How Will You Measure Your Life? Part II

Accountability Books


Key Point: As promised in my last blog, the following includes the third and final element that Harvard’s Dr. Clayton Christensen presents in his book, How Will You Measure Your Life?, to help frame our life’s purpose. Christensen is most renowned for encouraging Harvard business graduates to seriously ask themselves that question. He makes a convincing argument for actively working on developing one’s purpose in life by consciously launching that journey of discovery and definition as they take the next big step outside of school. This is a process not an event. In my previous blog I noted the first two elements, “likeness” and “commitment.” What would you like to become and how committed are you to really making that aspiration come true? Did you work on defining or refreshing those concepts? Read on to learn more about the third element.

Christensen, not surprisingly, notes the importance of measuring. What evidence denotes that you are making progress? Like many things we aspire to, the data tells us whether we are really achieving what we set out to do and become. The world is filled with people aiming to lose weight, announce their commitment to do so, and yet they make little or no progress when measurements are taken. While this is perhaps too simple of an analogy, it has some merit. If one of my purpose statements is to Be Abundant, filled with care and generosity of spirit, it is fair to ask, “How will I know I’m living that way?” It is also important NOT to measure in too small of units. As an example, one sales order does not determine whether a company is having a good sales year. On the other hand, the accumulation of those orders is what counts. The same applies to the measurement system you want to utilize for measuring your life.

Character Move:

  1. Allow yourself to reflect and define measures that will indicate progress.
  2. Develop a basket of measures. The combination will provide a more balanced perspective. You may want to develop superb relationships and become renowned for giving to others. However a divorce, while likely not a preferable outcome, does not mean giving up on the vision of mastering relationships.
  3. Remember that the journey of giving serious consideration to your life’s purpose and how you measure is as important as the result. Most people cast about rudderless and one day they recognize the runway is very short to leave a purpose driven legacy.
  4. Don’t wait. Do more work on your purpose and measurement system now. You deserve the investment. It really is never too late to start.

Measuring in the Triangle,