The Toolkit

A Toolkit is a set of Operational Heuristics for running a specific activity with a particular purpose.
Life Strategy Center works on developing several toolkits for different purposes. Though these toolkits are designed with different frameworks, they share some modules.
We also work on different versions of a same toolkit by adding modules, removing modules, etc.

The Life Discovery Toolkit (v1.0) - Feb 2022

The Life Discovery Toolkit (v1.0) was developed in Feb 2022. It was guided by nine questions.
Q1: What kind of hero are you?
Q2: What is the status of your primary life project?
Q3: What have you created so far?
Q4: Where did you ideas come from?
Q5: What’s your primary project?
Q6: How do you manage your networks of enterprise?
Q7: How do you interact with significant others?
Q8: How well do you adapt to environments?
Q9: How do your echo the development of culture?
You can find more details in

The AAS Toolkit - September 2022

AAS stands for Anticipatory Activity System. The AAS Toolkit is based on the AAS framework.
The Anticipatory Activity System (AAS) Framework has several sub-frameworks and models. They can be used as modules for designing different programs.

iART Framework

The core of the AAS framework is the Transactional Anticipatory System which considers the “Self, Other, Present, Future” situation. See the diagram below:
You can find more details in and .

The "Anticipatory - Performance" Complexity

The diagram below is a sub-model of the AAS framework.
At T1 which is an early time point, the complexity of anticipation is high and the complexity of performance is low. For the startup activity, T1 is about strategy formation.
At T2 which is a middle time point, the complexity of anticipation reduces to medium level and the complexity of performance rises to the medium level. For the startup activity, T2 is about the market-product fit.
At T3 which is a late time point, the complexity of anticipation reduces to low level and the complexity of performance rises to high level. For the startup activity, T3 is about the take-off stage. Based on the model, we developed a new tool called the Defining Zone which identifies five critical themes for managing the Anticipation - Performance complexity.
Each developmental theme can be understood as a guiding question.
Situation: Where are we?
Orientation: Where should we go?
Projection: What should we try?
Engagement: How to find our sweet spot?
Improvement: How to scale it?
You can find more details in .

A Typology of Relevance

On Nov 19, 2021, I developed the following typology of Relevance.
The above typology uses four unit of analysis:
Intrapersonal Relevance: the Other is potential, not actual.
Interpersonal Relevance: the Other is actual, but the “Self — Other” is not considered as a whole.
Transactional Relevance: the Other is actual, and the “Self — Other” is considered as a whole.
Collective Relevance: the Other is pervasive, not proximal. The “Self — Other” relationship is understood as “Self — Group”.
The core of the framework is three aspects of Other.
Potential v.s. Actual
Independent v.s. Dependent
Proximal v.s. Pervasive
If a person doesn’t have direct interaction with real other people, he considers if his work or actions are relevant to predecessors or any other people. Then, this means Intrapersonal Relevance. For example, I am comparing my typology with Schutz’s typology while I am writing this article. Since Schutz is a predecessor to me, he can’t respond to me. I can’t have direct interaction with him. However, the Potential aspect also considers contemporaries. For example, there are many contemporary researchers who study Schutz’s theoretical thoughts. Now I don’t have any direct interaction with them, but I could have direct communication with them in the future.
Interpersonal Relevance refers to direct interactions for getting feedback from others. At this situation, the Other is actual, but the “Self — Other” is not considered as a whole since they don’t share reciprocity of motives. How can a person get good feedback from others? It depends on Relevance from the Other’s perspective. We can adopt Schutz’s typology of Relevance to understand Other’s Relevance. For example, If I want to get good feedback for my work on the D as Diagramming project, I need to consider my writing style for audiences. If I share a particular article on Linkedin and mention some contacts, I need to consider if these contacts are relevant to the article.
Transactional Relevance is about dependent relationships and interactions. The Other is actual, and the “Self — Other” is considered as a whole. and they share reciprocity of motives. In this situation, the person and Other share reciprocity of motives, challenges, background knowledge. If we adopt Schutz’s typology of Relevance, it has high relevance in both of three types: Motivational relevance, Thematic relevance, and Interpretational relevance.
Collective Relevance considers Other as a pervasive group, not a particular person or several people. The “Self — Other” relationship becomes the “Self — Group” relationship. This refers to Schutz’s social domains of relevance.

Developmental Project Model

The Developmental Project Model is part of my 2020/2021 book Project-oriented Activity Theory.
The above picture is the standard diagram of the Developmental Project Model. It uses eight elements to describe a developmental project:
Purpose: Why do you want to initiate or join the project?
Position: What’s the social structure of the project?
Program: Does the project have formal organizational processes?
Social: How do you connect with others due to joining the project?
Content: How do you acquire new information and knowledge due to joining the project?
Action: What actually do you do due to joining the project?
Theme: Do you find some new and interesting themes for your career development?
Identity: How do you perceive your identity before and after joining the project?
You can find more details in .

