How Will You Measure Your Life? | this curious life |

This is the most-read article in Harvard Business Review’s history and led to the best-selling book of the same name.  It was written by Clayton M. Christensen (, the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Professor Christenden wrote this for an end of school graduation for his students followinga serious health crisis, including a cancer-related stroke which, among other things, left him having to learn to speak again.  Reflecting on this experience and drawing upon the best practice business models he had successfully employed and taught he came to paradoxically simple yet profound conclusions about living meaningful lives.


Below is my interpretation of the main points made by the author.


'Management can be the most noble of professions if it’s practiced well.'  However, in order to be sure we find happiness in our careers and our lives we need to recognise that the most powerful motivator in our lives isn’t money.  Rather, it’s the opportunity to find meaning and purpose - to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute to others, and be recognized for our achievements.


Having a clear purpose in life is essential to happiness and a work-life balance, so it is important to keep the purpose of our lives 'front and centre' when deciding how to spend our time, talents, and energy.  


Decisions about allocating personal time, energy and talent ultimately shape our life strategy.


Intimate and loving relationships with family and friends are the most powerful and enduring sources of happiness.


These processes will be enhanced by creating a harmonious and cooperative culture. In order to achieve this we need to ensure that we have the right 'tools' in terms of skills, knowledge and experience.


Avoid the'Marginal Costs Mistake': immoral or unethical behaviour based upon the 'just this once' premise may have short term (marginal costs) benefits, but this lack of integrity will be at the expense of long term goals.  


Entertain a 'humble' acknowledgement that it is possible to learn something from everybody and your learning opportunities will be unlimited.


Think about the measure by which you will judge your life and make a resolution to live every day in that context so that your life is successful because it is productive and meaningful.