Quality of Life

Forming a holisticgoal is structured in three parts. Your Quality of Life is the first of them.

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When forming your temporary holisticgoal, write your ‘Quality of life’ statement first.  It expresses the reasons you are doing what you are doing, what you are about, and what you want to become.  It is a reflection of what motivates you.  It should excite you.  It speaks of needs you want to satisfy now, and also of the mission you seek to accomplish in the long run.  It is your collective sense of what is important to you, and why.

Structure of the ‘Quality of life’ statement
You’ll notice that the Greenslopes Quality of Life statement is very broad.  It says, for example, “Our business is financially sound…”  How the holisticgoal is expressed is important— it always contains 100% about what is required (‘financial soundness’ in this example) and nothing about ‘how’ or ‘how much’ will be produced.  

There is a reason for this structure: Both those factors, ‘how’ and ‘how much’, are actually concrete or specific decisions.  Decisions are not found within your holisticgoal because they represent specific means of achieving your holisticgoal, and thus must be tested for soundness in terms of your holisticgoal.   In the following section Testing your decisions you will discover how to test every possible activity you might engage in for its probable soundness: both in the short and long-term soundness when compared with the contents of your holisticgoal.

Content of the Quality of life statement
An outsider like me cannot specify what is (or is not) appropriate for you to include in your quality of life statement.  However, there are four areas you might want to consider when thinking about your quality of life.  You will probably see examples of each in the Greenslopes holisticgoal.

Economic well being
This is essential for meeting the basic human needs for food, clothing, shelter, health and security.  The entity as a whole must be prosperous, in order for the individuals within it to be prosperous.  How you define economic well being will depend on your circumstances.  If you have a business and live in a ‘Western’ city you may have a different perception to someone in business in the socio-economically deprived areas of say, Harare or Dhaka.  The difference will be not so much on the basic needs as the priority from time to time of each of these basic needs.

Most humans desire relationships with others, either at a personal or business level.  The relationships may be with other decision-makers in your whole, or perhaps with people in your resource base.  In a business situation these may be your clients, suppliers, employees etc.  In a personal setting it might includes family and friends you rely on for support.  The quality of your relationships will greatly effect the ease and ability with which you achieve all that you strive for.

Challenge and growth
Humans generally need to experience challenge.  Without challenge there is no learning or growth.  For some people the challenge may be a physical challenge, for others it may be a mental challenge.  For some it is the challenge of experiencing or working and living in different cultures, either as a visitor or in an employed capacity.  It will be different for everyone.  The important point is that the holistic goal recognises the need for challenge and the need for diversity of opportunity to meet these challenges.  Within the business, think about what kind of atmosphere and environment you might create to ensure that everyone remains enthusiastic, yet no one feels overwhelmed.

Purpose and contribution
People will give their best to an effort only when it has meaning for them.  Meaning, in any kind of organisation, is not something that can be created by a leader and handed down; it has to be a shared discovery.  Ask yourselves, “What are we about?”  “What do we want to be?” and “What do we ultimately want to accomplish?”  The answers will help you discover the meaning in what you you are doing and the reason for your existence as an individual and as a member of a family or a business.

A very good way of approaching the quality of life section of an holisticgoal is to ask yourself this question: “How do I/we want to feel most of the time whilst involved in this whole?”  It’s really a statement about the values people aspire to.

Creating a quality of life statement requires reflection and numerous conversations, and it may be several months—a year or more in large organisations—before it fully expresses what you want it to express.  You would do well to capture the values as simple phrases.  Resist the temptation to construct well worded sentences, as you risk losing the importance of some of the statements.  

Equally, avoid trying to pull the simple phrases down to key words.  By working back to dot-points or single words you again risk losing their meaning.  Don’t just write “enjoyable, proud, providing service, good health” when what you are really trying to say is, “We want our work to be enjoyable and meaningful, where every day is fun and free from inter-personal stress; to be proud of what we do; to be of service to our community”.  

First person, present tense
It’s always best to couch the holisticgoal in the present tense: “My/our work is enjoyable and meaningful, where every day is fun and free from inter-personal stress; I/we are proud of what we do; and I/we are of service to our community”.  

In the interests of moving on, start with a very rough statement that indicates the direction in which you want to head.  Then form the remaining two parts of your holistic goal and begin making decisions that lead you and your business towards it.  Very quickly the process will give you insights about the changes in wording you need to make.

If in doubt on any aspect, post a question on the forum.

If in doubt, include words
Sometimes one of the decision-makers will express a feeling that is not shared by others in the group.  You should - indeed must - include their sentiment in the holisticgoal.  If a value is 'voted out' by the majority then its proponent(s) are immediately disempowered.  This is because it is no longer their holisticgoal, but that of others except them.  Trust the process: the testing guidelines that follow shortly will quickly reveal if the sentiment is important or not.  In short, ownership of the holisticgoal depends on inclusivity and is damaged by exclusion.

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