Clayton Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration with the Harvard Business School.  His areas of expertise include disruptive technology, emerging markets, innovation, strategy, and technological change.  Additionally, Christensen has spoken to the deeper truths of personal and professional happiness in life and in business.

Recently, Christensen was interviewed by Money magazine about how we should measure our success (“How Should You Measure Success?: Clayton Christensen Says to Total Up Your Relationships, Not Your Paychecks” Money October 2012, pp. 96–100).  The content was deep, significant, and potentially life-changing.  Therefore, I will devote several of my blog posts to various aspects of that interview beginning today.

Time.  It is so limited.  How we choose to spend it is a myriad of irreversible situations that can make us or break us.  Christensen wisely reminds us our time must be allocated based on our priorities, and it is how we prioritize that potently affects our happiness or lack thereof:

“I believe that the source of our deepest happiness comes from investments we make in intimate relationships with our spouse, children, and close friends.  But if you measure your life by how much money you make or where you go in a hierarchy, you invest more and more to maximize those things and less and less of your time and energy on family.  Even though you think family is important, you invest in things that are counter to what you had intended to do in your heart.” (p. 98)

Certainly, we all need to make money.  Christensen understands that too.  Nevertheless, he powerfully reminds us from where our happiness derives.

You might be the kind of person who totally devotes all available time and energy to your career.  You may want to rethink that approach.  Although I could admire your effort and dedication, I would be deeply concerned for your personal foundations.

I’ve heard it said many different times by many different people, and it rings so very true—people do not die saying, “I wish I’d spent more time on the job.”

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About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Tyco Integrated Security at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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