Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “How Will You Measure Your Life?” as Want to Read:
How Will You Measure Your Life?
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

How Will You Measure Your Life?

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  31,364 ratings  ·  2,806 reviews
How do you lead a fulfilling life? That profound question animates this book of inspiration and insight from world-class business strategist and bestselling author of The Innovator's Dilemma, Clayton Christensen.After beating a heart attack, advanced-stage cancer and a stroke in three successive years, the world-renowned innovation expert and author of one of the best sell ...more
Hardcover, 221 pages
Published May 15th 2012 by Harper Business (first published May 1st 2012)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about How Will You Measure Your Life?, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Angela Lam The book is much more structured and detailed compared to the article. It organizes various business theories and their-life applications into 3 areas…moreThe book is much more structured and detailed compared to the article. It organizes various business theories and their-life applications into 3 areas (career, relationships and integrity), with supporting examples. Vs the article just presents just several (but not all) of those principles which I personally don't find as useful.

Here's an overview of the book in case it helps:
Erica Если правильно понимаю, вы уже прочитали ту книгу раз на английском? Неверное слишком поздно, но по-моему не стоит читать опять, даже если читаете на …moreЕсли правильно понимаю, вы уже прочитали ту книгу раз на английском? Неверное слишком поздно, но по-моему не стоит читать опять, даже если читаете на родном языке.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  31,364 ratings  ·  2,806 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of How Will You Measure Your Life?
Kristin Eberhard
The rare non-fiction book that isn't actually an essay parading as a book. This was a quick read in simple, clear language with good analogies and no unnecessary repetition. A summary of the career-focused bits:

Find Your Purpose
Likeness - who you want to become
Commitment - to becoming that at every step. Actually spending your time and energy in ways that get you closer to your likeness.
Metrics - to measure your progress towards becoming the likeness

Clayton’s Likeness
A man who is dedicated to he
This book is an effort by a well known Harvard Business School prof, notable for his work on the dangers of marginal thinking in innovative industries (The Innovator's Dilemma) that attempts to apply theories of motivation, management, and strategy to the task of self management. Apparently the author's experiences with illness, aging, and other aspects of his life combined to convince him that such an effort would be worthwhile. It is a short book and reads fairly quickly.

I am giving the book t
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Clayton Christensen, an extraordinary businessman, teacher and person, penned this self-help book (with the help of two co-authors) when (and after) he was reevaluating his life due to a bout with cancer - the same cancer that killed his father. It's a clearly written book with many stories and examples (YAY! I love stories) from both business and family events that illustrate his many points. Where people went right. Where people went wrong.

This books poses a lot of interrelated questions for r
Jun 15, 2014 rated it liked it

1. Find your passion
2. Follow a path but be open to opportunity
3. Make sure your actions match your priorities, plans, goals, strategy
4. Don't neglect family friends when all is well. They won't be there when you need them or want to enjoy those relationships
5. Don't be cats in the cradle. Spend time with your family when you're young, when you can
6. Figure out what 'job' your spouse and family need you to play to be happy and do that. Make sure you're right. (Analogy is a product fitting a
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I had read articles that mentioned Clayton Christensen, and he was always described as a brilliant business consultant and professor at Harvard Business School, who is also LDS. Recently, he came and spoke at our quarterly department meeting, and I came to understand why people spoke so highly of him. While he was only scheduled to speak for an hour, I listened to him speak for 2 hours, and found myself wanting more. He told fascinating anecdotes from his days as a consultant, and applied the le ...more
Dec 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know how many stars to give--3 or 4--but it was a good, quick read that makes you think about what's important and how you make your life manifest that. Kindle highlights:

two different types of factors: hygiene factors and motivation factors. On one side of the equation, there are the elements of work that, if not done right, will cause us to be dissatisfied. These are called hygiene factors. Hygiene factors are things like status, compensation, job security, work conditions, company pol
Amir Tesla
Dec 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: success
If you don't know your purpose, be patient, try out things, get feedback, and correct your course as the new opportunities unfold.
Purpose is not something to be found, it's something to be developed.
Ricky Bache
May 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to read ‘The Innovators Dilemma’ at a formative point in my Pharma R&D career. Like many others, I was captivated by the ability of Christensen’s ‘big idea’ (disruptive innovation) to explain the perplexing phenomenon whereby small startups were able to upend established players in industry segments where the latter should have held all the aces. I have read a number of other books he has put out over the the years. These have invariably given me much to reflect on as a busine ...more
Ken Aw
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many in a time we get asked (or ask ourselves) what are our life goals? what do we want to be remembered for before we say goodbye to this world? How do we live a life of purpose and fulfillment? This book offers a way to deeply think about these questions, and perhaps chart some possible answers and directions that we need to take to achieve them.

