Arnold Siegel is the founder of Autonomy and Life and creator of a unique and original governing philosophy for living in 21stcentury America. The 34-year-old company offers classes and coursework that empower individuals to live substantive and rewarding lives of their own design.
Autonomy and Life: American Philosophy for Our Times
Siegel states that we are a product of the American Revolution, no longer confined to a king-subject relationship. We are subject only to the American politic that makes of us sovereign individuals. All of us are fully responsible for the entirety of our behavior in the complex and highly competitive marketplace, at home and as contributory members of a community. This is true whether or not we want to be or are prepared to be self-reliant, self-motivating, etc. In other words, the philosophy and discipline of Autonomy and Life is designed to help us make the most of the American opportunity to live a life of our own design and at the same time, to deal successfully and responsibly with the situations, predicaments and disappointments that each of us inevitably face.
Since 1985, over 5,000 participants have attended classes with Siegel. Testimonials from many of Siegel’s students can be found on his website, autonomyandlife.com. The testimonials are sincere and address, for example, newfound competitive competence, warmer and more stable relationships, a profound experience of fulfillment and equanimity, a stronger voice and better listening skills, greater resilience in the face of adversity, and the critical skills that produce authority, self-reliance, confidence and resource.
Years in the Marketplace
Mr. Siegel left Brooklyn, New York, where he grew up, in 1960 and began work at a prominent Los Angeles accounting firm. At 29, rising quickly through the ranks, he was named partner, the youngest employee ever to hold that title. The following year, he seized the opportunity to found the firm’s San Francisco office. As managing partner for Bay Area operations, he worked with some of the country’s most high-powered companies.
In 1973, Arnold Siegel became partner and chief operating officer at a dynamic real estate development firm based in the Bay Area. He oversaw the approval and construction of a major waterfront residential community near San Francisco, which remains one of the Bay Area’s most ambitious waterfront developments to date. Later he turned his attention to the creation of a new accounting firm designed to support companies large and small with the skills necessary to not only maintain but also to build sustainable and fundamentally sound businesses.
In the early 1980s, Arnold Siegel launched a private satellite communications system capable of serving more than 20 U.S. cities with simultaneous content feeds. Though the “hard-wired” network of what we now know as “the internet” wouldn’t exist for another decade, Siegel’s innovative commercial use of “live feed” was a precursor to what was to come.
After a successful two decades in corporate America, while simultaneously engaged in a largely self-guided inquiry into the relationship between personal freedom and the rules that govern social, economic and political life, Arnold Siegel founded Autonomy and Life.
Arnold Siegel: Autonomy and Life in the 21st Century
Though Autonomy and Life’s record of accomplishment is solid, firmly established in a unique cultural and education niche, Siegel continues to refine his philosophy for life. Each retreat workshop and advanced class presents another opportunity to explore new techniques and methodologies. You could say that Autonomy and Life is fundamentally a work in progress.
Arnold Siegel resides in Northern California. When not keeping to his busy teaching schedule (he personally leads retreat workshops twice yearly, typically at high-end resorts on the East and West coasts and 2-day advanced classes every month in New York or Los Angeles) his time is spent in quiet contemplation. He breaks up his introspection to work on writing and fine-tuning his book, How to Think About Autonomy and Life, as well as to post some of his latest thinking on Autonomy and Life’s blog.