How Will You Measure Your Life?

“The trap many people fall into is to allocate their time to whoever screams loudest, and their talent to whatever offers them the fastest reward. that’s a dangerous way to build a strategy.” – Clayton M. Christensen

Christensen’s book “How Will You Measure Your Life” provides many profound insights, not just for your business and career, but also for the home and family. The quote above is enlightening and does cause us to question – how are we allocating our resources such as time, talent, and money? Do we respond with a knee-jerk reaction, with a desire to achieve quick, and short-term results?

To allocate our resources well, we need a purpose to guide us. Without a clear sense of purpose, we waste our time and energy focusing on things that are not really important to us. Christensen draws this picture – “If they don’t figure it out, they will just sail off without a rudder and get buffeted in the very rough seas of life.”

This book also seeks to answer the evergreen question of ‘How can I be happy in my career?’ based on the theory of Frederick Herzberg, who asserts, “the powerful motivator in our lives isn’t money; it’s the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute to others, and be recognized for achievements.”

It’s not about building and investing in a business – it’s about building and investing in people. I believe in that. In his classroom, Christensen discovered that more and more MBA students are coming to school thinking that a career in business means buying, selling, and investing in companies. He sees that as unfortunate, as “doing deals doesn’t yield the deep rewards that come from building up people”.

So how will you measure your life?

It is not about what you’ve achieved in status and prominence, but how many people you’ve helped become better. That’s one paradigm shift we all need. When you think of the sum of your life,

“Think about the metric by which your life will be judged, and make a resolution to live every day so that in the end, your life will be judged a success.”

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