Donald Burlock on Superhuman by Design

by | Dec 3, 2020 | Author | 0 comments

What is your book all about?

Superhuman by Design: Keys to Unlocking Your Creativity for Life-Changing Results is actually an invitation to the world to think about the value of our creative core differently. All of us have innate creativity — recognizable talents, strengths and abilities that we notice through our journey in life. But often, I have found that people miss the opportunity to leverage their innate creativity. In other words, these “superpowers” are often wasted in a life built around the status quo. The creative core provides the fuel for living a superhuman life, which is all about living to your fullest potential, about doing more and being more — not simply for success, though that will come too, but in order to make life better for those around you. In order to make a difference in the world. This book invites the reader to revisit their creative core and learn how to use it to begin the journey of living superhuman-by-design.

To keep things inspirational and fun, I often reference fictional superheroes and point to how they can serve as a source of inspiration for how we look at our own progress. At the beginning of the book, I establish what I mean by superhuman and explain why we can only embark on the journey of doing more and being more by design. As a professional designer and accomplished creative professional, I share with the reader how they can strengthen their create core by following a tried-and-true design process. First, I discuss the 3 C’s of Creativity and how these pillars can scale across any aspect of your life. The 3 C’s (Consciousness, Connection, and Community) help support and nurture the development of your innate creativity. The design process provides the methodology for working on a superhuman life “by design,” that is, iteratively and with intention. 

Even more, the first part of the book discusses what I call the Superhuman Code which provides the moral center for such a life. There’s a set of foundational superpowers that anyone new to the superhuman-by-design life should explore and work from as a start. Individuals can, and should plan to, extend that foundational set with superpowers that work particularly well for them in their own lives. The Superhuman Pillars are recommendations for growth in this new life, both internally and externally. Applying the design process to the pillars enables you to more fully explore and adapt them.

How can you tell you’re on the right path? You look for typical indicators, spelled out in the chapter on superhuman results. When looking at results — that is, at the impact that someone who is living a superhuman life is having on others — you see too that there are three stages to this life: hero, superhero, icon. In this way, I close the book by giving readers an opportunity to think about people in their own lives who are superhuman and also take action on how to begin their own path to living superhuman-by-design.

What inspired you to write the book?

Last year was 7 years in the Bay Area for me. I had worked in many different environments, including at some challenging start-up companies. As I tried to think through the ups and downs of my life and career in San Francisco, I realized that my story could be beneficial for many others. I started writing specifically about my experience as a Black designer in the Bay Area. Ultimately, I discovered an editor who challenged me to structure the book so that my story was a portion of the book, but not the entire narrative. 

Instead, I found inspiration in sharing the insights and lessons I had learned from all of my experiences in the city. Over time, I started to develop the concept of Superhuman by Design and decided that this is the life I had been working towards all along. I also started to think that perhaps others might want to live superhuman-by-design as well. At this point, I knew that I had a great concept. So, from there, I decided to begin working with a design company that could help me build out some branding elements that would visually communicate my identity for the book to the marketplace.

What is your target audience for the book?

The target audience for the book is a wide range of people who are inspired by novel, scalable applications of leadership models and motivational messages. The general audience will look for topics on self-esteem, happiness, and self-transformation. Initially, I think the book will have the great appeal to people who describe themselves in one, if not all three of the following categories;


people seeking business and marketing growth strategies to attain new heights in your career or the marketplace.


people who believe that achievements are important, but not as important as living a life of significance, one that extends beyond individual desires.


people who want to live an inspired life full of curiosity about how your talents and passions can reach and influence hundreds of people 

What do you hope readers could get out from your book?

I want readers to walk away with more than inspiration. 

Many self-esteem and success-oriented books give people lots of inspiration and general takeaways, but miss the opportunity to give people valuable ways to apply the knowledge they are learning in the book. I believe my book presents a holistic system of how to structure and build a life that has significance in multiple vectors. I hope the reader feels that they now have a reference guide that they can revisit every time they get stuck. I want people to highlight parts of the book that they find to be the most helpful and ultimately, I want them to write notes on the pages — reminders of things that they want to try out in their own life. Finally, I want readers to get that they can leverage their creativity to do some incredible things in life. I want people to finish reading the book and think to themselves, ‘I am creative!’

What are your future goals/plans for the book?

My plan is to quickly move from print to digital and prepare an ebook in early 2021. I also have plans for a Superhuman-by-Design podcast! The podcast will give me an opportunity to not only share my story, but hopefully create episodes where I interview other superhumans. I plan to build out a store that invites readers to subscribe to receive monthly Superhuman by Design swag as well. So, in the next couple of months, I will be doubling down on my marketing efforts to increase the followership on all social media channels. I also plan to begin writing a follow-up book to Superhuman by Design; perhaps a book that is more of a daily journal with more infographics and exercises for readers to interact with during the week.

And something more about yourself

I am a first-time author. I also am one of thousands of design professionals that often goes unnoticed. We spend hours worrying over experiences so that a customer does not have to think twice about enjoying their product. I absolutely love learning about people. But, I am actually more introverted than people expect. I believe this is one of the reasons that writing and drawing are so inspiring for me. I find energy in bringing to life a project that is ambiguous. It is exciting to see the clay start out on the wheel without form or shape and by the end it has become a lovely vase. In my case, as an African-American design professional and creative, it can be very challenging to get others outside my community to be interested in my stories. But, I believe that my work actually has a lot in common with people who are exploring how to bring their dreams to life. Writing books is my attempt to connect with these individuals.

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