I initially heard the term from August Bradley and it resonated with me as we had developed a successful corporate Operating System labelled ACE (Achieving Competitive Excellence) at my long time employer, United Technologies. In researching LOS, I found references dating to the early 2000’s. Fortunately, I came up with my definition for a LOS before finding anything to confuse me. As such, I did not look into the previous work. I may at some point, and if you do and want to offer suggestions on my definition, please contact me.

For me, a Life Operating System_f provides the guidance to align activities that are of personal existential importance with the way we spend our time. The quantity of our time resource is only marginally under our control and usually only in the shortening direction. The absolute quantity of time that we have is usually unknown. Given the unknown total quantity of time and the amount of time ‘spent’ until we recognize its importance, the remainder is actually quite dear. The way you spend your time is the way you spend your life. Will you spend it consciously or haphazardly, or in some combination? There is joy both in accomplishment and happenstance. And then there is Maslow. How can we address these disparate forces?

First there is introspection. This becomes a lifelong (at least as much is left) activity to initially recognize a baseline and then maintain it “as the winds of changes shift” (or the more melodic version). Then there is the challenge of following your path through the turbulence of daily life which is where an LOS fits in.

The Life Operating System allows you to intermingle your existential goals with your survival activities and recognize the effort and impact of each.