Return to site

The Total Life Complete Minifesto

· Leadership,Purpose,Entrepreneurship

Total Life Complete is a philosophy, as much as it is an organization, and a community. It is about coming alive, and a journey to explore the frontiers of work and life. It is the opposite of unquestioning inertia. It is how you get unstuck.

 

As I’ve said many times before, starting Total Life Complete LLC has been an incredibly “meta” experience. Starting a company to help people live and work better, while continually trying to work out what that really means for me, and how to do it.

 

It often feels like I’m trying to scale an icy mountain face in a blizzard. Laying out a guide rope behind me for other professionals, and particularly for my sisters and brothers in professional services.

 

My vision says there is some existential peak just ahead, and that the ice storm will clear to reveal sunshine and a panoramic vista. The Answer. Capturing the holy grail of work-life balance, integration or actualization or whatever. Creating a path for thousands and millions of others to get there too. And to go further, and faster than I have.

 

The following principles have been useful for me in framing the challenges and opportunities of undertaking such a journey. I want to share these with you. I want you to come along, and I want to unite the other climbers on this snowy mountain.

The three principles are:

  1. There is more to life than money
  2. Work should support the life you want to live, and the kind of person you want to be
  3. Professionals have a responsibility to help find, and implement solutions to systemic problems in society
1. There is more to life than money

OK, so this is the theme of virtually every Hallmark movie that you’ve, no doubt, been subjected to over the holiday season. But that doesn’t make it any less true. And, it’s easy to forget in practice.

So what is this “more”...family, art, work, potential, community, self-realization???

Money is a tool, and one you should practice wielding expertly. But, to what end?

These questions are a call to adventure.

 

2. Work should support the life you want to live, and the kind of person you want to be

I often quote Michael Gerber’s (The E-Myth Revisited) concept of Primary Aim when I’m teaching / coaching / consulting. Although his book is ostensibly about entrepreneurship, like many transformational books (e.g. The Artist’s Way, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) it often verges on the spiritual.

Your business (your work) should support the kind of life you ultimately want to live, and who you want to be.

 

Helping you get work in a place to support the how and why of what you want to be is the mission of this organization I’ve founded, and a mission starting to be delivered with the help of so many generous collaborators around the world.

 

At last, I am the kind of person I want to be, at work and outside of work. That doesn’t mean I get some sort of free ride, quite the opposite. Being an entrepreneur can be excruciating a lot of the time. But I always believe in what I’m doing, and most importantly, why I’m doing it. And that’s the part I want for you too.

 

I’ll write more shortly about working like an artist. Work isn’t just a means to an end for me (and so many of the hundreds of people I’ve met in the last couple of years). Work is an end. One of several important ends. Creating a body of work is the work of a lifetime. The sometimes hard-won artifacts of striving to do what we care about, and what we hope will affect others.

 

3. Professionals have a responsibility to help find, and implement solutions to systemic problems in society

I’m in awe of you. Of all of you. Of all your talent and achievements. What you can do. And what you could do.

 

In my corporate career, I began to say to myself “that’s great, but to what end?” when I thought about my achievements, what I was doing and the effects that my work was having in the world.

It is no secret that I believe that part of the work of professionals, particularly my sisters and brothers in professional services, includes fixing the systems and structures of society that we build, and inhabit. Not just mindlessly doing the indefinite bidding of the faceless forces of market “big C” Capitalism. But doing what is also right. And sustainably right.

 

To what end? A kinder, fairer and more sustainable world, starting with a happier, more balanced and meaning-full you.

 

The net result of applying these three principles is living the dualism of complete freedom and responsibility.

 

And that, I believe, is the way it should be.

Total Life Complete is a philosophy, as much as it is an organization, and a community. It is about coming alive, and a journey to explore the frontiers of work and life. It is the opposite of unquestioning inertia. It is how you get unstuck.

As I’ve said many times before, starting Total Life Complete LLC has been an incredibly “meta” experience. Starting a company to help people live and work better, while continually trying to work out what that really means for me, and how to do it.

It often feels like I’m trying to scale an icy mountain face in a blizzard. Laying out a guide rope behind me for other professionals, and particularly for my sisters and brothers in professional services.

My vision says there is some existential peak just ahead, and that the ice storm will clear to reveal sunshine and a panoramic vista. The Answer. Capturing the holy grail of work-life balance, integration or actualization or whatever. Creating a path for thousands and millions of others to get there too. And to go further, and faster than I have.

The following principles have been useful for me in framing the challenges and opportunities of undertaking such a journey. I want to share these with you. I want you to come along, and I want to unite the other climbers on this snowy mountain.

The three principles are:

  1. There is more to life than money
  2. Work should support the life you want to live, and the kind of person you want to be
  3. Professionals have a responsibility to help find, and implement solutions to systemic problems in society
1. There is more to life than money

OK, so this is the theme of virtually every Hallmark movie that you’ve, no doubt, been subjected to over the holiday season. But that doesn’t make it any less true. And, it’s easy to forget in practice.

So what is this “more”...family, art, work, potential, community, self-realization???

Money is a tool, and one you should practice wielding expertly. But, to what end?

These questions are a call to adventure.

2. Work should support the life you want to live, and the kind of person you want to be

I often quote Michael Gerber’s (The E-Myth Revisited) concept of Primary Aim when I’m teaching / coaching / consulting. Although his book is ostensibly about entrepreneurship, like many transformational books (e.g. The Artist’s Way, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) it often verges on the spiritual.

Your business (your work) should support the kind of life you ultimately want to live, and who you want to be.

Helping you get work in a place to support the how and why of what you want to be is the mission of this organization I’ve founded, and a mission starting to be delivered with the help of so many generous collaborators around the world.

At last, I am the kind of person I want to be, at work and outside of work. That doesn’t mean I get some sort of free ride, quite the opposite. Being an entrepreneur can be excruciating a lot of the time. But I always believe in what I’m doing, and most importantly, why I’m doing it. And that’s the part I want for you too.

I’ll write more shortly about working like an artist. Work isn’t just a means to an end for me (and so many of the hundreds of people I’ve met in the last couple of years). Work is an end. One of several important ends. Creating a body of work is the work of a lifetime. The sometimes hard-won artifacts of striving to do what we care about, and what we hope will affect others.

3. Professionals have a responsibility to help find, and implement solutions to systemic problems in society

I’m in awe of you. Of all of you. Of all your talent and achievements. What you can do. And what you could do.

In my corporate career, I began to say to myself “that’s great, but to what end?” when I thought about my achievements, what I was doing and the effects that my work was having in the world.

It is no secret that I believe that part of the work of professionals, particularly my sisters and brothers in professional services, includes fixing the systems and structures of society that we build, and inhabit. Not just mindlessly doing the indefinite bidding of the faceless forces of market “big C” Capitalism. But doing what is also right. And sustainably right.

To what end? A kinder, fairer and more sustainable world, starting with a happier, more balanced and meaning-full you.

The net result of applying these three principles is living the dualism of complete freedom and responsibility.

And that, I believe, is the way it should be.

All Posts
×

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!

OK