Book Notes | How Will You Measure Your Life?

bookI recently read How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton Christensen. The point of the book is the answer this question for yourself: the things you spend your time on, the things your company or church spend their time on, are they the most important things?

Many people, pastors, leaders, churches and companies simply exist and walk through life instead of living with intentionality.

Here are a few things I highlighted:

  • Despite such professional accomplishments, however, many of them were clearly unhappy. Behind the facade of professional success, there were many who did not enjoy what they were doing for a living.
  • How can I be sure that I will be successful and happy in my career? My relationships with my spouse, my children, and my extended family and close friends become an enduring source of happiness? I live a life of integrity—and stay out of jail?
  • People often think that the best way to predict the future is by collecting as much data as possible before making a decision. But this is like driving a car looking only at the rearview mirror—because data is only available about the past.
  • The opposite of job dissatisfaction isn’t job satisfaction, but rather an absence of job dissatisfaction. They’re not the same thing at all.
  • The danger for high-achieving people is that they’ll unconsciously allocate their resources to activities that yield the most immediate, tangible accomplishments.
  • If the decisions you make about where you invest your blood, sweat, and tears are not consistent with the person you aspire to be, you’ll never become that person.
  • 93 percent of all companies that ultimately become successful had to abandon their original strategy—because the original plan proved not to be viable.
  • We call in to work from remote vacation spots. In fact, we may never take all the vacation days we’re allowed; there’s simply too much to be done. Work becomes how we identify ourselves. We take our smartphones with us everywhere, checking for news constantly—as if not being connected all the time would mean we’re going to miss out on something really important. We expect the people who are closest to us to accept that our schedule is simply too demanding to make much time for them. After all, they want to see us succeed, too, right? We find ourselves forgetting to return e-mails and phone calls from our friends and our families; neglecting birthdays and other celebrations that used to be important to us.
  • Each of us can point to one or two friendships we’ve unintentionally neglected when life got busy. You might be hoping that the bonds of your friendship are strong enough to endure such neglect, but that’s seldom the case.
  • Children will learn when they are ready to learn, not when we’re ready to teach them.
  • Our default instincts are so often just to support our children in a difficult moment. But if our children don’t face difficult challenges, and sometimes fail along the way, they will not build the resilience they will need throughout their lives. People who hit their first significant career roadblock after years of nonstop achievement often fall apart.
  • Culture is a way of working together toward common goals that have been followed so frequently and so successfully that people don’t even think about trying to do things another way. If a culture has formed, people will autonomously do what they need to do to be successful.

Definitely a good read if you are wondering if you are spending your time on the right things.

To see other book notes, click here.

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