Everything in life needs design, and successful people know how to achieve great design in life. From the design of a house, to the strategy you develop for your job/project, the schedule of your day to the way you write a thank you note to a friend… everything needs great design. As you can tell, I’m not exclusively talking about digital or artistic design, but the intentional thought that goes into almost everything we do.

Great design requires great attention to the common. This is the key to any great design, and what will allow you to begin to craft the event, product, service, business, schedule or life you’ve always wanted to design.

Great design requires great attention to the common.

Do you remember when you would go to the store and purchase that electronic device only to learn you had to charge it up before using it? That’s exactly what I’m talking about when it comes to attention to the common. For most people, we didn’t notice it was an issue, but for Steve Jobs and the team at Apple, they clued into the common and realized the opportunity to design around it.

When they released the iPod, they decided that every single iPod would come fully charged and ready for use, the moment you take it out of the box. It’s this little change in thought that allowed people to have an instant early experience with the device, instead of having to wait a day because they need to charge it.

How frustrated would you be if you got the new iPhone and couldn’t use it right away? It would be unacceptable in today’s culture. However 5-10 years ago and it would have been nothing more than the expectation of a technological device.

Typically it’s the little things that require the most design, the most attention to the common and it’s in the little things where great design begins to take shape.

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What in your ministry, business or life could use a little attention to the common in order to begin moving toward great design? What’s that one thing you take for granted every day that you’ve never realized before?

It may be as simple as the way you pick up the phone, or as complex as the way you drive your car… it’s always in the ordinary and the common that has the most potential for great design.

If you’re looking to make a major change in your life (get a new career, start loosing weight, get a promotion, move to a new city, etc) it’s likely easy to do. Any great change starts with an adjustment to the little things. You can’t loose a substantial amount of weight overnight, and you won’t find the new career in an afternoon. Both require subtle change over time.

What’s that small thing you want to change to affect the outcome of your entire life?

Any great change starts with an adjustment to the little things.