The Golden Circles of Life: A modest proposal for living


Life is like a big estate with many houses and rooms; a New Year is a house with rooms (months) in it.


A reflection on life. This post was inspired by what was initially a series of random tweets. The tweets themselves were inspired by a personal assessment of my life in the year ended 2015. As I looked forward to 2016, I began to ask myself critical questions on how the New Year could be a better enterprise. The way I see it, life is like a big estate with many houses and rooms; a New Year is a house with rooms (months) in it. Moving from one house to another requires careful planning and logistics. In this maiden post for 2016, I share my proposed model for living for 2016. I hope it inspires this reader to make the necessary adjustments to live a life of meaning and impact in 2016 and beyond.


Today is a product of yesterday. Tomorrow is a function of today. Choices determine outcomes.


Choices and Consequences. Life can be a very difficult enterprise to lead it seems. One thing is clear though, life should never be left to chance. While it is true that there are things we cannot change no matter how we try, there are yet factors that we mortals can influence. Staying aloof and expecting life to turn out just fine is a dangerous thing to do. In this life, choices determine outcomes.  So if it is true that choices create consequences, we should not worry too much about the latter (consequences) but the former (choices). If we can learn to master the art of decision-making and our choices, life which is essentially the result of our choices will be a better enterprise. So how might one approach life? Through which lens can one master one’s own choices?


Knowing that all we want can be attracted is a great wisdom.


Inside Out. The future is hardly a distant prospect. We know this to be true because today is the future we once saw a far off. Our today’s life is a seed for tomorrow’s reality. The laws of sowing and reaping remains one of the most profound principles of human existence.  This is the understanding that we need to master our own life. Knowing that all we want can be attracted is a great wisdom to keep in view. In life, there are things we can control and there are other things that we can’t directly control but can influence the outcome of. The reason many are frustrated is because they try to control what can only be influenced. While goal setting is an expedient thing to do, it must be done appropriately. Setting a goal to control factors that can’t be will be a foolish thing to do. Its like banging one’s head against the wall for no just cause. So, what are the things we can control and what are the things we can influence the outcome(s) of?




The above is the Golden Circles of Life. The concentric circles wouldn’t come as a surprise to most people especially those who are familiar with Geometry or even the game of Darts. It is worthy of note that the brilliant author, Simon Sinek wrote about the Golden Circles in his bestseller Start With Why which is surely an inspiration for the image above.


In the outermost circle, we have the things that we often want out of life; needs and luxuries. For the most part, these things are often not directly under our control. We often want them and may even rightly deserve to have them but they are not under our direct control. Having a great job for instance isn’t a function of setting a desire for one. To land a great job, you need the right skills and must fulfill the necessary requirements. It goes without saying therefore that a great job is a result with requirements. Of course anybody can get a great job provided they are willing to meet the requirements. So, if I desire a great job, I shouldn’t stop there but go further to understand the requirements of such job. This is where one’s education / skills comes to play. While the decision of whether or not we are employed into a great company rests with the Human Resources department, our decision to develop our own skills and get the right education is within our control. We can only influence the decisions of the Human Resources department. The moral of this is that we must understand the things we can control and other things we can influence.


Call to Action: Its okay to desire things including luxuries. These could be motivations. Understand however that these are not directly under your control. Yours is to meet the requirements and hope things align.


The inner mid circle consists of a layer of factors that we can control. This includes the company of friends we keep and other relationships we keep, our own education and our service to the world. The decision of what books I read or what training I take is mine and no one else. Someone may even offer to pay for my training but I can choose to not take the classes. What I do with my time is my decision. One’s decision to serve others or not is essentially one’s own choice. In a world where volunteering has become a cliché, we must not forget the purpose which is about offering one’s service to the world and every gift surely has an intention behind it. Service is a route to success. Creating a venture should transcend the goal of profit-making. The most successful businesses are built on the ethos of service; elevating others and investing in other people and that is entirely our choice.


Call to Action: Set goals to develop productive habits. Choose your friends wisely. Nurture the relationships in your life . Read books and apply the lessons. Take short courses. Learn new skills.


The innermost circle is the most important of all. This is where once essence is formed. Here, you are who you are simply because of your purpose. This is where you can be totally honest with yourself. You look yourself in the mirror and see who you really are; stripped to bare. What you have in your bank account may not necessarily be your true worth but your values (character) determines your worth. Many attempt to fill their lives with friends and ephemeral successes but yet feel the greatest hollow; a sense of emptiness and vanity. The core of one’s being; the state of one’s soul determines the integrity of one’s being. Afterall, man is a Spirit, he has a Soul and lives in a Body.  This may not be popular wisdom but it is nevertheless a truth. May I also assert that no amount of accomplishments can ever satisfy us. Our needs are insatiable. At the center of life is  the God essence.


Call to Action: The people in our lives, the things we own and other things we pursue often have a way of getting in our way of living our true lives. Authentic goal setting begins with resolving the issues within and everything without will fall in place. Set goals on developing your awareness of the world around you and nurture your relationship with your creator.


Success; the accomplishment of worthwhile goals is good for the soul. Joy is what we feel when we do great things for ourselves and others. There is no formula for living. There is no promise that everything will be fine just by simply doing things right yet we must continue to strive to be the best version of ourselves. To thyself be true. May your life be well pleasing to your maker and, I hope you dance.


Femi Oni

Femi’s overarching purpose is to inspire brands (individuals, organisations and nations) to unlock potentials to achieve sustainable growth and impact. His mission is to mentor 1000 brands in Africa and beyond by 2025.

Specialties and Interests: Business Model Design & Innovation, Visioning, Strategy Design & Execution, Project Management, Change Management, Strategic Branding, Operations Excellence, Process Modelling, Product Management, Productivity Management, Entrepreneurial Leadership (Startups), , Social Evangelism, Education, Sustainability, Cybernetics, Risk & Compliance.

Leave a Reply