Generative Acceptance

New video out from the godfathers of Life Design, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans in which they discuss the concept of Generative Acceptance. COVID-19 is a gravity problem that has ushered in a new reality (or as they describe it, a “new normal” that will soon just become our “normal”). Accepting this reality is a key first step in Life Design, but Bill and Dave offer three approaches to acceptance:

  1. Oppressed – acquiescing to the situation by taking on a victimized mindset that is ultimately not particularly generative.
  2. Suppressed – trying to tough it out and push through it without acknowledging the new reality of your situation.
  3. Engaged – accepting the new realities brought about by the COVID-19 crisis in a generative way that allows for engagement with this reality.

Clearly the Engaged approach is the one favored by designers, because it allows for new possibilities and the opportunity to build forward while recognizing the real constraints we face. I found the video really helpful for how I think about and talk about Life Design in the era of COVID-19. Check it out yourself:

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