, listening to the same people and craving for the same recognition as all do. Worse, you produce similar results. 

And still, we are afraid to deal with the consequences of wrong decisions. So we end up where all the others are. 

But we are safe. 
We don't notice, that by not making the hard decision early on, we choose not to dive deep, and so decide to stay at the surface on our possibilities; delivering bad, uninspired solutions.

'You can have anything in life, but you can’t have everything.' –Susan Jeffers

Take the chance. Choose, decide and cut back. It is still the best option you have got. 

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This January, I will be speacking at the CATALYST 2018 | Amsterdam event hosted by /REVTHINK/.