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Life Designer Perm Lam Shares DYL Toolkit with Visually Impaired Students in Thailand

This global community of Life Designers continue to inspire us with your stories and your work. Today we’re excited to hear from Perm Lam, a stellar long-time community member, and wonderful facilitator of Designing Your Life. Perm was able to share his DYL toolkit with the Guidelight Project, an organization that supports the visually impaired in Thailand. You can learn more about Perm on his website and on LinkedIn.

From Perm, “the more I learn about Designing Your Life, the more I realize how useful its applications can be. Because as a human-being, what could be better than getting to understanding yourself more, and equipped with tools that help you navigate your life that is meaningful to you?”

And here’s how he integrated DYL into the Guidelight Project (with his happy students pictured below!)

Late last year, I had a chance to be part of “Guidelight project,” a social enterprise that focuses on providing an equal education opportunity for blind and visually impaired college students in Thailand. The program reached out to me, telling that DYL could help this group of students particularly well, especially in the topic of their future career path. This would be a part of an annual recreation program, where the students get to take a three-days trip outside Bangkok. According to 2019 statistics, there are nearly 200,000 blind/visually impaired people in Thailand. Of those, only 30% have access to formal education system, and a mere 5% are offered with employment. Guidelight is working hard to close down this inequality in opportunities, by offering access to education and employment support.

But how would Designing Your Life help them? You might be wondering…

I don’t want these kids to limit themselves by their thoughts,” June – Methavee, a Guide Light project owner told me. “I think it starts from their beliefs. Believing that they are more than the stigma that society gave them is a key to open themselves for other opportunities.”  

What shall I do when I graduate? What career should I choose? How can I ensure that the career that I am about to choose is the right path for me? Getting “stuck” or “lost” seems to be a universal phenomenon for college students who are about to graduate. And I mean “Universal.” The case is no different here. 

So, I ran a half-day workshop with the group. The activities that I choose to use in this workshop are: 

  1. Workview and Lifeview – To illuminate their feelings on the purpose of their lives, and work value that they would like to create
  2. Gravity Problem – To become more aware of problems that make them “stuck” as well as a reframing tool to change those problems into actionable plans instead
  3. Odyssey Plans – To think about the possible selves they could be, and realize that there are more available options than they thought

Although I am familiar with these tools, this workshop required a different approach. We focused on “Telling Your Stories” rather than “Writing in Your Worksheets.” We paired the participants together, and had workshop facilitators to look after two pairs. The facilitator’s role was to recap the asked questions, as well as to orchestrate the conversation between each participant, “could you tell me more?” 

The workshop was successful, though there were some technical issues due to this being our first prototype of this workshop style. Still, the feedback meant a lot to me and has me excited for the next workshop.

“Thank you for sharing this thinking method with me, it’s really a thought provoking”

“I enjoyed the session a lot, especially the Odyssey plan. It allows me to think of what the possibilities are for me.”

“It’s the first time that I got to know my friends better, in terms of workview and lifeview. We found that we share many things in common, and we never felt connected like this before.”

Permsit Lamprasitipon, PhD. is a psychologist and a founder of Modular Consulting, an official licensee of Bill Burnett and Dave Evans in conducting Designing Your Life and Designing Your Work Life in Southeast Asia. It is his mission to be a catalyst in introducing the DYL concept to both education and corporate settings.

Congrats on your impactful work, Perm, and thank you so much for sharing your story with us!

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