iOS Orientation

coaching entrepreneurship leadership Jan 09, 2023

iOS Orientation

A tool to give you direction when the rest of the world around you seems messy.

What is an iOS?

An individual operating system, or iOS, is an internal ‘compass’ you can reference when your external ‘map’ or path is unclear. Created by you, it will give you direction when the rest of the world around you seems messy.

Just like our smartphones - which run on a complex interplay of hardware and software - we often move through the world without questioning the function or design of the system we use everyday. This tool is designed to provide an actionable lens into understanding the complexities of our own system.  

What does an iOS look like?

Your iOS is a highly personal creation, it can be whatever you want or need it to be, and it can come in any form, any length, and cover any topics. However you decide to create it, your iOS generally will serve the purpose of something to fall back on, reminding you who you are, and how you want to choose to define yourself when life makes it difficult to determine your next steps.

Reminder, this is not a vision board. This is a glimpse into you at the core - it is timeless and provides clarity on who you are and who you are becoming. It is focused on grounding in who you are and where you are going, rather than being aspirational about what you will later achieve. 

How do I make one?

Choose a format that works for you. A simple note on your phone, a Word Document, a PowerPoint for visual processors, an array of sticky notes, or any other canvas that gives you the freedom to create and that you can easily reference. The most difficult part is starting, but as you go through the ebbs and flows of life, you are going to encounter countless quotes, questions, and ideas that resonate with you. Notice them, and add them in. With each difficulty you face in life, you will uncover new principles, missions, values, and goals that you may want to adopt and solidify. Before you know it, you will have a working iOS.

What types of things do I put in it?

  • Vision - what are you committed to creating? 
  • Mission - what do you stand for? 
  • Types of goals you have
  • Pictures & art that makes you smile or laugh
  • The meaning or origin of your name
  • Quotes that resonate with you & questions that bring your focus back to what is important
  • Essence - what do you always show up with?
  • Affirmations - what do you need to hear when you’re feeling lost?
  • Skills - what are you technically good at?
  • Operating Principles - how you align your thoughts, words, and actions 
  • Strengths, blind spots & weaknesses
  • Human design chart 
  • Values, guiding principles, and commitments (more here)
  • Recurring challenges and obstacles
  • Your edges - where do you stop in life? What annoys you? 
  • Genealogy or family tree 
  • Well-Being and Self-Love - how do you care for, tend to, and nourish yourself? 

How do I format all of that stuff?

Just like everything else in your iOS, whatever works for you. I have found it helpful to organize it based on things related to our identity & values, things related to our process & habits, and then things related to our goals & outcomes. It can be in sections based on personal importance, or topical relevance, or what you’d need to see or hear first if you were going to reference your iOS. However you choose to format it is the right way, as long as it makes sense to you.

What happens after I create it?

Usually your iOS will be a work-in-progress document that you maintain as you learn, discover, and create new principles that guide your actions and decisions in life. It will constantly change and grow with you, but when you get lost, it will always be there as your most recent snapshot of who you are: your goals, strengths, principles, values, and anything else you have decided is important to you will be right there to guide you. Add what has given you value, discard what is no longer working. The simple act of staying present to your iOS by adding in new things is enough

If you need an example, you can find Seb’s written one here

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