Living Like a Prototype
Sometimes they're made of straws and tape. Sometimes they're made of aluminum and wooden dowels. No matter what they're made of, prototypes are artifacts of an evolving idea. And so are you and I.
It's been floating around my head for a while -- this idea that life is like a super long marathon of Chopped. Every day, a platter of sticky scenarios, awkward conversations, and amazing opportunities are uncovered and we're forced to make something of it. Design briefs can feel like this too. In those cases, we're forced to make prototypes. So in one of the tumultuous months of my life it occurred to me -- what if we approached ourselves the way we approach prototyping?
It's not always the prettiest process, but it's a process nonetheless. One tweak, one step, one foot in front of the other.
So here's what I'm thinking...
1. Sift through endless possibilities and arrive to your favorite objectives.
Even if the goals are a bit far-fetched, if you shoot for the moon you’ll likely land among the stars. (Or blackout from oxygen deprivation. It really could go either way.)
2. Get creative.
When you’ve arrived to a few goals, you can start the fun part. Imagine what that person (prototype) looks when it’s carrying out this goal. Envision its aesthetic, consider its programming. Crank out a few concept sketches of the You-Prototype with all of its rockstar capabilities.
3. Just do it -- and re-do it.
Ditch the analysis paralysis and put your prototype to the test. Design, test, re-design, and repeat. Be creative and use unconventional tools to strengthen your prototype. Start your novel on your phone. Deadlift sacks of russet potato. Design your own challenges. Celebrate the times the prototype comes through ongoal and accomplishes a task no matter how small.
4. Break and take breaks.
Know that the prototype won’t pass every test. Sometimes it’ll break, malfunction, or need the help of another prototype to patch things up. And that’s okay too. Let your brain cool. Let your heart heal.
Prototypes aren’t perfection. Prototypes are progression.