How Will You Measure Your Life?

It was by accident that I came across a book recommendation by Akshay Kothari, LinkedIn India Head. The book — “How Will You Measure Your Life?” by Clayton Christensen. The book has some very valuable lessons from the former HBS economics professor on life in general. He has delved into using of theories and tools taught in B-Schools, how to apply it to life and achieve more out of it.

The book really got me thinking on several issues with life, career and thought process in general. Well, the book in itself is divide into 3 sections on:

  • Finding happiness is career
  • Finding happiness in relationships
  • Stay out of Jail ! (You read that right !, but deals with thought process)

Each of these sections has some very valuable insights. This book certainly does not qualify to be placed alongside your run-of-the-mill self-help books. Why ? Because it simply did not put forward some advise on do’s and dont’s as you find in most books. The author has given real-life examples from his own life and experiences and demonstrated how the particular theory applied to that instance.

I can distinctly remember examples of Dell/Asus, Netflix/Blockbuster, Honda which the author cites as examples to drive home few theories that he tries to explain in these sections. These companies are still very relevant in today’s times and hence those examples and the lessons learned from them stand out in our memory for long time.

The onus is on us, to try apply these theories/tools to our own lives. While I have not applied it myself, it certainly got me thinking on my priorities, career and life. I’m pretty sure anyone who reads the book will be able to interpret what the author is trying to suggest from his own point of view and try improving.

The book ends with the same question that it begins with, “How will you measure your life?” And before putting that ending, the author stresses on the purpose of life, and the yardsticks against which we should question our purpose. That probably is a great ending to let the reader engage in self-talk. And once we get the answer to those, mind you it ain’t an easy task, we can apply our thoughts against well defined business principles, theories & tools.

If these theories have held ground even with changing times, they certainly apply to our lives as well. Why? Because as I had learned in one of my induction program while joining my company, I’m the CEO of my life, I’m in-charge of how I drive my life forward, and it is up to me to steer at all times. This book simply re-iterates this line of thought. Good one !