One interesting issue that Clay talks about revolves around parenting. As parents, we would want our children to be equipped with the knowledge and sk
Feb 20, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book
Sometimes, I don’t mind the obvious being stated. But the way this author puts it makes me question my sanity. The ‘theories’ he claims to advance are nothing short of preposterous and self-evident in all conventional measures. The fact that every idea must have its echoing in business is mental straining for a guy like me. Not to mention the wannabe distillate that purpose is a process of “likeness, commitment, and metrics”. “Companies that aspire to positive impact must never leave their purpo ...more
Mitesh Sheth
This book blew my mind and heart. It fundamentally challenged me to think about my life choices. Is a fairly quick read though it took me a while to get into. This is not a self-help book, it does not offer a set path or any quick fixes. Clay draws on theories he has learnt in business and life effortlessly and interchangeably. I will refer to this book and its lessons again and again.

Here's a snapshot of my 10 main takeaways:

1. Theories are powerful tools. Without a plan or a theory you are at
Aug 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book made me think about how I "manage" my family and my own life and has made me actually define my purposes. My favorite excerpt is :
"The challenges your children face serve an important purpose: they will help them hone and develop the capabilities necessary to succeed throughout their lives. Coping with a difficult teacher, failing at a sport, learning to navigate the complex social structure of cliques in school--all those things become "courses" in the school of experience. We know th
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
2020 review: Even more meaningful this time, after several years working for a large corporation. I found the advice essential in some recent major decisions.
2013 review: Outstanding advice in the smart, soothing voice of a man who walks the walk. Makes a fine gift that's sure to "disrupt" many lives for the better; anyone from a teenager to the most accomplished executive will benefit from its blend of high-stakes business expertise and humble common sense.
Apr 12, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
As I started the first chapter of this book, I let out a mental yawn.

I had picked this book from my shortlist of books to read, a shortlist usually reserved for the best of the best as recommended by others and additionally evidenced by its ubiquitous recommendation on social media.

So why did I tire at my first read of it, and why have I subsequently rated it 5 stars?

It turns out I was very wrong. My habit of always finishing books I started absolutely came in clutch here. I've read books before
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-be-reread, kindle
Phenomenal little read replete with intense nuggets of vocational and personal advice. Intense nuggets.

As the owner of a popular YouTube startup and poised at the brink of starting up a family with my wife, this book came at a great time. The central premise is that we need to pay attention to the process of decision-making in our business and personal spheres, not just our nominal end goals or whatever seems to be the most immediately rewarding way to invest our time and resources in the short
Masum Hasan
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the books that is going to shape the way I think from this point forward.
We culturally learn to measure ourselves through the success in our careers. We celebrate CEO's, athletes, celebrities, who have gathered enormous wealth and fame. We consider people in top positions in companies with a large sum of salaries as the successful ones. But often behind the facade of their success, they are dissatisfied with their career, have failing marriages, or severely dissatisfied with thei
Jul 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was great. Well worth the (very fast) read. I have heard many of his theories before from reading his other books so some of the stuff is repetitive here, but there is a different angle. CC takes business theories and applies them to life. Sometimes they work and sometimes I thought it was a stretch. In all, I learned from the book and would recommend it.
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Greatly enjoyed this piece about not only finding meaning, but making meaning. I loved that Christensen talked about management as a service profession, because of the ways in which good management can help improve lives. So true:

Favorite quotations:

"the most powerful motivator isn’t money; it’s the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute, and be recognized. That’s why management, if practiced well, can be the noblest of occupations; no others offer as many ways to help people
Russell Fox
I know many people have found the reflections and insights of contained in this extended essay by Clayton Christensen really profound and helpful--my father certainly thought they were; he bought copies of the book for all his children years ago, before he passed away, and I've only just gotten around to reading it. Unfortunately, my reaction to the book was a big "meh." His arguments about being willing to re-evaluate your goals as situations change, about trying to understand the actual meanin ...more
Batzul Gerelsaikhan
One of the best books I have read in my life for sure. Case studies of "personal life failures" (colleagues jailed for inside trading, a friend who failed in marriages 3 times, parents failing to raise their children properly, etc) and the "company failures" were most interesting to me. Another best message of the book was to never give up to the "Just this once" thoughts and "Live with Integrity". When you die, what will you leave behind? What is your legacy? What will your family and friends r ...more
Nyamka Ganni
My newest favorite book! 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩

* Just because you have feathers..

