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Life Design Capabilities

Capabilities are the building blocks for creating anything in your life.

The outcomes you want to have in your life are created with capabilities. These are either capabilities you pay someone for or capabilities you have developed.

A major part of creating your life design is creating and developing your capabilities.

Capabilities in the Life Design Framework

You are on this journey in life towards your vision. What capabilities do you have that help you on your journey, what capabilities do you need?

Awareness of your habits and capabilities is the first step towards creating the most effective set of habits and capabilities to assist you on your journey to your vision.

What are Capabilities

Capabilities are learned abilities or capacities.

The ability to do something well; expertise. source: [Oxford Dictionary]

An ability and capacity acquired through deliberate, systematic, and sustained effort to smoothly and adaptively carry out complex activities or job functions involving ideas (cognitive skills), things (technical skills), and/or people (interpersonal skills).source: [Wikipedia]

Examples of capabilities

  • Connecting with people
  • Solving problems
  • Facilitation
  • Microsoft Word
  • Open Heart Surgery
  • SEO
  • Blog Writing
  • Copywriting

From this list, we can see that capabilities range from the simple to the very complex.

Taking Inventory of What You are Good At.

A business takes inventory of what they are good at. In business architecture terms it is called a capability map.

As individuals, we should do the same.

A list of everything we can do that produces an outcome becomes a valuable resource. By reviewing your list you can brainstorm different ways your capabilities can be put to use to help build your life design.

How to Get Better

Developing new capabilities or increasing existing capabilities follows the same pattern for creating anything.

  1. Create a plan for what you are creating
  2. Execute the plan
  3. Reflect on how the execution is going and refine the plan
  4. Repeat the process

A perspective that helps in creating capabilities is practice. View the capabilities that you are creating the way an athlete views building one of the capabilities or skills they require for a game.

Determine the capability you require for an outcome. Perform the skill as if it were a practice. See if the outcome is to the level you require, if not keep repeating the capability until the outcome is at the level you need it to be.

You will find for many capabilities that relatively quickly you can create the outcome, but not as fast as you would like. A lot of refining capabilities is to increase the speed at which you can carry them out.

Continually refine your practice

  1. Break the capability into parts
  2. Practice each part
  3. Focus on repetition
  4. Create a practice plan

How Capabilities Fit Into Your Life Design

Capabilities are the tools you require to create the life design outcome you desire.

Creating requires capabilities.

Awareness of what you can do helps to create an effective plan for how to realize your life design.

Awareness of what you can’t do helps create an effective plan for creating those capabilities.

Life design is a continuous cycle of gaining capabilities and then using those capabilities to create.

Your documented list of capabilities will allow you to effectively apply the capabilities you know to reach your vision

Why You Should Journal your Capabilities

Journaling is an excellent practice for documenting your current capabilities as well as a tool for cultivating new capabilities.

Your documented list of capabilities will allow you to effectively apply the capabilities you know to reach your vision

There will be a variety of capabilities that you will need in order to achieve your vision. These are capabilities that you will require to attain certain outcomes along your journey to your vision. You don’t necessarily need to be an expert, to put in the 10,000 hours. How good you need to be at a skill will be based on the result the skill provides. You may need very basic skills in Microsoft excel to reach your vision, but need to be an expert in a skill related to your field.

To learn a new skill you require consistent deliberate practice. The best way to ensure you have consistent practice is to measure and record your practice. Journaling your practice and reviewing at regular intervals will keep you on task. The gamification aspect of measuring will also keep you motivated to keep going. If you have 20 straight days of practice, you will want to keep practicing to keep the streak going.

I have found many excellent resources in my journaling journey, from the well-known likes of Tony Robbins to individuals I have met and had short discussions with. You can find knowledge and wisdom everywhere.

My journal is the place where I bring all this information together to help form my life design. With digital tools, these processes have become easier and much more effective.


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