An Intentional Life — Part 3: 5 Design Principles for a Personal Operating System

Charles Moore
Jan 3, 2018 · 5 min read
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Principle 1: Reflect on what’s important to you on a regular basis

“…in senior leadership positions, one of your jobs is to reflect, and you have to schedule time to do that.”


Photo by Jacob Sapp on Unsplash

Principle 2: Continuously (re)focus on what’s important

“I realized I had become a creature of habit, and I needed to reinvent myself. …Companies around us were growing faster than we were. And I began to realize that I simply wasn’t at enough tables to pitch new business. And then it became a question of, what am I doing that I’ve got to stop doing in order to ensure that I’m at more tables? …So I stopped doing a good number of things at the firm that I’d been doing before.”


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Principle 3: Start with a clean sheet

“Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.”


Not sure if this is a good example of the principle or not

Principle 4: Seek work-life alignment (not balance)

“If you are careful of your men, and camp on hard ground, the army will be free from disease of every kind, and this will spell victory.”

“This time he covered a lot more ground and was willing to talk about the mundane details of presidential existence. ‘You have to exercise,’ he said, for instance. ‘Or at some point you’ll just break down.’”


Photo by Marcelo Leal on Unsplash

Principle 5: Blast away administrative stuff in batches

“You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits….I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make. …You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself. You can’t be going through the day distracted by trivia.”


Charles Moore

Written by

Product and analytics guy. Here, sharing a bunch of random insights from a bunch of random experiences.

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