Stephen Redwood's Reviews > How Will You Measure Your Life?
How Will You Measure Your Life?
At this stage of my life, this question has an increasingly pressing relevance. Most self help books are nauseatingly platitudinous, over simplistic, and offer ridiculously unrealistic assurances. But Clay Christiansen is a business strategy academic, not a self-help guru, so his advice is blessedly grounded. He takes business theory and applies it to how we choose the course of our lives. The result is sound, practical advice for how to determine the purpose of your life, how to deploy your resources, and how to measure the results. The heart of the book asks three questions: What will your purpose look like, what is your level of commitment to it, and how will you measure it? He dusts off Herzberg, to remind us of the power of intrinsic motivators over extrinsics like incentives. There are warnings against the slippery slope of compromise, so “Decide what you stand for. And then stand for it all the time.” He emphasizes the power of relationships and focusing on “what is important to the other person”, as a powerful provider of happiness. And don’t believe you can defer focusing on relationships once your career is catered for, as you will find them gone. But that does not mean work is unimportant, rather that attention needs to be given to nurturing career, family, friends, faith and health at the same time - not in sequence. Nevertheless, the choice of work is important: as in business, so in life, the pursuit of short term gratification at the expense of the long term is a fools errand. Back to Herzberg, he suggests choosing something that satisfies your motivators, not based on hygiene factors, and quotes “an old saying: find a job that you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Once you have found that, possibly through an emergent trial and error strategy, then pursue it with deliberation. Just as he advises companies, so would he advise you.
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