Foundations for Life



The Foundation for Life - Self Leadership

  • Our own individual, personal health, and how well we take care of ourselves forms the foundation for everything else we do in life. We refer to this foundation in this program as Self Leadership.
  • If our individual life foundation (self leadership) is solid, everything we build on top of that life: career, family, friendships, recreational activities and everything meaningful that we try to do will have a strong foundation to attach to.
  • If your individual life foundation (self leadership) is weak or possibly crumbling, even the best career, family, friendships, recreational activities and everything meaningful that we try to do will not be able to stay standing over the long-term.


The Five Practices and 10 Life Skills of Self Leadership

  • These Practices and Life Skills are being described in Foundation Order. This means, we list them from the bottom of the foundation to the top. The first Life Skill we list is the base of the foundation, and every successive Life Skill is built upon the ones that are underneath it.

  • We will describe the Life Skills first, then the Practices, because each of the Practices is closely tied to two Life Skills that are to be held in tension.

  • Following are the 10 Life Skills listed in Foundation Order:
    • Spirituality: A sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves.
    • Principles & Values: Virtues or moral principles that govern a person's or group's behavior.
    • Self Awareness: Conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives and desires.
    • Positive Attitude: Positive sentiments or feelings override neutral or negative interactions and experiences.
    • Self Discipline: The ability to control one's feelings and overcome one's weaknesses.
    • Life Balance: Proper prioritizing between career / vocation, physical, mental and emotional health, leisure, friendships, family and spirituality.
    • Purposeful Living: A well-articulated and executed sense of mission in life.
    • People Skills: The capacity to be aware of one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships empathetically.
    • Flexibility: The capacity to recover quickly from and readjust to changes and difficulties in life
    • Perseverance: The capacity to accomplish a particular goal though motivation, courage, resolve and tenacity.
  • In this section each of the Five Practices will be described along with their associated attributes. The following is a definition of each of the associated attributes:
    • Life Skills: The two Life Skills that must be held in dynamic tension for successful development of the Practice
    • Tension: A description of the tension between the Life Skills for this Practice
    • Harmony: We describe the ongoing, optimal, dynamic balance in the tension between the two Life Skills as Harmony.
  • Following are the description of each of the Five Practices, listed in Foundation Order:
    • Inner Strength: The lowest level base of our foundation, providing the power we need to Unleash the Masterpiece in our lives.

      • Life Skills: Spirituality and Principles & Values
      • Tension: Dependence on a Higher-power versus Self Reliance
        • Regardless of our beliefs, we should have an ability to tap into something outside of ourselves to provide power and direction.
      • Harmony: Power
        • The ability to generate power internally, coupled with the ability to plug into an external power, maximizes the power we have access to.
    • Individual Dignity: Cultivating a realistic view of ourselves, and a positive attitude about others and the circumstances in our lives.
      • Life Skills: Self Awareness and Positive Attitude
      • Tension: Experience versus Belief
        • What we believe to be true, and our actual experiences, will often be different, and sometimes at odds.
      • Harmony: Grace
        • The ability to extend goodwill going into a situation when our beliefs are negative, and to extend favor when situations and people fail to live up to our expectations.
    • Abundant Living: Developing wholeness through self discipline and maintaining balance in every aspect of our lives.
      • Life Skills: Self Discipline and Life Balance
      • Tension: Urgent versus Important
        • Some things are necessarily Urgent, and require our immediate attention. When Important things are neglected for too long, they can become unnecessarily Urgent.
      • Harmony: Growth
        • Growth requires a balance between focused drilling down, and maintaining a healthy level of wholeness in our lives.
    • Authentic Friendships: Intentionally developing relationships, creating mutual benefit by putting the needs of the other person before our own.
      • Life Skills: Purposeful Living and People Skills
      • Tension: Boundaries versus Vulnerability
        • We need good discernment to maintain high boundaries with unhealthy people, so we can remove boundaries with healthy people to create much needed vulnerability.
      • Harmony: Community
        • Community is a dynamic, fluid set of relationships that each require different levels of boundaries and vulnerability in every different context.
    • Meaningful Impact:Developing the drive and determination to make a difference in your world and to expand your influence, while overcoming any obstacles that get in your way.
      • Life Skills: Flexibility and Perseverance
      • Tension: Wide Impact versus Deep Impact
        • Deep impact flows from wide impact, but wide impact also takes away from deep impact.
      • Harmony: Influence
        • Influence is a unique journey in each context we engage in. Both deep and shallow impact play important roles in every one of our influence journeys.


The Foundation Assessment

  • The Foundations for Life course has been designed to assess the current state of our individual life foundation (self leadership), and equip us with the tools necessary to shore up the areas of our foundation that need the most investment, right now.
  • Continually assessing our levels of self leadership in every area of our lives is important because where we need to focus might change from time to time for the following reasons:
    • Developing our Self Leadership is a life-long process. As we make progress by focusing on our weakest areas, those areas become stronger. At the same time, areas that were stronger before we shifted our focus can become weaker.
    • Additionally, because of our hard-wiring, and our life experiences, we may be consistently vulnerable to issues in certain areas and will not ongoing investment in those areas.
  • The Foundation Assessment is a core part of the Foundations for Life Course. This professionally validated psychometric assessment instrument is a great way to take a baseline and ongoing measurements of your competency in each of the Five Practices and 10 Life Skills of Self Leadership.
  • The Foundation Assessment is typically taken the first time before you begin the Foundations for Life course, and then repeated every 6-12 months as you continuously put effort into developing your self leadership.

The Foundations for Life course has been designed using our Four Principles of Transformation framework: Learn-Apply-Engage, Authentic Mirroring, Practice of Harmony in Tension and Live It to Give It.

The framework requires that this course is taken with a small group of people to enable the Engage, Mirroring and Live It to Give It principles.

It is expected that the material is Applied in our daily lives, and that we strive to Practice Harmony in the Tensions of the complementary Life Skills.

Our Coaches Concierge Platform was developed by our partner organization RemoteLink to utilize technology to facilitate the transformational framework.

This course is just as effective when it is done old school. We have had hundreds of prisoners in Illinois State Prisons engage with this course over the last three years with just paper and pencil and in-person small groups and the results have exceeded all expectations.