* What makes us tick

* The Balance of Calculation and Serendipity

* The Ticking Clock

* What Job Did You Hire That Milkshake For?

* Sailing Your kid on Theseus's Ship

* The Schools of Experience

* The Invisible Hand Inside Your Family

* Just This Once...
Bülent Duagi
Jul 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Excellent, insightful book. Presents some business concepts that can be applied to the personal life.
One of my favorite books from now on.
Daniel Burton
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
''For many of us, as the years go by, we allow our dreams to be peeled away. We pick our jobs for the wrong reasons and then we settle for them. We begin to accept that it’s not realistic to do something we truly love for a living. Too many of us who start down the path of compromise will never make it back. Considering the fact that you’ll likely spend more of your waking hours at your job than in any other part of your life, it’s a compromise that will always eat away at you. But you need not ...more
This is Nonfiction/Business and it also talked a lot about family and faith (more towards the end.) This wasn't quite 4 stars for me but I liked how he anchored business principles to family and faith so I'll round up.

I like the way he dialed into what is important and how that answer is different for each person. Whatever that thing is, he highlights ways to self examine to see if one's daily choices are reflecting that thing.
Pankaj Sahai
Nov 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book, really felt fulfilled after reading it.

I finished the book in one sitting on a Saturday, the day after I had long discussions (often energetic, forceful and agitated but always sincere, well-intentioned & for good cause ) with some of my very close friends till 1:30 am on various aspects of living a "good life" (ethics, morality, life goals, life purpose etc). This book, coincidentally, deals with most of what we we discussed the night before, providing insights , options and soluti
May 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I came to know about this book this year after Christensen's death. I read the HBR article titled "How Will You Measure Your Life?" and wanted to read more about the topics addressed. This timing is significant because I was about to graduate with an MBA degree about 30 days after reading that article.

The book captures the anxiety fuelled by the lofty expectations of a recent graduate on one hand and the shadow of uncertainty on the other hand. Even when you have made goals and dreams of your o
May 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-of-2013
If you are a serious business person looking for more meaning in your life, I think this book will mean a lot to you. If you are a Mom, you will have to get through a lot of Enron stories to grasp the relationship to your parenting style. I'm not saying it isn't good, or that it is not worth it, just saying that is different. It gave me pause for thought, and I enjoyed reading the book. I really like Clayton and loved how after he gave this speech at Harvard it garnered a record number of hits. ...more
May 13, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended by a friend, this is a business-book babble of some 1% who wants to point out that all of his Harvard Business School alumni have TERRIBLE personal lives, and that maybe they should treat their personal lives as a long-term business proposition.

Let me tell you: If reframing your life as a ROI in affection toward your spouse, children, neighbors, family, and friends will make you pay more attention to them, that's probably a good thing. But it also is a kind intuitive thing that most
Graeme Roberts
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an inspiring book! I love Clayton Christensen. He is a kind and good man, of great intelligence. He draws very apt and relatable parallels between business and our own lives, showing that the rules for conducting a good business and a good life are the same. Indeed, he introduces some business planning tools that he and his colleagues at Harvard Business School have developed to apply in understanding and planning for our own lives.
Vannesa will be a hobbit one day
What a disappointment!

I'm DNFing this one at 33% because so far, the authors have given run-of-the-mill advice and made self-evident statements, claiming these are new and life-changing insights, when in reality they're merely repeating the obvious.

I might come back to it at some point to see if there's anything useful in the other chapters, though.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Does this book contain any new insights? 1 24 Jan 11, 2015 11:36AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness
  • The Psychology of Money
  • Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life
  • Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know
  • From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life
  • Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
  • Sustainable & Responsible Investing 360°: Lessons Learned from World Class Investors
  • No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention
  • Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals
  • Principles: Life and Work
  • The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company
  • Designing Your Life: Build a Life that Works for You
  • Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
  • Amp It Up: Leading for Hypergrowth by Raising Expectations, Increasing Urgency, and Elevating Intensity
  • Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success
  • Principles For Dealing With the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail
  • Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It
  • Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Clayton M. Christensen is the Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, with a joint appointment in the Technology & Operations Management and General Management faculty groups. He is best known for his study of innovation in commercial enterprises. His first book, The Innovator's Dilemma, articulated his theory of disruptive technology.


News & Interviews

  The glint of fangs in the dark, the sound of tap-tap-tapping at your window, the howling of wind (or is it just wind?) in the trees...that's...
217 likes · 34 comments
“It's easier to hold your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold them 98 percent of the time.” 97 likes
“The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. —Steve Jobs” 56 likes
More quotes…