It's a Twinderful Life

Looking For the Silver Lining in All of Life's Clouds

How Will You Measure Your Life?

on May 14, 2012

Howdy hey, Peeps! We hope that you enjoyed your Mother’s Day weekend and spent lots of time with the woman who gave you life. Britt and I took our Mom and Grandma out for Thai food on Saturday night and it was I love that I have a Grandma who loves to try new things. I think I get my sense of adventure from her.  We managed to get some beautiful pink roses for Mom and they are doing a wonderful job making her house smell like a garden. My Sawyer Pup spent Sunday morning basking in the sunshine and working on his tan. He has big plans to impress the ladies by the pool this summer. I can’t stand how cute he is; I just want to gobble him up!

This morning I was ordering some new books off of Amazon for our Management library that we have where I work and I received a request for a book that is being released tomorrow titled “How Will You Measure Your Life”? I have actually heard quite a few fantastic things about this book already and it hasn’t even hit the stands yet. My friend who had requested the book emailed me a link to an article that was in the Deseret News (our local newspaper here in Utah) that explained a little bit about the premise of the book and some background on the amazing author Clayton Christensen who is a Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.

As I read through the Deseret News article and another article that I found on Harvard Business Review online I knew that I had to share this with you all. Christensen talks about the things in your life that will bring you the most happiness and that we should allocate our time so that we make sure to foster and grow our family relationships because they are the most important. He writes the book specifically for managers and what they can do to grow their direct reports to be successful and happy, but I feel that this book can be applied to anyone. On the last day of class in 2010 he poses 3 questions to his students who will soon be graduating and moving on to some very successful careers. He asks them to ponder the following:

1. How can I be sure that I’ll be happy in my career?

2. How can I be sure that my relationships with my spouse and my family become an enduring source of happiness?

3. How can I be sure I’ll stay out of jail?

When I read that last question I thought it was a little bit strange (I mean, he’s talking to soon-to-be Harvard grads here), but Christensen goes on to explain that 2 of the 32 people in his Rhodes scholar class spent time in jail. He says that they were good guys but that something in their lives sent them off in the wrong direction. Without making this post a novel I’ll just end with one of my favorite things that Christensen wrote and then you can check out the book and articles for yourself:

Over the years I’ve watched the fates of my HBS (Harvard Business School) classmates from 1979 unfold; I’ve seen more and more of them come to reunions unhappy, divorced, and alienated from their children. I can guarantee you that not a single one of them graduated with the deliberate strategy of getting divorced and raising children who would become estranged from them. And yet a shocking number of them implemented that strategy. The reason? They didn’t keep the purpose of their lives front and center as they decided how to spend their time, talents, and energy.

For me, having a clear purpose in my life has been essential. But it was something I had to think long and hard about before I understood it. When I was a Rhodes scholar, I was in a very demanding academic program, trying to cram an extra year’s worth of work into my time at Oxford. I decided to spend an hour every night reading, thinking, and praying about why God put me on this earth. That was a very challenging commitment to keep, because every hour I spent doing that, I wasn’t studying applied econometrics. I was conflicted about whether I could really afford to take that time away from my studies, but I stuck with it – and ultimately figured out the purpose of my life.

My purpose grew out of my religious faith, but faith isn’t the only thing that gives people direction. For example, one of my former students decided that his purpose was to bring honesty and economic prosperity to his country and to raise children who were capably committed to this cause, and to each other, as he was. His purpose is focused on family and others – as mine is… the choice and successful pursuit is but one tool for achieving your purpose. But without a purpose, life can become hollow.

I LOVE that! I think Mr. Christensen hit it right on the head when he talks about finding your purpose in life and keeping that front and center as you decide how to spend your time. I also LOVE how he states that his focus is on his family and others. I think that if a smart guy like Mr. Christensen has figured out that family is what it’s all about then we might spend some time thinking about how we can best serve our families and find our purpose. Here at Twinderful Life we’re all about finding the joy and I think family is the greatest source of that.

Pick up a copy of the book at Amazon. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Have a joyful day!


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