Podcast Interview: Defining My Human O.S.

by Braden

I believe that people, like software, have an operating system that guides them — a Human O.S. of sorts.

Several years ago “personal user manuals” became popular in startups; I wrote one and found it helpful but still lacking. These trendy user manuals didn’t get at a person’s way of being. I wanted to better outline what I believe and why to help avoid toxic jobs, fair weather friends, and a number of other time sucking ills. I started to explore the idea of an expanded user guide, or Human O.S., trying to simplify the concept, go deeper, and make it more effective. To do this I did a series of exercises such as:

  1. Writing a personal mission (or purpose) statement
  2. Defining my core values and ranking them
  3. Crafting a vision of who I want to be by writing what others would say about me at my funeral
  4. Documenting behavior preferences or practices I get feedback on (positive and negative)
  5. Researching and practicing how to change my behaviors (read The Power of Habit)

These exercises helped me more clearly define, reflect, and refine my Human O.S. Documenting and publishing my Human O.S. has provided several benefits:

  1. Clarity on who I want to be and what I need to do to improve myself
  2. Empowerment to others to give me feedback and hold me accountable
  3. Ability to build more meaningful and effective relationships with others
  4. Attracts people who appreciate how I operate and repel those who don’t

The result is that my Human O.S. has a simple set of operating values that guide my decision-making and operating practices that guide how I work. Like me, it’s not perfect. So I treat my Human O.S. as a living document that I can evolve over time, as I do.

In this podcast interview I dive deeper into some of my operating values and practices, what didn’t make the cut, and more. Hopefully after reading and hearing about my Human O.S. you’ll be inspired to write your own!

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