Modeling Projects

The “Modeling Projects” framework uses the visual style of the AAS4LT framework to design the diagram. It has five parts:
Life Container
Source of Knowledge
Context of Communication
The process of modeling a developmental project can be understood as a process of developing tacit knowledge about the project.
There are two types of cognitive operations for modeling a developmental project:
Conceptualization: How do you think about the project?
Visualization: How do you draw your thoughts?
Each project has its own challenges and situations. A person could adopt knowledge from different sources to build a model or modify a model. I roughly consider three types of sources of knowledge:
Self: the person’s own ideas, experiences, creations, etc.
Other: a person’s friends or contacts offer some relevant knowledge resources.
Public: a person can search for relevant knowledge in public spaces such as the internet or libraries.
A model can appear in different spaces. I consider the following three spaces:
Mind: a person thinks about a project and has a rough idea bout it. However, she can’t express it. Or she doesn’t want to express it.
Private: the person expresses a model of a project in text, voice, or diagram. But she doesn’t share it with others.
Shared: the person shared the model with others through some communicative channels.
You can find more details in .

Life Discovery Model

The diagram below is the starting point of the Life Discovery Activity. It also refers to the pair of themes of “Supplies - Demands” which is part of the Life Discovery Canvas.
I use three dimensions of the concept of “Life” to develop the above model. There are at least three ways to understand the concept of “Life”.
Life as Organism: this is the perspective of biological theories.
Life as Practice: this is the perspective of social theories.
Life as Ideal Type: this is the perspective of humanities.
These three perspectives can be called Biological Life, Sociocultural Life, and Spiritual Life. I also defined three types of Freedom.
Material Freedom: Independence of both Sociocultural Life and Biological Life.
Mental Freedom: Independence of both Spiritual Life and Biological Life.
Cultural Freedom: Independence of Sociocultural Life and Spiritual Life.
The pair of concept of “Supplies — Demands” is inspired by economics. Also, I was inspired by the developmental psychologist Robert Kegan’s 1994 book .
In Over Our Heads focuses on the fit or lack of fit between what the culture demands of our minds and our mental capacity to meet these demands. According to Robert Kegan, “The psychological phenomenon is the evolution of consciousness, the personal unfolding of ways of organizing experience that are not simply replaced as we grow but subsumed into more complex systems of mind…The cultural phenomenon is the ‘hidden curriculum,’ the idea that to the list of artifacts and arrangements a culture creates and the social sciences study we should add the claims or demands the culture makes on the minds of its constituents.”(1994, p.9)
Kegan’s “psychological — cultural” dialogue approach is the seed of my ideas about the above three types of freedoms. It’s clear that I want to expand the “psychological — cultural” dialogue to the “psychological — biological” dialogue and the “cultural — biological” dialogue.
For more details about Life Discovery Activity, you can check out .

The Opportunity Formula

I adopt the concept of Opportunity as a mediation and redefined it as a formula below:
Opportunity = From a perspective (X), You (U) could do things (Y) with an object (Z).
For the Opportunity Formula, each color refers to a particular meaning.
Opportunity: Green. It refers to hope and growth.
X: Blue. It refers to rational thinking.
U: Red. It refers to passion and purpose.
Y: Yellow. It refers to social practices.
Z: Green. It refers to ecological context.
From the perspective of the Ecological Practice approach, the concept of Opportunity is both subjective and objective. The objective aspect refers to the ecological context which means an objective reality. The subjective aspect refers to a person’s attitude, knowledge, skills, and situation.

The Achievement Chain

The Achievement Chain is inspired by the following theoretical resources:
The Activity System Model(Yrjö Engeström,1987): Subject — Outcome.
The evolving systems approach to the study of creative work (Howard E. Gruber, 1974,1989): By-product.
The constructive — developmental approach (Robert Kegan, 1982, 2009): The Evolving Self.
By-product is a normal phenomena for experienced individual workers and teams. In his study of Charles Darwin, Howard Gruber (1974) showed that even a great scientist embraces by-productive thinking in his creative work process. ​
In contemporary knowledge work activities, there are many ways to generate by-products. Activity theorists also claim that a mediation of an activity can be transformed into an object of a new activity.

The Persona Dynamics Framework

Persona Dynamics Framework .png
Some models are used by the Life Discovery Toolkit (v1.0) and Life Discovery Canvas too.

Life Curation Toolkit - Dec 2019

In Dec 2019, I had a discussion with a friend about her career development. In order to share my insights from the perspective of the Ecological Practice approach and Curativity Theory, I made a file titled Life Curation.


The file offers a toolkit for Life Curation Activity. It has the following modules:
Double R Analysis: the “Resources — Results” Analysis
Social Event Analysis:
Social Attachance Analysis: the “Enter — Exit” Analysis
Opportunity Analysis: the “Information — Opportunities — Action” Analysis

Other Modules

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